Guest blogger Lisa Froelings is a business and productivity consultant with over 4 years of experience in human resources working for a major retailer in the country before she decided to build her own business. Her interests include technology, mindfulness as well as time management.
Hearing the words “Microsoft Excel” might conjure up images of a bustling office in the early 1990s. Cubicles sprinkled with crisp suits and high heels, walking with purpose through sheets of paper piled high and endless lists of numbers scrolling across the screen of an IBM PS/1. But you shouldn’t let everybody’s favorite spreadsheet get stuck in past. In fact, even twenty-six years later, MS Excel is still going strong. With more room for startups and small businesses able to launch their business off the ground in the digital age, Excel is still one of the most reliable ways to organize data, market research, and finances.
1. It keeps your finances in order. When it comes to managing finances and keeping track of company expenses, Excel is in its element. Accountants can enter important data much in the same way that they would by hand. But, when it comes to visualizing and managing data sets, financial experts can turn their attention to the software’s handy graph and charts feature. While there are plenty of templates that come with Excel, you also have the ability to customize your own, which can be used to enhance your day to day data analysis as well as company presentations.
2. It’s profitable! When it comes to upping your computer skills, MS Excel might not be the first thing you think of, but even after all these years, it still pays to know your way around a spreadsheet. While having basic computer skills is key to scoring a better job, knowing how to get the most out Excel can make you an essential part of the workforce. In addition, there are plenty of great resources that companies can use when on the lookout for an Excel expert, if you don’t already have one on your team.
3. It helps you understand your consumer. Not just good at tracking your cash flow, MS Excel can be used to record and analyze data regarding your consumer base, which is essential when it comes to conducting accurate market research. Offering much more than just a basic spreadsheet, Excel is fully equipped with a range of tools that can be used to calculate and subsequently translate information into visual data. Charts, diagrams, or whatever works best for you, can transform customer data into easily understandable information.
4. Helps you plan for the future. There are always going to be unexpected expenses in the business world. For small businesses, these unexpected costs can mean the difference between staying open for business and having to shut down entirely. Having a good working knowledge of MS Excel can help you prepare these unexpected and potentially detrimental costs in the future. Of the many advantages of knowing your way around Excel, is having the ability to plan based on real facts and figures without having to guess on your financial future.
5. Organizes the details. Excel allows you to keep important numbers and data all in one place. This level of organization is key when you’re dealing with budgets, current expenses, as well as future expenses. Having all of your fundamental information all in one optimized spreadsheet makes it easy to navigate and adjust when needed. For startups and small companies that are just getting going, there can be a lot of numbers, data and basic information that you’ll need to wrap your head around in the beginning. Keeping organized with Excel will ease stress and also ensure that you don’t have to go scrambling through paperwork and documents when you need to find something.
6. Keeps everyone in the loop. Excel might have been around for what seems like forever in tech years, but they have certainly adapted to the fast-paced digital age. The ability to collaborate and share information quickly with clients and coworkers is a must, which is why the software has introduced the Excel Web App. In a similar way to Google Drive, the Excel app allows teams to work together in real time. There is also the option to acquire a quick link to share large files that can be shared with the whole team.
Whether you’re a small business just starting out, or a well-established corporation, Microsoft Excel remains an important resource for companies at any stage of development.