Announcement: Excel Course Spreadsheet Says Yes to Granny Flat Investment – Now Included

MAKING THE DECISION whether to take the risk and invest in anything is hard. However, when you put the information in an Excel spreadsheet, it soon becomes very clear whether it’s worth doing.

Once you decide it’s worth going ahead, you can use Microsoft Excel to create a Gantt Chart of the project to make sure it happens right as planned.

The EzyLearn COMPLETE Excel Beginners’ to Advanced Online Excel training courses include sample exercises files which will show you specifically and exactly how much you can borrow to invest in property (including a granny flat). Also included is a Gantt chart to help you with project management. Continue reading Announcement: Excel Course Spreadsheet Says Yes to Granny Flat Investment – Now Included

Is Your Day Rate a Marketing or Business Strategy?

Painting a house renovation of investment property in NewcastleI RECENTLY MET A PAINTER during a residential renovation I was involved with in Newcastle (an extremely valuable experience that will help us add to our property investment courses.)

We got talking about how he wins new clients and he said:

I advertise on social media that I’m available for $150 a day because no one can compete with it.

The price he chose is insanely cheap, and he knew other painters wouldn’t be able to compete with this as a day rate. However, there are downsides to this. Such a cheap day rate also means that he’ll be stretched financially and that he won’t be able to hire anyone else to do the work. He’ll need to be paid daily and likely can’t afford to provide any sort of credit (like 7 day terms etc).

It made me wonder whether it was such a good idea because cheap prices is a volume game. Companies like Amazon and Kmart are willing to lower their profit margins to undercut other retailers if it means they make up for it in the volume of product their shift.

In other words, rather than make $20 profit on an item, and only selling 200, they’re willing to make $5 as long as they sell 100, minimum. Otherwise, it’s just a bad business strategy. You may want to read more about blue ocean versus red ocean strategies.

Is trades and services ever a volume game?

Mark, the painter I was talking about, received lots of enquiries. In that respect, his social media campaign had been a success! But Mark wasn’t a big company; he was a one man band. Now he spent most of his days driving around and quoting for jobs.

This meant that when he was working for clients, there were often days where he could only work a half day or had to break the day rate down into an hourly one. Some days, Mark only earned $100. This was simply because he wasn’t doing the number of jobs he needed to in order to make his low day rate a profitable strategy for his business.

Focus on your business strategy first

virion Digital Marketing Manager What Mark had inadvertently done was prioritise his marketing strategy over that of his business. He’d generated lot of interest in his business by advertising his services at such a low day rate, but by not setting any terms or conditions around that rate, it makes it really hard to Mark to increase his rates next time those clients ask him to work for them again.

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Setting rates correctly is something we cover in our Business Start Up Online Training Course. In particular, we look at determining a business strategy for your business, before you start marketing your business and services.

The question of pricing and what we offer in our advertising is something we consider before ever going live when we help clients with their marketing strategies too. Hire a marketing manager to oversea all your digital and social media marketing for a low monthly fee. 


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Announcement: Use NPV, IRR & Financial Functions in Excel to Invest in Property

Microsoft Excel Training Course can help you halve your mortgageMicrosoft Excel: helping to forecast returns and manage investment property finances

I WENT THROUGH SEVERAL different spreadsheets (which are incorporated into our Microsoft Excel & Property Investment online training courses) when I had to calculate borrowing capacity and expected return for an investment property in Newcastle recently. Microsoft Excel is a great tool for managing your investment property portfolio finances and to help students understand financial literacy we recently created some new training content for our Advanced Microsoft Excel training courses, which covers common calculations that investors go through when they look at potential debt or equity investments in new startup businesses. 

Determine the NPV of a project

Net present value (NPV) is a core component of investment budgeting. It’s a comprehensive way to to calculate whether a proposed project (such as a home renovation) will add value to the investment or not. 

An NPV formula involves many financial concepts in the one formula:

  • cash flows,
  • the time value of money,
  • the discount rate over the duration of the project, and so on.

Any NPV greater than $0 represents a value-added project, with $0 representing your break-even point. A negative dollar figure suggests the project won’t add value or deliver any return on investment.  There are two ways to calculate NPV of an investment in Excel — by separating out the component cash flows and calculating each step individually, or by creating an NPV formula in Excel to do that for you. I can tell you from the Applied Finance degree I did with Kaplan that Excel makes it a LOT easier.

