Opening a new business is exciting! You may have been dreaming about your business for years before you take the jump into scouting for locations. You spend time picking out the perfect furniture and signage. You develop your product or service, and you hire friendly, efficient employees. While there are many aspects of owning a business that you look forward to, one thing you are probably dreading is keeping track of data. Instead of developing relationships with customers, you have to keep track of inventory, the amount of taxes paid, and the cost of light bulbs. How can you efficiently keep track of data, so you can spend more time developing relationships with your customers?

Perhaps after six months of disorganization and exhaustion, you stumble upon a website that offered Excel Training Online. To say that this training is a lifesaver is an understatement.

Through this training, you can learn how to set up simple spreadsheets to keep track of and analyze information from inventory to employee sick leave.

Let’s use the example of a coffee shop in this illustration.

Product Sales

One of the best pieces of information you can receive after learning how to use Excel is an analysis of your sales. You will be able to see which menu items are performing well and which are lagging. You may decide to remove two of your savory menu items from your menu and replace them with more decadent offerings after analyzing your coffee shop sales data.


Your inventory spreadsheet will allow you to get some of your life back. By logging the amount of each of your supplies at the end of each week on your spreadsheet, you could easily set up conditional formatting to analyze this data. Now with a glance, you will be able to see which items need to be reordered because the spreadsheet will highlight these items in red. With another click of the mouse, you can see which items are purchased from which vendor. This allows you to order intelligently and receive bulk discounts for multiple orders.


You not only can keep track of your inventory through a spreadsheet, but you can also record the equipment you have purchased on Excel as well. List the equipment, the model number, the amount you spent on the item, the date, and place of purchase, and warranty information in a spreadsheet. Scan the receipt for each item and included that image in the spreadsheet as well.

Employee Data

Since you may be new to having your employees, you may not be sure how to keep track of all the pertinent data required by the government. After watching some Excel training videos, you will be able to learn which data you need to gather for each employee, and how to keep track of it using an Excel document.


One of your weekly tasks that will take more time than you think will be coming up with a weekly employee schedule. It may be challenging to keep track of the availability of your employees. Consider learning how to use a spreadsheet to block off requested time off, and also keep track of the number of hours each employee was scheduled each week.


Of course, the reason why you opened your coffee shop is to make money. You may be concerned about not only being able to pay off your small business loan, and at the same time, you realize that you also need to be able to make a profit. Since you are just starting, you may be unable to hire an accountant to keep track of her income and expenses. It will be up to you and your Excel spreadsheet to determine if the business is booming or not.

Customer Data

Your neighborhood coffee shop depends on the loyalty of your customers. Using an Excel spreadsheet will enable the business owner to keep track of names, email addresses, and cell phone numbers of your customers so you could send out marketing material to them periodically. You can also track your best customers’ birthdays so you can offer a free item to them once a year. Besides this information, you can also make notes about customers that you learned from casual conversations. This will enable you to be specific in the discussions you have with your customers when they return to your shop. Customers like to be remembered. They love it when the waitress knows you prefer a dash of cinnamon in your latte or if you wish to use almond milk as a creamer.

Whether or not you have three employees or 33, keeping track and analyzing your data is an integral part of owning a business. It may be the difference in making a profit or not.