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Right Business Tools: Spreadsheet

Choosing the Right Tools for Your Business – The Spreadsheet

You’re smart. You know that it’s important to use the right tools for any given job. You wouldn’t use scissors to mow your lawn (unless you’re THAT guy…) and ideally, you wouldn’t use a hammer to remove a screw. The same thing is true about the technology you use for your business. Why would you use the wrong tool for the job? Why would you use a spreadsheet when another tool would provide a better solution.

Today we’ll cover the small business swiss army knife of technology: the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet is extremely powerful – especially for small businesses. It can do nearly everything you need. With its formula capabilities, graphing and charting abilities, it’s no wonder that many businesses tend to use it for everything from time sheets and payroll to accounts payable and much, much more. For the power users, it’s an amazing platform and for businesses it’s the default, go-to tool. Templates have been developed for nearly anything you want to be able to do in a spreadsheet.

Does that mean you should use a spreadsheet to run your business? For most businesses, the answer is…no. Surprising? Why not? Even a custom-built spreadsheet is probably not the right solution. Let’s discuss.

Spreadsheets:

1) Are not geared for simultaneous multi-user input.
2) Have limited, non-dynamic reporting capabilities.
3) Lack scalability.
4) Lack real-time integration with other business systems.
5) Need maintenance, custom formulas, etc.

Ask yourself this: Why take time building a spreadsheet, or having someone adjust a template, when you can find more-than-capable solutions for minimal costs?

Whether it’s timesheets, accounting, business management, shipping / receiving, or anything else, technology can provide an appropriate tool for the job. The proper solution will typically have the majority – if not all – of what you need. Plus some functionality that you may not even realize you need. And it will have integrations (connections) to other business tools you may already be using.

Why is this important? What do you need to successfully run your business?

Information

Not just any information but useful information that affects your decision-making. Why spend time building tools when you can use tools that give you a better picture of how your business is operating (i.e., expenditures, staff hours per project, etc.).

What is it worth to you and your business if you used the right tools to operate and manage it?

Time, Money, Growth

All this is great, but what if you don’t have time to look for these tools? Or don’t understand their backend integrations into your current system? How do you decide exactly what you need? Your IT guy takes care of your PCs and servers, but may not understand all of your technology needs. You need someone to think strategically about tools that will help move your business forward.

This is where Sail-On Enterprises comes in. We provide technology advice and evaluate your current technology platforms. We will sit down with you and learn your business operations, goals, and struggles. Then, we can do a full evaluation of your technology platforms and determine how effective they are for your business. Upon completion, we will have identified areas for process improvements, where you may be missing key metrics, and what technology is – and isn’t – working well for your business. We will then provide a report giving recommendations on technology platform strategies and how they will help you improve your business.

By bringing 20 years of technology experience in various business environments, we’re confident that we can help. For more information, please reach out to us at info@soellc.com.

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