Guest post by Paul Burke

Have you ever opened a YouTube video and been asked by the advertiser if you manage a small team or business? Most likely, they’re trying to sell you their management software, which in essence, might not necessarily be a bad thing, but the thing is, you may have the tools to do exactly what that expensive software does.

Like any good businessperson, you want to maximize your efficiency while keeping your expenses low. Management software ranges from less than a hundred dollars to over more than a few thousand. These might include scheduling tools for project management, data/financial analysis software, workforce planners, CRMs, tools to assist with payroll, and many more.

To add to that, these specific programs only do what they are designed to do; no more no less. It would be great if there were software that could do all of those without breaking the bank, right?

Fortunately for the small business owner, all these business functions can be done in Excel. All the programs I mentioned had its start one way or another in Excel. Whole industries have been built on verticalizing Excel spreadsheets. With Excel continuously updating with new functions and features, it is now possible to keep up with the management programs that charge your business on a monthly basis.

For the longest time, many have been discrediting Excel as a jack-of-all trades business tool because of a lack of features that some contemporary programs offer such as automation, scalability, or even just the mere capacity to handle large sets of data.

To add to this, learning how to use Excel in order to make the most out of it does take a certain degree of training. Creating the spreadsheets to fulfill different business roles does take time to create, which can be circumnavigated by using specific software with a set user interface which these paid services are providing.

All that being said, is there really an incentive not to subscribe to these paid services that seem to fill the void that Excel can’t? Well the short answer is yes! The recent updates to Excel such as array functions, improved charts and pivot tables, as well as an improved Power Query positions Excel close to these other paid services if utilized correctly.

For some, the technical proficiency barrier can be the deciding factor when making a business decision. Having Excel training is still one of the most desirable skills in the workforce so it would still be nice to have regardless, but in case you don’t want to have to deal with learning and creating your own spreadsheets, there are hundreds of pre-built Excel templates that you can use from Simple Sheets. These templates are user friendly and come with tutorials which makes them accessible to anyone.

These Excel templates not only take away the burden of having to do the grunt work of spreadsheet creation, but they also empower your employees to have the creativity to customize these templates to better suit your business needs. To put things in perspective, here are just a few examples of different management programs in the market.

Expense Reporting

Provider: Expensify, Abacus

Cost: $4.99/Month, $9 per user/Month

Annual Cost: $60

Expense report Excel template

CRM

Provider: Salesforce, Maximizer CRM

Cost: $25 per user/Month, $29 per user/Month

Account Cost: $3,000

CRM Excel template

Gantt Chart

Provider: Instagantt, Ganttify

Cost: $7 per user/Month, $12 per user/Month

Annual Cost: $840

Gant Chart Excel Template

Kanban

Provider: Kanbanize, Kanbanchi for G Suite, Kanban Tool

Cost: $99/Month, $34.97, $5 per user/Month

Annual Cost: $1,200

Kanban Excel template

Payroll

Provider: Gusto Payroll, Payroll Hero

Cost: $45/Month, $3.50 per user/Month

Annual Cost: $540

Payroll Excel template

Employee Scheduling

Provider: Deputy, Humanity, When I Work

Cost: $2.50 per user/Month, $3 per user, $1.50 per user/Month

Annual Cost: $300

Employee scheduling Excel template

For a team of 10, this software would cost you almost $6,000 EVERY YEAR.

The value is clear. You can mold Excel to fit so many business needs, and even utilize spreadsheets that make it accessible to those who aren’t Excel masters. Regardless, it still helps for both small businesses and employees to refine their Excel skills to customize and edit formulas as necessary.

Author Bio:  Images and details of the available Excel Templates are compliments of Paul Burke, Co-Founder at Simple Sheets

 

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