Could now be the time to Go Pro with Office 2010?


The coffers of UK plc might not be overflowing, but it’s a pretty good time to start a business- there’s plenty of good news if you look for it:

Research from a rash of analysts, including respected economists like PwC, suggest that Britain has avoided a ‘double-dip’ recession.

A weaker pound is making exports from the UK an attractive proposition – some would say for the first time in ages.

David Cameron recently announced the creation of an Enterprise Allowance Fund, which will make grants of up to £2,000 to help as many as 40,000 new businesses

And the banks are being encouraged (well, bullied, cajoled or begged, depending on who you speak to) to lend money to new start-ups.

Furthermore, for both new and existing businesses, a December 2010 report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research said that recovery will be boosted by investment in technology. The argument is very simple: as technology costs come inexorably down, IT tools represent one of the easiest ways for companies of all ages and sizes to become more productive, cut costs and save time. Perhaps, therefore, it’s time to increase your technology spend – not by thousands, but by only tens of pounds - and upgrade to some best-in-class productivity tools.

A good example is Office 2010: few businesses can do without spreadsheets, documents and the occasional presentation; and to achieve this, Office remains the world’s most popular business productivity software. Office 2010, the latest version, represents a step-change too; each piece of software is easier to use, better connected to the web, simpler to share and collaborate, more realistically presented on the screen, and more functionally powerful than any previous version. Phew!

But in these cost-conscious times, the default purchase decision for small business Office fans has been the 'Home and Business' edition – featuring Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. There’s nothing wrong with that... but if you'd like more functionality - and Publisher and Access - maybe it's time to try the free 60-day trial available for Office Professional Edition.

 

So what do Access and Publisher offer your business?

Access

Database software

 

Lists of clients and contacts, inventories of stock, delivery schedules, catalogues and prices, etc

  • It was always the Office tool which got left in the box, because databases were hard to design. Not any more!
  • Out-of-the-box templates make designing databases, extracting information out of them called ‘qerying’) and presenting the data usefully instinctive and simple
  • Add sophisticated logic to highlight trends or suggest actions
  • Make entering data easy and error-free with clear and visually appealing forms for staff or clients to use
  • Pull data in automatically from Excel and Outlook – or even send new data in by email!
  • With Access, there’s no reason for anyone in your business (and that includes customers and suppliers) not to get just the information they need, when they need it.

Publisher

Create glamorous marketing materials

Handouts and flyers, brochures, newsletters, e-mailshots, greetings cards, exhibition materials, etc

  • Publisher gives your business highly professional marketing documents, without you hiring (or becoming!) a graphic designer:
  • Templates, advanced page layout controls and pre-defined page building blocks make setting up your document a doddle.
  • Edit and fine-tune pictures without losing your layout
  • Expert, yet unobtrusive wizardry gives you the white-spacing and font control which separates professional from amateur designs
  • See print-ready copy with the new Backstage view

 

Crucially, both Access and Publisher are most successful when applied to winning new business: Publisher is a small-business marketing department in a box; and Access can dramatically speed up the delivery or fulfilment of your service, leaving you more time to make more money.

Find out more about Office 2010 Professional – and take advantage of the free trial.

If you're not sure which version of Office would best suit your business, explore the different editions here.

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