Ok, so I know that Microsoft Excel doesn’t exactly sounds as exciting to us millennials as other high-tech tools and applications do, but nevertheless I have found it immensely useful in keeping my business running. Here are some of my favorite uses for Microsoft Excel.
- Customer organization
- Invoice creation
- Expense reports
- Long term financial plans
For the past 7 years, I have owned and operated a lawn care business called Adam’s Lawn Service. With a business that has 20-25 different customers with different jobs, locations, and prices it was crucial that I kept track of those things in a easy to organize space. I use Excel to organize my customers so that I know exactly what needs to be done when.
Another area where Excel has helped me is customer invoicing. When I was in 6th grade, my Dad taught me how to use Microsoft Excel to document my work and invoice customers. There is nothing more painful than trying to recreate a work week by memory and going door to door for payment. Now I just go on Excel and punch in my work for every customer under their specific page. At the end of the month, I email them a PDF of a professional looking invoice and they send me a check. Much less painful.
Unfortunately, the tax man wants his cut was well, so I have to keep track of my profits and losses to report to him. The good news is that I use Excel to keep track of my expenses which I can subtract from profit to pay the minimal amount of taxes as possible. Every business-related expense whether it’s gas, or subway goes onto the sheet and it is super easy to add it all up at the end of the year.
The last thing that I use Excel for is my overarching college plan. When I was a freshman in high school my Dad helped me write up an 8 year plan to help pay for college. We set goals, plugged in estimated annual profit, and set a vision for growth. I still refer to this spread-sheet to help set goals for my current business and other businesses.
Excel is a tool that while I have used only in it’s basic abilities I have felt the benefits that it provides. Excel has saved me from having to go through the stress of managing a disorganized business. I recommend that all people interested in business learn the basic tools of Excel as it can help them with organization and presentation of data. Now to quote a famous entrepreneurial mogul “Go forth and make the world a better place!”
I love that you posted about a tool we all know of, but in a way, take for granted. Excel offers so many benefits to us that we don’t notice because of the new high-tech apps a lot of us use. Thanks for reminding us how useful Excel actually is! Also, love the title of this blog post, so creative!