Determine the IRR of your investments

The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a metric used to measure the profitability of a potential investment. IRR is a discount rate that makes the net present value (NPV) of all cash flows from a particular project equal to zero. IRR calculations rely on the same formula components that NPV does. In general, the higher a project’s IRR, the more desirable it is to undertake. You can also use IRR to rank multiple prospective projects you may be considering for an investment property, assuming the costs are equal among each project. The one with the highest IRR would be considered the one that should be undertaken first. If this all sounds a little complicated you may never need to worry about it but rest assured the companies in your superannuation fund who work hard on making money every year will be using these regularly. 

New Excel 2016 training course content for Lifelong learning

We’ve updated our Microsoft Excel course content to the latest version of Excel, but we also include all versions of Excel software in our training courses. When you enrol in Excel 2016, you’ll also get access to the content for Excel 2013, 2010, 2007 and even 2003 if you need it. Because we create our own course content, training workbooks, exercise files and videos, we can (and do) update them regularly. We’ve also just updated our Xero training courses to the latest version of the Xero software.

When you enrol for lifetime course access, you get free access to all of these versions forever. You’ll learn how to use Excel to manage your investment property finances in our latest Goal Seek, Data Consolidation and Solver advanced Microsoft Excel training courses. Visit our website for more information or to enrol.

Excel Spreadsheet Skills Overestimated & Needing Analysis

Excel Course Needs Analysis Checklist Waste of TimeNeeds Analysis a Waste of Time

IN LARGER COMPANIES a Needs Analysis can be a powerful tool for delving into a problem and coming up with a solution.

However, when it comes to Microsoft Excel Training, asking students to complete a needs analysis can be a complete waste of time.

Why? Because most students overestimate their skills — not because they’re being dishonest, but because they will have come across many terms before and, because they can use certain jargon in conversation, they tend to think they know how to do the associated skill.

Sometimes a needs analysis is also irrelevant because many people are unaware of all the wonderful things Excel and other programs can do.

When we put our training courses online, we realised that instead of wasting time doing needs analyses — which aren’t accurate most of the time, anyway — we could bundle all of our courses together and cover every skill level, for one low price.

Typical Excel Intermediate Course Scenario

As a Microsoft Excel Intermediate Trainer, one of the most awkward moments I remember when doing face-to-face training was when I started going through one of the very first exercises with a new group of students, only to realise that 40% of the people in the room had no idea what I was talking about.

It’s worse in a face-to-face group training environment because everyone else in the group will now be disadvantaged. When we used to conduct these classroom style Excel classes, we would ask people to go through and supplement their lack of knowledge by reading the Excel Beginners workbooks.

Online Excel courses are even better — you can get everyone to start from scratch and they can all be on the same page.

Bundling all pf our Excel courses together means businesses can save many hours of needs analysis and hundreds of dollars, by enrolling staff in our Excel training courses.

Besides, most students report that, even though they might do our training courses for the intermediate or advanced modules, they learned lots of skills from the beginner courses, too.

Everyone Learns Something in an Excel Beginners Course

Granny flat manufactured home development for property investmentBasic / Beginners’ Excel courses take students through the different tasks that are possible with spreadsheets, introduce commonly used terms and set the foundation for more advanced features, covered in the intermediate and advanced courses.

If you’re subscribed to this blog, then you’ll know that EzyLearn use to operate physical training centres before we moved all of our content online in 2006. In those early days, we did a lot of needs analysis for the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service (now called Disability Employment Services).

Through this organisation we received Workcover students, who needed to brush up on their Excel skills before returning to work, and who often they had to change careers from physical work to more office type jobs.

Many students enrol in our courses only requiring a beginners’ level of training but proceed to the advanced modules by choice. This is because our online courses are built in a logical progression from basic to more advanced, building constantly on the new skills taught. Students also find that the Excel course content helps them in their everyday tasks and work, no matter what their field.

Thinking of investing in property? “Wannabe property investors” will find our Excel courses very helpful because they contain exercises to help you:

  • Maintain a household budget
  • Determine how much you can borrow
  • Potential returns from property investment

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Stop wasting time, and start learning for less. Visit our website for more information about Microsoft Excel training courses and to enrol.

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Do you need to up-skill and complete some short courses to earn CPD points? Check out our CPD Course programs.

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