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Gwen Chen
 |  November 20, 2017

Excel for Small Business.jpeg

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to get work done faster. I do a lot of my work on spreadsheets and apps because they’re easy to set up. But have you ever said, “There’s got to be an easier way to do this?” My answer: “Yes!”

Why not start with a template that someone else spent time on but is perfect for what you’re trying to accomplish? Without further ado, here are my favorite free excel templates for small business—I hope that you get as much out of them as I do!

Inventory Management Template

Are you interested in tracking your inventory? This simple template has all the key items you'll need to get started. It has three key tabs. You can even turn this spreadsheet into a mobile app in just a few clicks with the capacity to:

  • Seamlessly enter dates and uses your device's camera as a Barcode reader.
  • Send daily email reports with reminders to reorder stock.
  • Navigate inventory by categories such as Date or Inventory Values.
  • Provide a unique view to see which items need to be restocked.

Store Inventory Screenshot

Get the Excel Template or Google Sheet Template, or go ahead and:

Turn Your Excel Spreadsheet into an Inventory App

Customer List Excel Template

I developed the following customer contact list a while ago and have kept updating it as my needs changed. Besides the common information such as Name, Title, Company, Contact Information, I included Sales Stage, Industry and Last Contact Time. As your data grows over time, these last three columns will help you quickly sort your data, segment it, and make decisions about what you want to do with different groups of customers.

Customer List Screen Shot 2

Download Excel Template

Bonus: The following free sample apps allow you to manage customers and track your performance through mobile apps. Lead Tracking App, Sales Report App.

Timesheet Excel Template

This timesheet excel template allows you to manage hours and the total pay of part-time employees, such as project-based vendors and interns. You can easily modify the template to include regular hours, overtime hours, sick hours, vacation hours, and holiday hours. Or, you can grab the template, and use it right away without having to change anything.

Timesheet Spreadsheet


Download Excel Template

Open Google Sheet Template

BonusYou can also turn the spreadsheet template into a functional app through AppSheet's platform! The following free Timesheet sample app allows employees to track their hours and log time in and time out. The app allows for immediate calculation of total wages based on hours, giving accounting or human resources all of the information they need. 

timesheet app

Turn Your Spreadsheet into a Timesheet App

Project Management Excel Template

I really like this project management excel template developed by spreadsheet123 because it does a fantastic job of visualizing project duration and progress (by percentage completion), not just of projects, but the sub-projects under each project.

This template uses swim lanes to display the time from when the project/sub-project starts till when it’s completed. You can choose different colors to represent each individual sub-project so that you can easily find them.

The progress bar is a perfect way to show the completion rate. If a project is 50% completed, the cell is half filled with the color you choose. If it is 100% completed, the cell is completed filled.

Project Gantt-Chart Excel Screen Shot.png


Download Excel Template

Bonus: If you want to take a step further and manage your to-do list in an app, read How to Make a Smart To-Do List. The app will remind you of incomplete tasks at the end of each day. Follow the tutorial, I am pretty sure you'll be able to build the app in 10 minutes!

I highly recommend you check out this app if you like kanban-style dashboard, automated workflows and user-specific filtered content features. This app is designed to help manage workflow for any type of project completion. Although this app is functional on any device, it would be used predominantly on a tablet or laptop.

A few important functions in this app include:

  • Dashboard views displaying projects by status;
  • Intuitive project creation & updates;
  • Custom formats, alerts & daily reports based on project due dates;
  • Referenced tables for associating projects to different team members and company objectives;
  • Reports & summary views to see the amount of projects related to each team member and business objective.

Blog Calendar Excel Template

Instead of running SEM and social media campaigns, boot-strapped small businesses (like AppSheet) usually choose to use content, coupled with SEO (slow but cheap), to drive awareness and conversion. On their blog sites, they write about the company, product updates, special holiday offerings, and share useful tips to make the best of their products. A blog calendar makes the content manager’s life so much easier because it forces them to think about content and SEO strategy, and most importantly, the commitment to run stories consistently.

The Blog Calendar excel template I created not only tracks Title, Author, and Publish Date, but also tracks Keyword, Audience, and of course, the results! With this template, I also included monthly views and backlinks. Feel free to add other metrics that matter to your business.

Blog Screen Shot Update.png


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Profit and Loss Excel

This excel template Business Achievers created is simple and straightforward, although it has everything you need to capture a company’s operating income: Gross Profit, Net Profits, and Profit Retained in Business. Overheads is basically Other Expense, SG&A expense, Depreciation and Amortization, i.e., the standard finance and accounting categories.

The template shows data by year. You can easily change it to month, quarter, or whatever time frame that makes more sense for your business.

Profit Loss Screen Shot.png


Download Excel Template


These are just some of my favorite Excel templates. If you have other favorites, let me know by submitting a comment or tweet. I'm always looking for templates to add to this list!

Discover Sample Apps from Excel Spreadsheets

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Gwen Chen

Gwen is a marketer with AppSheet. Prior to AppSheet, she was a digital marketer, a journalist and editor, a translator, and a college teacher. She has a master with Duke University in Environmental Science and an MBA with University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

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