Startup (as in new companies!) BoF!
- Discuss issues around starting up new FOSS companies
Scheduled combined Startup Business & Accounting BOF for 12:30 - 13:50 Thur 22nd @ Social Science 206
Open Source Accounting Software
- SQL-Ledger forked to Ledger-SMB 18 months ago (GPL). Ledger-SMB has an improved UI (still not great), works fine for small business, but lacks payroll. Strictly sales and invoicing.
- AMBERDMS www.amberdms.com/billing (AGPL)
- Capital APMS morphoss.com (GPL)
- MoneyDance (Proprietary)
- FiveDash (GPL v3)
- GNU Cash - more personal focus
Issues in accounting systems
- No easy way of exporting out of proprietary systems, particularly MYOB. Is it legal under the end user licence agreement to do so?
- Accountants often _require_ MYOB formatted data, perpetuating it's use.
- Other defacto standards exist, such as CSV/spreadsheet....so all is not lost
- Configuration and customisation is where the money is in open source.
- Don't discount support as a revenue model. Customers will just sign that cheque and will usually go with the developer of the software
- What's the barrier to entry for someone else to compete with your product?
- Define who maintains copyright for source code contributed to your project.
- Define a plan for how your company will evolve.
- Don't expect that you will automatically get a developer base when you open source your product.
- Work out WHY you're open sourcing the product. Make sure it's for the right reasons. Or should it be why NOT open source it?
- Open sourcing could be a marketing opportunity and/or competitive advantage (strategic) matter
- Marketing is a HUGE issue. Honesty is an issue, as is marketing experience. Technical people often suck at marketing.
- What is it you're going to do/sell?
- How are you going to market it? You NEED to introduce yourself - get out there and tell people about it. Don't restrict yourself to technical markets. Small business networks are invaluable
- Register for GST
- Get an ABN - customers can't deal with you without one
Where To From Here:
- Want to keep the communications happening: Need a mailing list/irc channel/forum thingy?
- Talk to OSIA/LA about infrastructure?
- Your State/Territory OBCA (Office of Business Consumer Affairs) - Business Name Registration, Legislative Requirements, Definitions, Trading Practices, etc.. & some other very useful information that business newbies and existing businesses will find of use
- Your State/Territory Department of Trade & Economic Development (some states/territories may use of slightly different name for the same division within their state/territory government) - This department will usually offer free small business talks especially to new businesses, as well some of their talks will also offer good advice to existing businesses who may be requiring further assistance in a particular area.
- Visit http://www.beca.org.au/ and locate one of their offices nearby to where you are planning on starting your business venture, yes they do offer very similar services to that of the Department of Trade & Economic Development, along with further and deeper wealth of advice that new businesses and existing businesses will find absolutely invaluable. These guys can link you into some very useful mentoring type services for your venture, along with linking you into any further training that you maybe requiring. A large percentage of these services that they are offering are FREE of charge, along with the fact that they have more time to further explain things to you that you may need further information on.