How my Excel training package helped two small business owners in Doncaster during lockdown…

When the news came out that we would be going into a national lockdown I decided to use the time wisely and create an Excel basics training package that could be delivered online to small business owners in Doncaster and the surrounding areas, so people could learn whilst in lockdown.


I then decided to offer this training out to two small business owners for free to be able to test how the training ran and identify any issues that may need ironing out before I started offering it as a paid service.


The two ladies that took up the training offered were the perfect candidates for this, they both wanted Excel training and were based in Doncaster.

Candidate 1


This lady had very little experience with Excel and when we started the sessions she wanted to make me aware of the fact she didn’t really know anything about it, she was a totally new user.

She has her own small business in Doncaster in holistic therapy and wanted to be able to use Excel to manage accounts and possibly use it for a customer database.


We went through everything slowly and I made sure she could see what I was doing on-screen so that she could also do the same thing on her computer – making it a fully interactive session, she was learning whilst doing.


There were the occasional instances where Excel wasn’t doing what it was meant to do for her, by getting her to tell me what she was doing and by following her steps on my screen we were able to resolve the issues for her.


This way of learning was ideal for her as we ran the sessions early evening, which fit around her childcare. She didn’t have to leave home to learn and as the webinars were live she was able to raise questions if she struggled to understand what she needed to do.


By the end of the 3 hours of training, she was able to move around the spreadsheet, understand how to do simple sums and had an idea on how she could use Excel for her business going forwards.

Candidate 2


This lady had some experience of Excel, although this was a number of years ago and she openly admitted she didn’t fully understand what it could do for her.

She also has a business in holistic therapy and wanted to be able to use Excel to create timesheets for when she was at an event so she could allocate interested parties a time slot that she had printed off – she told me that creating this manually would often take her a number of hours typing it all out.


We also discussed using it for targeted marketing for her business.


As she wasn’t a novice, she understood the terms used in Excel better and she could navigate herself around the spreadsheet quite easily.


Part of the training was to get them to use just the keyboard to navigate – which is great if your mouse doesn’t work or you don’t have one.

It also allows you to see which way works best for you as an individual when it comes to navigating around a spreadsheet.


One of the tasks I showed them on the training was how to use flashfill, this is a great time-saving exercise and can make a task take seconds. My candidate was really impressed with this and showed her excitement, she said that just this one little task would save her hours when it came to doing up her time sheets going forwards.

woman thinking

The tasks I showed them how to do are quite often seen as very basic tasks to people who use Excel daily, but to those who don’t know how to use them they are a godsend when it comes to time-saving.

With just a couple of clicks, you can complete a task within seconds and it was quite evident that these candidates could see the potential on how the Excel basics training could help them massively in their business.


By taking the time and effort to sit through 3 hours of training, they have potentially saved themselves a lot more time going forwards, allowing them to focus more on their business.


For me, it was seeing how excited they were to see how quickly these tasks could be done. I tried to ensure that the tasks I was showing in the training really made a difference to the people who don’t use Excel often or want to learn it from scratch.

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