The use of Microsoft Windows software programs dominates many businesses and for good reason. Their word, excel spreadsheet, project, access database, PowerPoint and outlook email software features give most businesses everything they need to track information, customers, employees, plan projects, calculate and track financial records, generate requests for quote, create invoices, correspond via email, and create presentations for staff and customers.
The Microsoft Word program provides businesses with a way to write letters, memos, and instructions. It provides the user with the ability to add pictures, links, tables, and clip art to help them provide useful communications to their customers, employees and suppliers. Microsoft offers custom templates, and many features such as spell check, the ability to do form letters and address lists, labels and is completely customizable in terms of font size and type of font. From documenting procedures to creating meeting minutes, Microsoft word program provides businesses with a word program that provides customization and has many uses.
The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program is beneficial when dealing with numbers and lists. You can use it to track customer or employee lists, you can use it to track financial aspects of your business such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow templates. Excel offers templates for making charts and graphs, and it comes with add on software that allows users to analyze complex data for statistical analysis, using pivot tables or using formulas to speculate forecasts.
Microsoft Project allows businesses to track timelines on major projects using Gantt charts and other methods to help measure success, pinpoint actions, and record comments.
Microsoft Access database is fairly easy to use and those that are familiar with other windows applications will find the familiar menus appealing as well. Setting up an access database is fairly easy particularly if data was previously stored in excel worksheets. One of the best reasons to stick with the Windows applications is that all their programs are compatible and easy to use with one another. After setting up tables with select bits of information properly labeled, access will help the user create forms, templates, and queries with the Microsoft Wizard. Answering specific questions about the data in your table will help the software set up your data in its most useable form. Quickly run customized reports or perform data analysis by writing queries.
Microsoft PowerPoint is one of those programs that will sit on the sidelines until your business decides that they need to pitch a customer or create a training presentation. PowerPoint allows users to import pictures, draw pictures, type text, import banners or provide hot links. It offers templates for backgrounds and page set-up (such as two pictures, or one text box and one table) and offers many of the same features of word and excel in terms of font customization. Users can import charts from excel or they can imbed charts directly into the program. When pictures can say more than words, use PowerPoint to “show” instead of “tell” the customers and employees what you mean.
Microsoft Outlook email software gives businesses the ability to correspond internally and externally over the web. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is required to use Microsoft outlook but once obtained, the software can be set up in a matter of minutes allowing instant connections to the outside world. Along with being able to send and receive email, outlook offers customizable address lists, calendars and the ability to share email accounts and calendars with subordinates and supervisors. Users can set up wizards to automatically respond when out of the office, or when receiving correspondence from a specific user. The program offers storage of messages in customizable folders and allows users to color code messages based upon priority. There is also the ability to set up a task list and track projects with the outlook program.
When considering software for your business, think about licensing and maintenance as well as getting help. Microsoft help programs that are embedded within each program are advanced and extremely helpful. Simply typing in the problem in the “help” screen will allow users to find multiple resources. If that isn’t good enough, provided the software is houses on a system with internet connection, users have the ability to get additional answers and free online training through the Microsoft Windows web page. Whether you are pitching a presentation, documenting meeting minutes, or creating action plans, the Microsoft software features cater specifically to businesses and office professionals. The software is easy to use, is compatible and will answer just about any administrative need that you have.