Keep Your Customers Happy To Grow Your Business

They say it is easier to sell to an existing customer than to attract a new customer.  Studies have shown that the cost per sale is markedly smaller when selling again to people who are already familiar with you and your products.

Cross-selling and Up-Selling to existing customers is a proven way to increase your profitability as described in this article from the people at Marketing Donut. You already have a relationship with an existing customer.  You know which products they have already purchased from you and you can therefore suggest other products that could be useful to them.  Sometimes they might want a certain product but didn't know that you supplied it.  As they already know you and your brand, they are more likely to stick with you and buy from you again.

You look after your customer and get the sale, and they get the items they want from a supplier they trust.  It's one of those win-win situations people crave. ...

6 Questions to ask yourself before buying Business Software

1. What do I need and want the software to do?

It may seem an obvious question!  I would really recommend writing it all down though.  It will really clarify what your requirements and expectations are.  Getting into the detail early will help you prepare and increase the likelihood of success.  When you contact potential suppliers or prospective developers it gives you a great starting point.

Once you have made your full list of requirements, separate them into 'must-haves' and 'nice-to-haves'.  There will be some requirements which are absolutely crucial.  The sort of thing where you think, if it doesn't do that there there's no point. ...

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

In the final round we look at which tool is the better long term platform for your business as it adapts and grows.

As your business develops and grows, and your market evolves and matures, you want your business systems to have the scope and flexibility to develop and grow with you.  How is this best achieved whilst ensuring that bureaucracy bloat is kept to a minimum?

Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

spreadsheets-do-not-adapt-and-growAs a business grows and becomes more complex its systems need to help keep you on top of this.

You may need to develop more systems and processes.  These will need controls and measures in place.  Staff training and monitoring becomes more important.

If you were to base a growing business on a spreadsheet system you would ...

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 9: Measure Team Performance

In this penultimate round we look at whether spreadsheets or database are a more effective tool when you want to monitor and review your team's performance.  How do each of these bits of software help you keep on track with who is doing what, their progress, who is reaching new heights and who needs some help.

Round 9: Measuring Team Performance

A graphic illustrating monitoring team performance with spreadsheetsHow would you use a spreadsheet to monitor and review your team's performance?

You could keep track of certain key measurements, such as sales, in a list and then compile these into a graph showing changes over time. ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 8: Task Delegation

In round 8 of 10 we turn to the key element of Task Delegation.  In order for a business to grow, work must be delegated to new and less experienced staff.  How do our two contenders fare at helping the business owner to offload some of the day to day grind?

Round 8: Task Delegation

Spreadsheets

diagram showing the multitude of skills and functions a business owner must performThe most up to date version of Microsoft Excel, at this point in time, is Microsoft Excel 2013.

There is now the option to share spreadsheets more successfully using the subscription based Office 365 which can synchronise files between a shared online folder and individual PCs.

There is also the option to work on the files online using the online versions of the main MS Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).  These are better than the Google counterparts but are still not nearly as powerful and flexible as the more traditional, locally installed MS Office suite. ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 7: Limiting The Damage Caused By Human Error

In round seven we look at how much both of these platforms can defend themselves from human error.  In our businesses we have processes and procedures in place to achieve tasks in the most efficient and coordinated way.  However, simple mistakes and unforeseen circumstances will cause these to occasionally fail.

With computers we can further enhance this protection by systematically blocking certain behaviours.

Round 7: Limiting The Damage Caused By Human Error

Spreadsheets

spreadsheet_formulasWithin Microsoft Excel it is possible to set a password for the entire workbook (or file).  Using that in combination with the individual cell properties it is possible to make certain cells read-only, therefore blocking the user from making any alterations to that cell.

You can also hide columns, rows and worksheets with a workbook.  This means that you can hide certain aspects of the spreadsheet. However, with the single password you can undo all these preventative measures and make hidden elements visible again. ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 6: Restricting Access by Logon

Moving into the second half of this Spreadsheets vs Database contest we look at how to restrict user access by using logins and setting access levels. That is, allowing certain people to see certain things, but not others.

This is about keeping our more sensitive information secure and private, such as payroll or customer information.  In addition, restricting access based on a user's logon priviledges can also be helpful in keeping software simple to use as the user is not presented with too many options at once.

Round 6: Restricting Access by User Logon Priviledges

Spreadsheets

restrict-access-by-login-priviledgeWithin Microsoft Excel it is possible to set a password for the entire workbook (or file).  Using that in combination with the individual cell properties it is possible to make certain cells read-only, therefore blocking the user from making any alterations to that cell.

You can also hide columns, rows and worksheets with a workbook.  This means that you can hide certain aspects of the spreadsheet. However, with the single password you can undo all these preventative measures and make hidden elements visible again. ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 5: Cut’n’Paste Errors

As we reach half-way in this Spreadsheets vs Databases 10 round bout, we look at the perennial favourite, Cut'n'Paste Errors.  These are when a user cuts and pastes data from one place to another and loses something vital along the way, or just moves it to somewhere unsuitable.

We are all familiar with the headline news caused by spreadsheet horror stories.  Should this be an easy round for databases? ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 4: Business Intelligence

The Free Dictionary defines Business Intelligence as '.. a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.'  It goes on to say that Business Intelligence  '..can handle large amounts of information to help identify and develop new opportunities.'

So, how do Spreadsheets and Databases measure up when looking into Business Intelligence and the ability to identify new trends and direction for the business?  Spreadsheets vs databases moves on to round four... ...

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 3: Instant Reporting

In the third round of this comparison of Spreadsheets and Databases we look at Instant Reporting.

Computers can compile information into useful outputs, like invoices, and insightful reports if we feed it the correct data.  Which of our two contenders will come out on top?

Round 3: INSTANT REPORTING

Spreadsheets

non-instant-reportingWith Microsoft Office, Excel can give you pretty graphs which you can tinker with for what seems like hours of pure pre-presentation pleasure.  But, it can be very time-consuming if you have to pull data in from several different sources to generate the report you need.  There is also the worry about the accuracy and age of the data.  Because there are so many manual steps required there is also a much greater possibility of human error creeping in. ...