Excel spreadsheet solutions for Small Businesses
Frees yourself up to do more important things
Excel for Small Business is very satisfying for me. Small business is so real and honest. I have also been a small business owner with staff myself so I get it. Everyday people taking risks and challenges and bravely facing many conflicting pressures they probably never thought they would.
In fact often it feels a lot like this image…
- the builder who needs to create a material list to make his estimation or quotation Excel tool more efficient and accurate
- the dental practice owner who needs to know which of his dentists are productive and efficient and which need some coaching
- the wife or husband who does the bookkeeping used to spend hours and hours key punching cash transactions to their MYOB, Quickbooks or other accounting software, but now can extract a journal template from a cash book and import to their accounting software in seconds
- the owner who does fortnightly payrolls every 2nd Friday night and needs time sheet data in his MYOB payroll format for easier entry so its done quicker so her weekend can start
Small business doesn’t usually have access to the hugely expensive core systems and tools that evolve within large business. But then again maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I have seen hugely expensive SAP implementations leaving puzzled staff with breathtaking gaps in functionality on start day. But large business has the scale to have in-house Excel people who can race off and build Excel workarounds to fill the gaps. In large business, staff see the Excel Power User working on advanced Excel workarounds ‘day in day out’ and doing amazing things.
Small business owners aren’t seeing advanced Excel Solutions as often and too busy to learn or keep up with the advanced features as effectively as they would like. To keep up you have to watch a lot of You Tube and read a lot of Excel blog articles like I do. So often the awareness of what Excel can do for small business is understandably not there with the owner.
Since Excel 2007, the Microsoft Excel Development team has continually and relentlessly evolved Excel into a powerful unmatched Business Tool. I don’t like knocking Google Sheets, as it’s a great product, free and fun to use and has the occasional advantage over Excel. But now with Tables, Slicers, Power Query, PowerPivot and it’s star relation Power BI, Excel has become incredibly powerful. Small business has with it’s Office 365 package a cheap, powerful tool, that can be tailored to it’s exact needs and it’s staff are already familiar with and be more productive.
Take Pivot Tables as just one example. Introduced way back in Excel 2000, Pivot Tables are still not widely embraced. Yet this simple tool can allow a small business owner to make sense of raw data or thousands of transactions. Learning to use Pivot Tables teaches you how to best organize your data so that you have the capability to summarize, filter (slice & dice) and visualize your data in the Pivot Tables themselves and Pivot Charts quickly. You also have the ability to re-use that data for other tasks you haven’t thought of yet.