Microsoft Excel is one of the few programs that a majority of people who have used a computer have used before. While Microsoft Word might be the most prevalently used program with college students completing thesis papers and midterm essays using the program. Excel can be used by a variety of departments to help organize a plethora of different projects. Being proficient in Excel can really help you stay organized in the hustle and bustle that comes with starting a business and running it efficiently. The following are ways the and areas that Excel can help a small business stay organized.
Finances are one of the classic areas that have been completed on Excel since it has been around. Even some of the more advanced financial tracking systems like Quickbooks allows a user to input Excel files. Things like budgets can be set up on Excel files and tracked throughout the month. Be sure to create a few Google Docs so your Excel files can be edited by staff members if needed. The formulas you can use for Excel make it easy to visualize averages of spending or earning from a monthly or weekly basis. An Excel file can be perfect for something you do not want to be saved on the cloud in case of a data breach. This could be profit margins or what you are receiving products that you are reselling for.
Marketing and Excel go together quite well as many marketers doing outreach put together a list of target as far as content marketing goes. Sales also puts together lists much like this with contact information, area of interest, and type of business from leads that the marketing team have won. Tracking the ROI of a marketing campaign is the best use for Excel as each area of spend can be analyzed. The right marketing campaign should be generated from numbers and data rather than from emotion or a hunch. Outreach contacts as far as publishing on sites related to your business should be kept like this as well. Certain editors are easier to work with than others so this can be the perfect place to note this before another member of the staff contacts a person who can be very difficult to work with.
Tracking production can be difficult for a manager especially if they have numerous employees. An employee could be producing at a high level in one respect but can really be struggling in another. Most of the time this is indicative of poor training or lack of knowledge about a certain area but it can be used to an advantage. Often times there will be an employee that struggles in one area that can be trained by another employee doing well in that area. Reciprocal training is a great way to come out with well-rounded employees who have a similar approach to the job. The ability to sort certain numbers and average them quickly can help an employer see where staff should be spending more time. This can boost accountability as well as people being paid the same will want to be producing at the same rate.
Help Organize Contractors
Those businesses who work with quite a few contractors like that of content creation companies use Excel on a daily basis. This is a great way for contractors to claim work or ask questions if a sheet is shared on the cloud. This will improve production for a person managing the contractors as instead of being pummeled by questions they can answer them bi-daily. Most contractors asking a question will figure out the problem on their own if given enough time. Payments can be tracked as well as performance in this sheet to find out if you need to replace a current contractor. You might have a contractor that shines so you can make them manager of the other contractors especially if their native tongue is what a majority of the contractors speak. Great contractors can help a company maximize production while helping increase the profit margins.
Those people who are starting a small business that are not exactly proficient at Excel can easily learn. There are so many lessons and tutorials about how to perform certain functions. There are ever certifications in Excel that you can earn by taking certain educational classes. Do not underestimate Excel as it could be one of the best project management tools that has ever been created.
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Author: Tommy Wyher