Getting More Out Of Microsoft Office: Education (it’s free)

teacher.jpgMost of you use Microsoft Office to run your business in one way or another. You use Word and Excel, for sure and most likely PowerPoint and some other Microsoft applications.

Have you had any training? How did you learn? Do you think you are using it as best and most productively as you can? I don’t think so.
I was looking at the last edition of Microsoft’s “Insight: Innovative Thinking for Small Business” newsletter and it’s filled with useful information on general topics for growing your business (selling online, home based businesses and women entrepreneurs). It also has links to several educational opportunities (FREE) for learning how to better use a variety of Microsoft software.
One of the training modules, for example, is about Word, entitled: ” Course 5419: Getting Started with Microsoft Office Word 2007“. This is part of the Microsoft Small Business Center.

Although it is critical that you grow your business by selling more, listening to customers and managing your employees, it’s also important that you learn how to use technology more effectively. Possibly more important than you learning about the technology is to develop a systematic training program for your employees.
Think about your secretary, office administrator, or marketing assistant. Maybe they’re relatively fresh out of college or 10 years on the job. They’ve been using Word, Excel and other Microsoft tools for years, but I would guess that they only know it good enough to do their jobs. With training they would know how to use these tools MORE and would not only do their jobs more effectively but have ways to get even more out of the programs to go beyond just their core jobs.
Isn’t this what you want? More productive employees.
You want employees who not only do the basic level of what they have to do but who can maximize the technology they have (which you have paid for). Another benefit of training is that it helps show you what you are doing wrong or how to do things better.
For example, many people use Excel for just about every list and record keeping they need to do. However, Excel is often not the best tool for the job. A real database, software or hosted online, is often times the best tool for keeping records.
Many training programs, are free. Invest your employees time in training and you’ll find sometimes immediate returns on your investment in increased productivity.