4 Easy Excel and Google Sheets Features to Help Your Mmall Business

Excel and Google Sheets are versatile tools that can greatly enhance productivity for small businesses. Here are four easy-to-use features in both platforms that can help streamline your business operations:

1. Formulas and Functions

Excel and Google Sheets:

  • Basic Formulas:
    • Examples: SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT
    • Benefits: Quickly perform calculations such as totals, averages, and counts to analyze your business data. For instance, use SUM to total monthly sales or AVERAGE to calculate the average daily revenue.
  • Advanced Functions:
    • Examples: VLOOKUP (Excel), VLOOKUP (Google Sheets), IF
    • Benefits: Automate data retrieval and decision-making. Use VLOOKUP to find information across large datasets or IF to apply conditional logic for dynamic calculations.

2. Conditional Formatting

Excel and Google Sheets:

  • Applying Conditional Formatting:
    • Steps: Select your data range, go to Format > Conditional Formatting.
    • Benefits: Highlight important data trends and outliers visually. For example, highlight cells with sales figures above a certain threshold or use color scales to show performance metrics.

3. Data Validation

Excel and Google Sheets:

  • Setting Up Data Validation:
    • Steps: Select the cells where you want to apply validation, go to Data > Data Validation.
    • Benefits: Ensure data accuracy and consistency by restricting the type of data that can be entered into cells. For instance, create drop-down lists for predefined categories or limit entries to specific date ranges.

4. Charts and Graphs

Excel and Google Sheets:

  • Creating Charts:
    • Steps: Select your data range, go to Insert > Chart.
    • Benefits: Visually represent data to identify trends, patterns, and outliers. Charts and graphs make it easier to present data in an understandable format during meetings or reports.


By utilizing these simple yet powerful features in Excel and Google Sheets, small businesses can improve data management, enhance decision-making, and increase overall efficiency. Whether you are tracking sales, managing inventory, or analyzing financial performance, these tools offer practical solutions to support your business operations.

5 ways to Automate Your Small Business Tasks

Automating tasks in your small business can save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. Here are five ways to automate your small business tasks:

1. Automate Marketing Efforts

Email Marketing Automation:

  • Tools: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot
  • Benefits: Automate email campaigns, segment audiences, and track engagement. You can set up drip campaigns, welcome emails, and follow-ups without manual intervention.

Social Media Scheduling:

  • Tools: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social
  • Benefits: Schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms. Automate responses to common inquiries and analyze engagement metrics to optimize future content.

2. Automate Financial Tasks

Accounting and Invoicing:

  • Tools: QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero
  • Benefits: Automate invoicing, track expenses, and manage payroll. These tools can sync with your bank accounts to provide real-time financial insights and automate recurring billing.

Expense Tracking:

  • Tools: Expensify, Zoho Expense, Receipt Bank
  • Benefits: Automatically scan receipts, categorize expenses, and generate expense reports. Integrate with your accounting software to streamline financial management.

3. Automate Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM Systems:

  • Tools: Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Pipedrive
  • Benefits: Automate lead capture, follow-ups, and customer interactions. CRM systems can segment customers, set reminders for follow-ups, and provide insights into customer behavior.


  • Tools: Drift, Intercom, Chatfuel
  • Benefits: Implement chatbots on your website to handle customer inquiries 24/7. Chatbots can provide instant responses to common questions, collect customer information, and even process orders.

4. Automate Project Management

Project Management Software:

  • Tools: Trello, Asana, Monday.com
  • Benefits: Automate task assignments, set deadlines, and track progress. These tools allow team members to collaborate in real-time, receive automatic updates, and ensure that projects stay on schedule.

Workflow Automation:

  • Tools: Zapier, Integromat, Microsoft Power Automate
  • Benefits: Create automated workflows between different apps and services. For example, automatically save email attachments to cloud storage or send alerts to your project management tool when new tasks are created.

5. Automate Customer Support

Help Desk Software:

  • Tools: Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout
  • Benefits: Automate ticket creation, routing, and responses. Help desk software can categorize and prioritize customer issues, provide automated responses for common queries, and track resolution times.

