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What Excel can be Used for in a Small Business

Excel is a powerful tool and we will examine what Excel can be used for in business, with examples.

Excel can be used for planning your business

Firstly, let’s start with one use of a spreadsheet before you start your business.  Clearly, it is advisable that you create a business plan and a cash flow forecast before you start a business.  Indeed, this will give you an indication as to whether you have a viable business idea.  The example here includes cash in hand, projected sales, any loans and projected expenses.

Free Excel Cash Flow Spreadsheet

Next, let’s move onto a start-up business and what Excel can do for your business as a start-up.

Needless to say, a business start-up will need to implement processes to make their job easier.  So let’s look at some common spreadsheets that small businesses use.

Expenditure and Income Tracker

One of the first things you need to think about is how to accurately record your income and expenditure for the business.  Importantly, you need to submit your accounts annually. 

The options are to buy an expensive accounting package, create a simple Excel income and expenditure tracker spreadsheet or buy an already done for you spreadsheet from Help on Tap.

Thus the third option is by far the cheapest and quickest. 

So why not check out our custom made simple income and expense tracker here?

Excel Invoice Template

What is an invoice template?

An invoice template is simply a way to charge your clients for the work that has been done.  Moreover, you must ensure all the vital information is on your invoice.  Otherwise it may result in a delay in payment.  And we wouldn’t want that to happen. 

Given that it is an essential part of your business let’s look at the options:

1)  An expensive accounting package that will allow you to invoice your clients from within the package.

2)  Create your own Invoice or find a free Excel invoice template.

3)  Purchase an already done for you invoice or have a customised invoice made.

Hence, Help on Tap has created a range of invoice templates for you to choose from.  Whether it’s a gold invoice, blue invoice or one for your dog walking business, contact us and we will be able to create a generic one for you.  In addition, you can have a custom made form created by Help on Tap.

What should you include on an invoice template?

You should include the following on an invoice template:

  • Invoice Number
  • Invoice Date
  • Customer ID (optional)
  • Bill to (customer details)
  • Quantity (if applicable)
  • Services provided
  • Unit Amount
  • Discount (optional)
  • Total Amount
  • Sales Tax (if applicable)
  • Final Total (if applicable)
  • Payment to needs to include:
  • Full name of your company
  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Website address (if you have one)
  • Bank details for the payment to be made to
  • Payment terms e.g. 30 days from invoice date

How to create an invoice

To create an invoice you can use a spreadsheet such as Excel, Google Sheets.  Alternatively, you can purchase an accounting package that will do all your accounting for you and give you the ability to create an invoice automatically. 

Lastly, you can purchase an invoice template through us!

Does Excel come with templates?

Yes Excel comes with templates and you should be able to get a free invoice template.  However, if you buy one through Help on Tap we can customise it for you and save you time. 

Simple Invoice Examples

Dog Walking Invoice Template
Gold Invoice Template
Dog Boarding Invoice Template

Quotation Template

It is quite normal in industries such as electricians, plumbers and builders to be asked to provide a quotation.  Importantly, before any work is started a quotation will be produced that outlines exactly what is to be done and the price.  Once the quotation is accepted then the work can begin.

Similarly, to an invoice template, a quotation template can be created in a spreadsheet.  And has a similar layout to an invoice, but will not include certain parts.

Client Relationship Management

As your clients are the most important part of your business it is vital to keep accurate records of your clients.  To do this you can create an Excel client relationship spreadsheet.  But remember to keep it simple.  A customer relationship spreadsheet will hold all your customer information plus any contacts that you have had with them. Furthermore, this could evolve over time and more functionality added.

Mail Merges

Mail merge is a word processing feature to allow you to personalise letters with names and addresses from a database or spreadsheet.

For instance, it is a quick way to produce hundreds of personalised letters.  Help on Tap can assist you to set up a mail merge  with a spreadsheet.  However, they are not as popular these days, but are a good way to introduce your business to local businesses.

Alternatively, a mail merge can be done between Google Sheets and Gmail.

Employee Vacation Tracker Excel

As your business grows you will need to track your employees’ holidays/vacations.  Consequently, a simple employee vacation tracker in Excel will work really well.  At the present time my sister uses this holiday tracking spreadsheet in her nursery.  She has roughly 20 employees in her children’s nursery and it works a treat!

Sickness Tracking Software

An Excel spreadsheet is a good tool to record your employees’ sickness.  Thus, by tracking the sickness you know when it is time to have a capability hearing with an employee.

Timesheet Tracking Excel

A simple timesheet tracker in Excel will help to track the hours your employees have worked.

A Simple Rota

A simple rota is used to show who is working, who is on vacation, what task they are working on e.g. emails, on the phone etc.  As a result, you will be able to see at a glance what your employees are doing or whether they are in.  

Project Management Spreadsheet

Having a number of projects on the go at once can be a headache.  By having a simple project management spreadsheet that can track a number of projects it will make the task management so much easier.  You should be able to see at a glance what needs to be done and by whom.

Event Budget/Planning Template

Need to organise an event then a spreadsheet is ideal for this.  This spreadsheet will contain all the attendee information, the budget spent and vital information for the event to run smoothly.  It will integrate with some project management features.

Excel Charts

Excel charts can put your numbers into a graphical representation.  These are ideal for presentations.

Excel Charts

Pivot Tables

What is a Pivot Table in Excel?

A pivot table is a way to analyse large amounts of data to see specific information such as in the examples below:

Pivot Table Real Life Examples

One such example of a pivot table is a pivot table that shows invoices that are overdue.

Another example is a sum of time worked each month from a timesheet spreadsheet.

One final example is the relative time spent working on each project which may be created from a project management spreadsheet.

These are just a few examples of what Excel can be used for in a small business and if you wish to have a spreadsheet created please contact us for a quote.