Four Ways to Improve Small Business Efficiency Using Excel
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is improving efficiency with personnel to ensure that salaries and other costs remain affordable, particularly during times of growth and expansion. For decades, spreadsheets have been the go-to method for organizing information in business; in the 1980’s, early spreadsheet software programs such as Vizastar let users enter just 1,200 fields of data, yet still proved hugely useful to small business owners. Today, Microsoft Excel is capable of handling hundreds of thousands of rows and columns of information, with several features for working with the information on the spreadsheet. Here are just a few of the best ways you can use spreadsheets in Excel to improve efficiency within your business.
If you don’t have a clock-in system, Excel spreadsheets can provide a great alternative to tracking employee working hours. Using Excel, workers can note down their times of arrival, departure, and their lunch and any other breaks to ensure that their pay is accurate. You can also use features in Excel to calculate hours between two points in time on different days; this may be necessary for employees who are working night shifts, or for working out how many holiday hours are due when taking time off. Learn how to calculate hours Excel here.
#2. Daily Task Lists:
When it comes to improving workforce efficiency and productivity, Excel provides the perfect solution. Using a spreadsheet, you can create a daily task list, which employees can then use to keep on track. A simple way to do this is to have all the tasks running down the first column on the left, followed by the employee who’s assigned to each task, then the deadline or expected completion time, plus any notes. You may even want to consider using a Kanban style system within your spreadsheet – employees can make changes to display when a task is in progress or completed.
#3. Keep Financial Records:
Spreadsheets can also be very useful when it comes to keeping your business’s financial records. It can be difficult to keep a handle on business expenses in real-time, particularly if you usually work with a contracted accountant who isn’t part of your regular workforce. You can use an Excel spreadsheet to make a list of your expected monthly business costs and expenses, track how much money is coming in, or keep track of invoices that are currently unpaid. You can quickly add up numbers in Excel by highlighting the cell where you want the result to appear, then press ALT plus +.
#4. Use Templates:
Lastly, Excel has a wide range of templates available which you can use to print essentials for your small business, such as invoices, receipts, timesheets and labels, without having to pay a professional to design them for you. All of the templates found within Excel are completely customizable, allowing you to make changes that better suit your business, such as adding a brand logo or changing the colors.
Excel is one of the best tools for small business owners, with awesome templates, functions, and productivity tools.