Knowledge Base:

  • Tools: Confluence, Document360, Guru
  • Benefits: Create a self-service knowledge base for customers to find answers independently. Automate the organization and updating of FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and product manuals.


By automating these aspects of your small business, you can free up valuable time to focus on growth and strategy. Investing in the right tools and software can enhance efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive your business success.

Outsourcing Excel and Google Spreadsheet Tasks

Outsourcing Excel and Google Spreadsheet tasks can significantly benefit independent financial advisors (IFAs) by enhancing efficiency, reducing workload, and ensuring accuracy. Here’s how:

Enhanced Productivity and Focus

Outsourcing routine Excel and Google Spreadsheet tasks allows IFAs to focus more on core activities such as client relationship management, financial planning, and investment strategies. Tasks like data entry, report generation, and spreadsheet maintenance can be delegated, freeing up valuable time for strategic decision-making and client interactions.

Access to Specialized Expertise

By outsourcing spreadsheet tasks, IFAs gain access to specialized expertise in spreadsheet management and data analysis. Professional outsourcing providers often have skilled teams proficient in advanced Excel functionalities, data visualization techniques, and Google Spreadsheet automation. This expertise ensures tasks are completed efficiently and with high accuracy, reducing errors and improving data integrity.

Cost Efficiency

Outsourcing spreadsheet tasks can lead to cost savings for IFAs. Instead of hiring full-time staff or spending valuable time on repetitive tasks, outsourcing allows IFAs to pay for services only when needed. This cost-effective approach minimizes overhead expenses associated with recruitment, training, and software licensing, making it ideal for small to medium-sized practices aiming to optimize operational costs.

Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourcing offers IFAs scalability and flexibility in managing workload fluctuations. Whether it’s handling seasonal peaks in data processing or scaling operations during busy periods, outsourcing providers can adjust resources accordingly. This flexibility ensures that IFAs can meet client demands promptly without compromising service quality or exceeding internal capacity.

Improved Data Security and Compliance

Reputable outsourcing providers adhere to strict data security protocols and compliance standards. They employ secure file transfer methods, data encryption, and access controls to protect sensitive client information. This ensures confidentiality and regulatory compliance, giving IFAs peace of mind when outsourcing critical spreadsheet tasks.


Outsourcing Excel and Google Spreadsheet tasks is a strategic decision for independent financial advisors looking to streamline operations, boost productivity, and enhance client service delivery. By leveraging external expertise and resources, IFAs can achieve operational efficiency, cost savings, and improved focus on core business priorities, ultimately fostering growth and client satisfaction in a competitive financial advisory landscape.

Optimizing Resources: The Role of Fractional Work in Data Analysis


In the dynamic landscape of data analysis, optimizing resources through fractional work has emerged as a pivotal strategy. This approach revolutionizes how teams harness expertise, allocate tasks, and enhance productivity.

Enhancing Expertise

Fractional work enables organizations to access diverse skill sets without full-time commitments. Specialists in statistical analysis, machine learning, and data visualization can be engaged as needed, leveraging their expertise for specific project phases. This flexibility fosters innovation and ensures that projects benefit from the latest methodologies and insights.

Flexibility in Task Allocation

By breaking down projects into smaller tasks, fractional work allows for precise allocation of resources. This method ensures that each task is assigned to the most qualified individual, optimizing efficiency and minimizing downtime. Teams can rapidly adapt to project demands, scaling resources up or down as required without the constraints of traditional staffing models.

Cost Efficiency

Utilizing fractional work can significantly reduce costs associated with full-time employment. Organizations can hire specialists on a project-by-project basis, avoiding overhead expenses such as benefits and office space. This cost-effective approach is particularly advantageous for startups and small businesses looking to compete in data-driven industries without large initial investments.

