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ERP Cost for Small Business: 4 Key Factors

Charts and laptop on a desk

Written by Laura Schomaker

March 2, 2023

SMBs often do a bit of a balancing act with software implementations. It can seem as if so many of the solutions out there are for enterprises, not only in terms of scale but also cost. They leave small businesses wondering whether they can or even should try to afford holistic solutions such as ERP. What is the true ERP cost for small business, and can you justify it in terms of ROI? The answer to the latter is a firm ‘yes.’ Let’s walk through what to consider with the cost of ERP software for small business and how the return on your ERP investment can really deliver.

Type of Deployment

At the enterprise level, ERP can be a large-scale solution that involves many moving parts, including significant on-premise hardware components. Even the most successful small business would find this approach well beyond their budgets, when running an ERP cost comparison. Fortunately, there are alternatives in cloud-based, SaaS ERP solutions. These cloud-based solutions come at a much more affordable price and save you on hardware expenditures and the ongoing cost of maintaining an on-site IT team.


ERP is such a popular solution in business because it is modular by design. This means that it includes separate modules that all “play well” together. When pricing out ERP, you need to consider which modules you might need. Standard ERP options can contain the core components you need, like accounting, sales, CRM and more. If you need something above and beyond, you can add modules over the basic package or look for a solution designed specifically for your industry. Either way, you can ensure that you are only paying for what you need in ERP and saving in the long term.

Pricing Plans

No SMB wants to pay out a very large capital expenditure upfront with software. That’s for the enterprise folks. Fortunately, many ERP systems for small businesses feature subscription-based pricing plans, allowing you to pay month to month and avoid that initial, huge payout in the tens of thousands that can come with perpetual licensing.

Onboarding Your Team

Finally, you will need to consider just how steep a learning curve your team will have with your new ERP. Enterprises can spend millions on this piece of the puzzle, due in part to scale, but also the complexity of their solutions. With the right ERP consultant, you can select the right ERP for you, which will mean that it will fit in to your team’s workflows and not the other way around, requiring less training. Many cloud-based ERP systems also often include some basic training for your team at a fraction of the total cost of ownership you might see at the enterprise level.

Want to control your ERP costs? Download our eBook with 10 pro tips for keeping your ERP project on budget.

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