If you’ve ever used a spreadsheet, you’ll know just how useful they can be. In fact, the invention of the spreadsheet was one of those killer applications that drove the original development of computer technology; a bit like email, mobile phones and text messaging.
Whether it’s to work out a budget, keep an ad-hoc database of customers or prices, most businesses have used Microsoft Excel at some time or another. However, what can happen is that businesses feel they have outgrown the spreadsheet as they buy off-the-shelf accounting programs or databases to better suit their needs.
Why Excel Can Still Be Useful – and Vital
Excel still has its uses and can seriously improve the overall efficiency of any business – as long as you know how to use it. Even large corporations can make use of Excel; for example small projects or testing that don’t yet justify the expense of in-house programming. And if you’re known as the Excel guru, then who knows what doors might open up?
It’s essential for small business owners to have some understanding of Excel and its uses, even if the plan is to migrate to more advanced software later. But be warned that off-the-shelf software solutions will only go so far to meet your business goals.
For getting to the heart of your company’s problems – or opportunities – be prepared to pay big bucks for a custom-built solution. However, you can reduce the costs by expanding your technology resources at the right time and having the knowledge to make a quality decision, rather than relying on a consultant or salesperson.
Using Excel To Understand Your Business
The early stages are vital in understanding the running of your business; major items of expenditure, your customer’s profile and keeping track of your inventory. The benefit of using Excel is that it gives you hands-on experience in keeping track of information before rushing out and paying big money for software or accounting expertise.
If you understand the functionality of Excel, as your business grows you can delay for some time the need for more sophisticated software or staff. You will need some accounting software which links into your banking data to help with your tax obligations but you can use Excel for the actual running of your business.
Cash flow forecasts Customer contact Product prices and sales Creating and maintaining rosters
If you’re serious about growing your business, you need to learn Excel; it’s one of the best ways to stay in control of what’s going on around you. That way, your business data can be turned into information and knowledge.
John Abrams a Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry from the last 7 year. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup