Excel can free you up to do the more important things you need to do and give you the reports you need.
Excel for Small Business problems
I love implementing Excel Solutions for Small Business! Small business is so real and so honest. Everyday people taking risks and challenges and bravely facing many conflicting pressures they probably never thought they would. It’s their own money so Excel for small business has to give small business capabilities, answers or automation of time consuming tasks they can’t get anywhere else, fast.
- Like the builder who needs to create a material list to make his estimation or quotation Excel tool more efficient and accurate.
- Like the dental practice owner who needs to know which of his dentists are productive and efficient and which need some coaching.
- Like 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.
- Like 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. I have seen hugely expensive SAP implementations leaving puzzled staff with amazing functionality gaps in their wake. In large business Excel is an in-house resource so there will be someone who can race off and build and Excel solution to fill that gap. In large business staff see the Excel Power User working in advanced Excel ‘day in day out’ and doing amazing things.
Small business owners aren’t seeing advanced Excel Solutions very often and too busy to learn the advanced features as effectively as they like or read the Excel blogs. So often the awareness of what Excel can do for small business is not there. With Excel 2007, the Excel Development team introduced 1 million rows. The version before had only 65K rows, that’s a 15 fold increase, so 1 million rows is no light weight tool. Some Excel tools can last for over a decade. Many will take Excel at face value and use it like a manual report writer and the data is the report. But actually Excel is incredibly powerful for small business, cheap because its something they probably already have, and can be tailored to their needs and save them money by giving their staff a tool so they can be more productive. And Excel gets better and better over time given recent additional tools like Power Query, Power Pivot and Power BI.
Even Pivot Tables – introduced way back in Excel 2000, are not widely embraced. Yet this simple tool (ok sometimes frustrating tool) can be incredibly powerful for a business owner to make sense of raw data or thousands of transactions. Using Pivot Tables teaches you how to best organize your data that and then gives you the capability to summarize, filter (slice & dice) and visualize your data in Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts quickly. You also have the ability to re-use that data for other tasks you haven’t thought of yet.
There is another important aspect to this. Clawing back time by being more efficient. Excel solutions in small business can claw back precious personal time for business owners and claw back management time focused on the value adding task you need to get to. It can of course also claw back this precious and expensive time for your staff. Just a 30 minute job per week for your $25 /hr employee costs $650 per year. A 30 minute job per business day will cost over $3,000 pa. Plus you not only save, you gain $X pa if you and your staff are spending their time on the value adding aspects of your business – more time for planning, more time for better stock management etc..
Take another look at the problems that really bug you, maybe Excel can do what you need and I can help you set up the Excel tools or Excel Solution in a user friendly way so you won’t always need me to tinker with it.