Agility and Innovation

Fractional work promotes agility by facilitating collaboration among experts from diverse backgrounds. Cross-functional teams can quickly brainstorm, iterate, and implement solutions, accelerating innovation cycles. This collaborative environment fosters creativity and problem-solving, leading to more robust outcomes in data analysis projects.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its benefits, fractional work presents challenges in team cohesion and knowledge transfer. Effective communication and project management strategies are essential to ensure seamless integration of fractional roles into broader project objectives. Additionally, maintaining consistency in data quality and methodologies across different specialists requires careful oversight and coordination.


In conclusion, fractional work offers a strategic advantage in data analysis by optimizing resources, enhancing expertise, and fostering innovation. By leveraging specialized skills and promoting flexibility, organizations can adapt swiftly to market dynamics and achieve superior outcomes in their data-driven initiatives. Embracing this model not only enhances efficiency but also empowers teams to unlock new possibilities in the realm of data analysis.

Understanding Fractional Work: A Modern Approach to Employment

What is Fractional Work?

Fractional work is an emerging employment model where professionals provide their expertise and services on a part-time, project-based, or contract basis to multiple organizations. Unlike traditional full-time roles, fractional workers often juggle several assignments simultaneously, offering flexibility to both the worker and the employer. This model is gaining popularity, especially in fields like marketing, finance, human resources, and technology, where specialized skills are in high demand.

Benefits for Workers

One of the main advantages of fractional work for professionals is the flexibility it offers. Workers can choose projects that align with their skills and interests, allowing for greater job satisfaction. Additionally, this model provides opportunities to work with a variety of clients and industries, which can enhance one’s professional network and experience. For many, fractional work also offers the potential for higher earnings compared to traditional employment, as workers can set their rates and manage multiple clients.

Benefits for Employers

For businesses, fractional work presents a cost-effective solution to accessing high-level expertise without the commitment of a full-time salary and benefits package. Companies can engage fractional workers for specific projects or during peak times, ensuring they only pay for the services they need. This is particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses that require specialized skills but may not have the budget for full-time positions. Fractional work also allows companies to quickly adapt to changing business needs and market conditions by scaling their workforce up or down as necessary.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its advantages, fractional work comes with challenges. For workers, managing multiple clients and projects can be demanding and may require excellent time management and organizational skills. There is also the uncertainty of inconsistent income, as projects can be sporadic. For employers, integrating fractional workers into the existing team and ensuring seamless communication can be difficult. It’s crucial to set clear expectations and establish strong communication channels to overcome these challenges.

The Future of Fractional Work

As the gig economy continues to grow, fractional work is expected to become even more prevalent. Advances in technology and the increasing acceptance of remote work are making it easier for professionals to offer their services on a fractional basis. Both workers and employers are likely to embrace this model for its flexibility and efficiency, shaping the future of work in a dynamic and interconnected world.

How to Leverage Fractional Data Analysts for Your Business

Leveraging fractional data analysts can provide your business with specialized expertise, cost efficiency, and flexibility. Here’s how to effectively integrate these professionals into your operations:

1. Identify Specific Needs

Define Objectives: Clearly outline your data-related goals, whether it’s improving customer insights, optimizing operations, or forecasting sales.

Scope of Work: Determine the project’s scope, including tasks, expected outcomes, and timelines. This ensures clear understanding and alignment between your business and the analyst.

2. Find the Right Talent

Freelance Platforms: Utilize platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal to find skilled data analysts. Review profiles, previous work, and client feedback to select the right candidate.

Networking: Leverage professional networks on LinkedIn, attend industry conferences, and participate in webinars to connect with potential analysts. Referrals from trusted sources can also be invaluable.

3. Establish Clear Communication

Set Expectations: Define the project’s objectives, deliverables, and deadlines from the outset. Regular check-ins and progress updates are crucial for keeping the project on track.

Collaboration Tools: Use tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Asana to facilitate communication and project management, ensuring transparency and effective collaboration.

4. Onboarding and Integration

Provide Resources: Give fractional analysts access to necessary resources, including datasets, software tools, and relevant documentation. Introduce them to key team members and explain your business processes.

Foster Collaboration: Encourage interaction between your internal team and the fractional analyst. Their external perspective can bring innovative solutions and fresh ideas.

