If you have a retail store, you probably know, on some level, that your software is based on Microsoft Excel or something very similar. What you may not know is how many of your daily activities are based on Excel, or could be.
These are the things you would expect Excel to be doing in your store already. Nothing astonishing, but the spreadsheet program’s strong basic functionality is worth mentioning.
It is almost a given that your basic accounting program uses Excel to track, manipulate, and examine numbers. It’s simply the best tool for the job, given its ability to perform calculations, display graphics, and compile information from a wide variety of sources.
Point of sale Many POS systems around the world use an Excel-based program, essentially a ‘mask’ that is passed over an Excel spreadsheet, to generate everything from accurate sales tax calculations to printable receipts.
Excel is also perfect for tracking the inventory of all the items in your store. With Excel’s ability to send an automated email whenever a particular item is out of stock, it’s easy to ensure that you have adequate stocks of all items at all times.
With a little template, Excel can produce very professional invoices for your various ancillary services, such as carpet cleaning and other maintenance.
Excel’s charting ability makes it easy to put in employee hours and get an immediate visual that will show any gaps or gluts in your coverage.
More interesting purposes
These are some of the things Excel could be doing for you that you probably aren’t involved in yet, but if you think outside the box a bit, you’ll see how they could improve your business.
If your business is small, or the type that brings in frequent repeat visits, it might be worth setting up a customer tracking system that gives your employees the ability to take notes on your customers; The more they feel that you know them, the stronger the loyalty they will feel!
Whether you track you by the advice they provide, why they meet the goals of specific promotional campaigns (see below), or just how much money you make while they’re working, Excel gives you the power to recognize which ones. Employees are the most valuable to your business.
Speaking of promotional campaigns, Excel can easily be set up to track specific goals and how closely your employees, as individuals, groups, or as a whole, have come to achieving those goals.
Excel’s ability to extrapolate data and project probable future numbers can help you plan for special events or just regular seasonal changes. With ever more detail, Excel’s ability to create precise projects just keeps getting better.
Creating sales, discounting your merchandise, is always a risky business. You can attract enough additional customers to make an overall profit, or you can just exhaust the profits you are making. Excel’s ability to create and test scenarios can show you exactly what to do to make a sale successful, or when to disconnect if it doesn’t work.
Excel has such a wide range of capabilities, from mundane math functions to beautiful templates, advanced extrapolations, and scenario testing software, that its ability to help with almost every aspect of retail is unmatched. If you are not using Excel in your retail store, maybe you should research what it can do for you.