Why Your Startup Needs Excel

You probably started your small business with lofty ambitions, intending to turn it into a Fortune 500 business somewhere along the line. You were always well aware that most sole entrepreneurships fall by the wayside for one reason or another, but you were—and still are—determined that your business would not be one of those statistics.

You’re probably investigating and perhaps purchasing a wide array of tools and software to make your business life easier and help you succeed. Among your many choices is Microsoft Excel, still a remarkable piece of software, despite the fact that it’s been around for a while. In case you’ve overlooked it, we list below some of its many uses.

And if you hesitate because you are a novice at using Excel, fear not. It’s not as difficult to learn as you might first think, and with a little practice and determination, you could soon be an expert Excel user.


Use Excel for Basic Accounting

To use Excel for basic accounting, regularly record expenditures and income in separate columns, entering expenditures as negative numbers and income as positive ones, and inserting a code in a third column for each. In this way, you can easily track your company’s profitability. And when it comes time to calculate your taxes for the year, Excel’s straightforward sorting function certainly makes things easier.


Schedule and Manage Employees’ Tasks

With Excel you can effortlessly avoid making costly mistakes in scheduling or task assignment. Use color coding to make it simple for employees to see which tasks they’ve been assigned and what times they’re supposed to work, making life easier both for you and for them.

Further, you can even go so far as to make your Excel spreadsheet interactive so that employees can check off tasks as they finish them, giving you a way to track what’s been done and which employees might need a little help.


Track Sales

Excel allows you to track your sales on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. You can also set up your sales spreadsheet to track not only numbers but also performance by team members.

As an added bonus, Excel’s tools will allow you to identify negative trends and nip them in the bud before they handicap your business.

Further, you can easily turn all of the raw data in your spreadsheet into colorful charts and graphs with Excel, allowing you to quickly identify trends, analyze problems, and project expected sales for the next quarter or year.


Build Your Customer Database

Using Excel for your initial customer database makes perfect sense. Not only will you be able to track customers’ purchases, you can also keep track of their demographic and psychographic data, data that can become enormously valuable over time. With it you’ll be able to encourage customers to buy your newest products, spot trends and project sales and profits.


Make Excel Your Primary Marketing Tool

Excel makes planning your marketing strategy easy. Track the funds you spend on marketing and how you spend it, then track the sales results of each piece of that strategy. In this way, you can keep your marketing plan on track and ensure that investments in your marketing campaigns are paying off.


Financial Analysis

You can also use Excel to track your investments and other financial instruments. An Excel spreadsheet into which you have entered all of the pertinent financial information can offer insights as to which financial vehicles are paying off for you and which ones you should divest.