5. Measure and Iterate

Performance Metrics: Evaluate the success of the engagement through key performance indicators (KPIs). Metrics may include improvements in efficiency, cost savings, increased revenue, or enhanced customer satisfaction.

Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop to continually improve the working relationship. Provide constructive feedback and encourage the analyst to share their insights.


By defining clear objectives, finding the right talent, establishing effective communication, and fostering collaboration, you can maximize the benefits of fractional data analysts. This flexible and cost-effective approach can provide your business with critical insights and a competitive edge in today’s data-driven economy.

To Stay Motivated – Stop Doing Things For Other People

Another title for this post could have been “make the goal your own”. To stay motivated we have to have an internal drive. When we do things because somebody else told us to, or somebody is in essence forcing us to do it, the negative energy that results, though surely “motivating” is not in the least the positive internal energy we need. The drive that’s created when we are self-motivated.

Yes, doing things out of fear, doing things to avoid pain, certainly makes us move to get things done. The problem with that is though, we need constant reminders of the potential pain or negative consequences in order to keep going. Not unlike the whip applied to the horse to keep it running.

When we make a goal of our own, we have our own internal engine. The energy is in front of us, it pulls us forward. It’s almost like a gyroscope on a flywheel that keeps the momentum going even though little energy is applied once they start spinning.

And yes, it is certainly not easy to make a tedious or difficult task one that we can stay motivated around. Yet, it is still possible to have your own goal around these tasks. We can for example set out to learn from the work at hand, or from the environment we find ourselves in during the work. A goal can be much more than just getting it over with.

By making goals our own, we come from a point of creation. We come from a point of simply getting ourselves to do things to a much more enriching experience. By overcoming the negativity, we in effect create neural pathways in our brains, in a positive way, that help us use those same “getting things done” brain signals and pathways that can and are applied to every aspect of productivity. That positivity becomes an internalized positive feedback loop.

Just because we hate shoveling snow, or mowing the lawn, doesn’t mean that that discipline, that brain level discipline of completing the job is not applied to finishing that report that’s due, or planning that family vacation. It is very much so.

Fear of Success

Fear of Success

Many people talk about the fear of failure, but very few people talk about the fear of success. Many people don’t even realize it’s possible to have a fear of success because of the very image the word “success” evokes. You want to be successful, right? So what is there to be fearful of if you do hit that jackpot?

The biggest and most deeply seated issue people have with success is change. You’re comfortable where you are right now. Even if you have problems and struggles, it’s what you’re used to. It’s a lot of fun to dream, but when it comes down to it, you’re never sure you can or even that you’re supposed to truly have success.

Also, those around you might not be encouraging or supportive of your dreams because they’re afraid that you’ll change (which of course you will), because then you might not have as much interest in activities that you’ve shared with them anymore. They might even believe that your dreams will come crashing down on you and hurt you, and they don’t want to see that happen to you. They’re comfortable in the status quo, and you want to rise above that, so sometimes you have to make some tough decisions, which is why you might have this fear of success.

Do you have a fear of success? Again, many people don’t realize they do so this isn’t something you’ll want to immediately dismiss. Do you tend to self-sabotage as soon as you see some success? If you do that, and if you fail to reach for the stars in any way, then you probably do have this type of fear. It’s important that you start to notice these patterns in yourself.

So, how do you get over this? Believe it or not, the fear of success can hold you back as much as or even more than the fear of failure. When you’re dealing with both of them, it’s easy to see why you’re stagnant in your business.

It’s time to let yourself continue to dream, but in a way that has you assuming what is possible and what you can actually bring to life. It might be that incremental changes in the right direction is what you need. Instead of dreaming about releasing 30 kilos of excess weight, focus on the one half or 1 kilo a week at first. Yes, it will take you 30 weeks or more to finally become that much healthier, but will 1. Succeed at it and 2. Significantly increase your chances of keep it off!

Fill your mind with positive success stories of those who’ve come from a similar place to where you are right now. Absorb their mindset and strategies. The more you fill your mind with their successes and the possibilities of your own success, the less “out there” it will seem that you can achieve.

