Why Using Excel is Good for Business

It seems more and more obvious to me that business people mostly have Excel on their computers, and some of them use it, however very few use it to its potential. Those that use it have a few columns of amounts, and they use Excel as a calculator, or they use it as a database to store relevant data. In all fairness, if you want a database, Microsoft Access would be a better tool to use. Excel can do so much more that what most people and companies use it for; that is why I am here, I have learned how to use it for more comprehensively than most people.

I have written two other articles entitled ‘5 Ways Businesses Struggle and How Excel Can Help‘ and ‘5 More Ways Businesses Struggle and How Excel Can Help‘ which highlight 10 business headaches that I have solved using Excel. I am not going to repeat what is in those articles, so I suggest that you read them. I have had various people contact me to say that they experience some of the problems mentioned, and have asked for a solution.

Now most companies have a website. If I sold you a website that was made for your industry, and told you to fit your company to the website, you would not be charmed… and rightly so. This is what business software does, a software company will get a team of programmers together and design and create a software package for an industry. They then come along and sell you a copy (along with a monthly subscription fee), and it is usually quite expensive. This means that companies in your industry, possible even world wide, are using the same software, squashing their business to meet the requirements of the software. The other option is to get tailor made software, designed specifically for your company. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t have 5 or 6 figures lying around, nor would I want to spend that on software even if I did! So what does this mean for small and medium businesses? We either buy a relatively cheap and common software package and then squeeze our business into its boundaries, or we go without software. Well, don’t lose faith, I have another option!

Microsoft Excel! If you use a different operating system, there are other options like Open Office. It is extremely versatile if in the right hands. My last 6 jobs that I had before starting Spreadsheet Solutions, were in 3 different industries, yet I used Excel to a lesser or greater degree as business software. I think of Excel as a box of Lego. When you open that box, everything that you need is there, you can create whatever you can imagine. Yes, there are limits to what it can do, but like a Lego expert, they will use various other pieces to create what they want. Excel has so many versatile functions that the sky is the limit. Also, if you take on some VBA coding within Excel, it will open even more doors and possibilities. People think that Excel is just for accountants, that is not the case, in fact accountants generally don’t use it. So far I have not supplied two companies with the same Excel software, I have only created bespoke software for each and every one. This means that you can have your software as you want it! Excel covers a wide variety of areas and is perfect for templates, administrative processes, financial figures, project dates, project management, invoices and tracking, graphs and charts to name a few. I have even created maps for sales reps and stickers with job information for the glass industry, all in Excel!

The other advantage to Excel is that it does not need to be created from scratch. The Lego just needs to be put together, not formed into blocks. This means that it takes one person a few weeks to create what would take a software company longer to do with more staff, this brings the cost down considerably. I have created a complete project management system for a previous company that would now cost in the region of £4,000 – £5,000. They were searching online, but could only find one suitable option which cost £35,000 plus monthly a subscription.

If you have a business, or are responsible for the productivity of one, you really need to have a look at what Excel can do for you! If you have the expertise or staff to create professional spreadsheets, then I wish you all the best and hope that you get as much satisfaction from using such a versatile product as I have. If you don’t have the expertise, but would still like to take advantage of what Excel has to offer, please contact me. I am based in Greater London, UK, however I am quite prepared to take on work further afield, provided we can discuss what is required on Skype or Google+ Hangouts as opposed to meeting in person. I started Spreadsheet Solutions in order to help companies make the most of Excel (which most already have at their disposal) so that they could be more productive in what they do. This is still my desire, so if you would like to take advantage of this, please let me know.

I hope that this has opened up some further possibilities to you and your company.

Regards,

Richard Sumner

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