We use QuickBooks to track all kinds of information and if the bookkeeping is done well then we have great information right at our finger tips. Meanwhile people everywhere are looking for a better understanding of what they can do to help grow their business. We’re thinking about advertising, social media and all kinds of outreach. In fact we are looking so far past the front door of our businesses that we often miss what is right there in front of us.

How about checking under the hood? Your QuickBooks company file has some great data! Let’s have a look at the sales data and see what is selling and what isn’t. We should be looking out the items that are selling lower volume, thinking about those items’ margins and seeing if there isn’t more we can do to sell those items. We focus on the items that are already selling and we tend to look for ways to sell more of those, but isn’t it possible we are missing the REAL opportunity here? It’s sort of like buying stocks high and selling low. If it’s already selling well then maybe there is no more work to do there. The item that isn’t selling may be very good. Even better than the best seller and it might just be a matter of bringing more awareness to the product so that people recognize it and then they start buying it. Now I have 2 best sellers instead of one.

This week’s screen cast will give you a light overview of how to begin running some reports in QuickBooks to gain some of the kinds of insights that I am talking about. Then if you want to get a good start at learning some simple MS Excel Skills, visit my knowledge store and download the full (approximately 25 minutes) version of this video that walks you through step by step

  • How to run the reports in QuickBooks
  • How to export the reports to MS Excel
  • How to record a simple macro to speed up the time it takes to clean the data up.
  • How to begin using pivot tables to analyze the data

This video focuses on the sales, but there are some other reports you can run in QuickBooks to take the analysis further:

In the video we look at the following reports:

  • Sales By Item summary
  • Sales By Item Detail (this is the one you want to export)
  • Inventory Valuation Summary
  • Inventory Valuation Detail

Start with the sales data to analyze which items are selling well, to whom, how often and so on. Then pick a few lower volume selling items that you think have potential and analyze then using the inventory reports to see their profitability. Then think about if and how those items are advertised and marketed. Decide if you think you can do more to promote those products. My guess is you will find that there is a hidden gem in your inventory that just needs a bit of light shone on it.

Get the full length video in my School of Answers.