The study reported in this paper aims to identify, explore and improve hitherto deficient business processes for SMEs in order to prepare them for ERP implementation projects. When business process improvement is traditionally perceived as a task that is particularly related to the ERP project phase, this paper argues that broad changes of business processes should actually be performed well before implementing the system. The research took a Cypriot SME as a case study, and adopted in-depth interview as the main method of data collection. The qualitative data collected was analysed by using an inductive thematic analysis approach. The findings identified that business deficiencies and problems, which can impact potential ERP adoption and usage in SMEs, can be localised across business processes, e.g. sales ordering and stock controlling processes. Disregarding these deficient business processes and business drawbacks in the ERP preparation stage will have implications not just for the subsequent ERP project, but also for the long-term ERP usage.