Excel business shortcuts.
Any differences that occur in small-business usage lie more in the source of the data used, the amount of data available about the business, and the manner in which the data is entered. Some ideas for use in small business follow:
Preparing a business plan. Excel is an exceptional tool for preparing a business plan for presentation to lenders or for analyzing prospects for expansion. Excel built-in SUMO, FVO, PVO, and IRRO functions would be used in this sort of application. With the new text and graphics features of Excel, this business plan could be prepared completely with Excel, unless the nature of the presentation required a sophisticated desktop publishing program.
Managing a sales staff. Small- and medium-size businesses need some sort of control over sales activity. This includes knowledge about customers and knowledge about the performance of the sales staff. Applications providing such information are simple to write and use in Excel. Excel also offers a more robust view of the data being analyzed through the use of easily accessed graphics features. The SUM(), AVERAGE(), TREND(), and similar worksheet functions would be used in these examples. The use of graphics is recommended because it presents data in a more visual, understandable form than a typical numeric table.
Payroll management. A small business would be more likely to use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to perform payroll management than a large business would. Any business of fewer than 50 employees could probably use Excel to manage its payroll. You may wish to develop your own payroll application by using look up tables and other tools available in Excel.
Inventory management. Excel, in its worksheet or its database environment, is an adequate tool for use by a small business to manage inventories. Linked files can be set up to deal with current inventory, draw downs from stock, additions to stock, recording orders sent to customers, and even pricing orders.