If you’re reading this, you probably have used Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets at some point. Now take a moment to consider those spreadsheets you’ve accumulated and answer a few questions.
- Are any of those spreadsheets keeping track of your leads and prospects?
- Do you use spreadsheets to track a project’s progress?
- Is this how you create and outline your business processes?
- Are you organizing your employee information in a spreadsheet?
- Are you storing client data in a spreadsheet?
- Are you managing your employees with a spreadsheet?
- Is a spreadsheet one of the first things you consult to determine your day’s priority?
- Do you track work expenses with a spreadsheet?
- Are you creating reports based on the data on any of these spreadsheets?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, it may be time to ditch Excel and find a software solution. Here are some reasons to switch:
Is the spreadsheet saved in a place where another employee could easily access it or is it saved on a desktop? Could it be accessed if someone needed to check it from home or on the road? With software in place, you provide a secure place where all employees can access what they need to get a job done. With ease of access, software allows a project to be easily handed off or overseen by a supervisor.
Let’s address a scenario: Employee X uses Excel to keep track of her current projects, but she falls ill and must rest at home for a couple days. Her work needs to be quickly picked up by employee Y. Assuming employee Y can find the spreadsheets, he’ll also have to understand her tracking process, but the fact is, she is probably taking some liberties with her project management processes (and not that we’re pointing fingers, but employee Y is probably doing the same with his own projects). Processes are in place for a reason, and software is a good way to ensure they’re being followed without staying over shoulders all day.
Data and Analytics
Even with great processes and accessibility in place, utilizing spreadsheets spreads out your data and prevents you from having real-time reports. Another question to consider is how many spreadsheets exist in your business of which you’re not even aware. This creates holes in your data and prevents you from seeing the whole picture. Reports are important for making decisions, so you need to be sure every bit of data is accounted for before a decision is made. While utilizing software, you can securely store your data in one place.
“I highly recommend you don’t trust Excel spreadsheets to run your business. There’s too much room for human error. It’s too easy to have miscalculations. Files get deleted or the file itself just gets corrupted.”
– Derek Sommer, CEO/Owner