Why Businesses Shouldn’t Use Excel

If you're a small business, when you're starting to make plans and keep track of your work, cracking open Excel seems like a great starting point. But it could be detrimental to your business growth, here's why...

Posted 15th February 2022 | By Dan Ackers

Ok... Excel has it's place...

Starting a business presents all kinds of challenges, not least of which is making the most of the resources you have available. Custom apps for your various company metrics are often the last thing on your mind, especially when there are perfectly serviceable spreadsheet programs out their like MS Excel.

And, hey – just like the rest of the Microsoft Office suite, Excel has much to recommend it.

However, as your company grows, you’ll need something a little more bespoke if you want to keep up. These are just some of the reasons why…

Only You Know the Score

When you build an Excel spreadsheet from scratch, it’s normally enough to do the job you intended for it (assuming you have the necessary skills in the first place).

As more people join your ranks and you add new ways of working, you end up making changes to the original – adding fields here, moving data there, and so on.

The more staff that end up accessing the sheet and the more alterations you make to it, the more complicated it becomes. Sooner or later, you run the risk of something going wrong.

Staff Turnover

Company growth involves staff leaving as well as joining, for one reason or another. Training a replacement takes time and effort and this is only exacerbated when you’re using multiple, cross-linked spreadsheets to track your various performance or delivery metrics.

Every new member of the team needs training in their role and in how all your spreadsheets interact with one another, which can potentially get messy.

Broken Formulas

As your Excel spreadsheet gets more complicated, the chance of a rogue broken formula bringing everything to a standstill becomes almost inevitable.

What’s worse, locating it can require diligently going through every formula on every sheet, testing and cross-testing until you find the error.

Not only is this time-consuming, in the meantime that faulty formula is still messing up your business processes, leading to loss of revenue and a breakdown of trust among your end users.

No System

If you depend on Excel for logging all your business data, then you need staff who know how to use it, in addition to any other software your company might operate.

You’re instantly cutting off otherwise talented and valuable potential employees from an interview, because you don’t have the time and resources to train them up in an essential, but auxiliary, piece of software.

With a dedicated app that incorporates all your business processes, you don’t miss out on finding the perfect team member.

Versioning Issues

If you share spreadsheets over email or Google Docs, you can’t be sure that the recipient – however trusted they might be – will have the same version of the program on their computer that you do.

This can cause problems with formulas and operations and result in missing fields or erroneous data.

What’s worse, if someone makes alterations, but doesn’t save to the original spreadsheet, and passes on their copy, you now have multiple versions of the same spreadsheet doing the rounds of your company.

Data Redundancy

Keeping everything in a single spreadsheet over multiple worksheets sounds sensible, and we suppose it is… until something happens to that original. It doesn’t take much to corrupt an Excel file, or for someone to accidentally delete the original, or close down without saving.

Sure, there are ways and means to recover lost data, but the cost both time and money and, in the meantime, you’re left without a large chunk of your business data.

So What's The Solution?

So, what’s the solution? Fortunately for businesses across Greater Manchester and the North West, Knights Digital has the answer…

Bespoke Software for Growing Businesses

We have our own team of app development specialists waiting to create bespoke software solutions just for you. These apps are individually tailored to meet the unique needs of your business.

We work closely with you from the very start, creating something that collates your business processes into a single application that is simple to use and easy to understand.

This means no more cross-referencing data between departments or double-handling of spreadsheets.

Our Apps Are Secure

Every Knights Digital app is secure, keeping your data is fully-protected as your business continues to grow. We snapshot your data every time it is changed within the app, and apply automatic back-ups at frequent intervals. This means you can roll-back, restore, and recover your data to any point in the last 30 days. Our job is to mould the app to suit your business processes and, in doing so, we deliver something that is simple and intuitive to navigate.

Our Apps Evolve

If your company changes its processes, we can change the app to accommodate them, incorporating any changes that you and your team might need. Each new version is installed across the board, so that every member of your company is working on the latest version of the app, eliminating problems with syncing.

Our Apps Are Smart

All important business formulas are incorporated into your bespoke business app and can only be amended by authorised personnel. In practice, this will be a senior member of your IT team, or the crew here at Knights Digital. That means no more risk of accidentally deleting an important formula that is integral to your business’s success.

Our Apps Connect

You can even allow your customers to access parts of your business app through a dedicated portal that keeps them safely at arm’s length from the nuts and bolts of your company. This allows you to automate such things as placing orders, leaving feedback, making payments, and so much more.

Cheaper Thank You Think

Of course, you own, dedicated business application requires a certain amount of investment, but not as much as you might think. An introductory package – sufficient to get you headed in the right direction – can be had for as little as £4000.

This starter pack gives you the opportunity to start small and expand the app to match the growth of your business.

Plans2Extend Planning Portal Web App, Based in Atherton

Building Relationships

It’s not a one-way relationship, either. We work closely with all our clients, holding monthly chats to make sure your application is operating as expected, taking on feedback and suggestions for improvement, and implementing them into the next build.

To find out what Knights Digital can do for you, call us today on 0161 533 0565. A member of the team will be happy to arrange a free consultation

Knights Digital Team 2021