When you’re ready for more success, the sky is the limit. You have to get to the point where you won’t self-sabotage and where you truly believe you can have and that you deserve to have positive, sustained life change.

Self Confidence

Mental Training Gives You Confidence

One of the key contributors to procrastination is self-confidence.

There is no one in the world that is 100% confident all of the time. We all have areas in life where self-doubt creeps in and tries to tear down ideas or destroy dreams.

It’s important that you have the mental training that gives you the confidence to put your goals into action. There are negative statements in each of us. These are phrases designed to keep you from succeeding – or in some cases, from even trying.

You might be living with a negative mental teleprompter that feeds you lines that erode your confidence. This can cause you to have a battle that you can’t afford to engage in.

This negative mental attitude can damage your peak performance by causing you anxiety, depression – and even convincing you to give up. You need confidence on your side.

If your inner voice is feeding you lines such as, “You can’t do that” or, “You don’t have the skills, talent, money, or goals to accomplish this,” then it’s time that you shut it down.

What this negative self-talk is doing is poisoning the soil of your mind so that you don’t aim for peak performance because mentally, you’ve already lost the battle – and the war.

This kind of self-talk gets you to picture what can never be (anything good) or what you want (success) because you don’t deserve it. It’s time to silence that inner voice by correcting these false mental statements.

When you hear, “You can’t do that” in your mind, you need to give that statement the boot. Picture opening a door labeled, “I can” and kicking the negative “You can’t” right out of your mind.

This requires some mental training to do this. Don’t give your negativity an audience. Have some fortitude where you visualize giving the negative statement their walking papers for good.

Retrain your mind with positive thoughts about yourself and about what you can do. Replace every negative statement with a positive one, immediately. It takes practice to recognize when you’re being a downer to yourself.

If you have a setback, it’s not that you blew it. You just have to find another way. How you work in life and what you can accomplish will be settled within you long before you even make the first attempt.

Don’t allow yourself to dwell on any thought that stands in the way of your dreams because you deserve for them to come true. The mind is a tool that you can use to accomplish any task – whether it’s mental, emotional or physical.

Over time, as you implement the practice of positive self talk, you’ll notice that this becomes your new way of automatically viewing things – in a positive light. You won’t even have to try hard anymore – it just happens.

Train yourself to see the opportunities in every failure. This is a chance to learn and grow stronger. It’s almost like how we tear down muscles in order for them to grow back – bigger and stronger with every workout.

There’s a lot of discomfort in failure.  But mental training means you sit there and learn how to tolerate that feeling without quitting. Feel uncomfortable – it won’t kill you. Calmly practice working through those moments with calm clarity instead of frustration and panic.

Children, Chanukah Gelt, and Financial Procrastination

Ah, the joys of Hanukkah gelt! Those little shiny beautiful coins attract children young and old. And on the inside? Nothing but sweet savory chocolate.

When it comes to money, and financial literacy, many parents miss the mark. There are many movements that push for basic life skills training in school curriculums, and even in those districts where schools actually teach life skills, including financial literacy, parents must support and encourage these skills in the home. It’s a golden opportunity for children to become responsible adults in areas of Finance (pun intended…) health, interpersonal relations, you name it.

At the same time, whether it’s the children themselves, or the parents, people  procrastinate in these areas and wait years if not decades to take action, causing untold suffering on the child, and society at large.

There are many reasons why people procrastinate around issues of money. Some can be a bit involved, like teaching and learning financial literacy, while others can be as simple as the technical skills of balancing checkbooks and making household budget. Following that budget is of course more involved, both technically and emotionally.

As far as financial procrastination is concerned, the reasons can go much deeper, and into psychological barriers we are either taught at home or through the environments we live in. It may be difficult, but not impossible to overcome.

So when unwrapping those yummy chocolate coins, the same way that we should think about the calories involved, let’s think about the financial decisions that we make. It’s about present-self vs future-self.

In the present, those calories are yummy. In the future the healthier outcome is superb!