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5 Uncommon Microsoft Access Tips for 2020

Whether you’re building an Access database for the first time or learning to work within a custom-built template, it helps to know the ins and outs of how the program works. There are many Access tips available online, but today, we want to focus on tips that are useful but rarely shared. The more you know, the easier it is to manage a successful database.

Below you’ll find five uncommon MS Access tips for 2020.

1. Keep Access database fields as small as possible. 

As you build tables, make your text fields only as big as you need them. By default, Access sets up text fields to hold up to 255 characters. This is a lot of space that you probably won’t end up using. To avoid having all this wasted storage space, make your text fields the appropriate size. 

2. Use number fields for real numbers. 

Use number fields for real numbers, not for text numbers. For example, zip codes do not go in number fields. Software programs perceive a 60609 zip code differently from the number 60,609. The numbers in a zip code are digits, but they aren’t to be used for math and other numeric purposes. So, leave the number fields to numbers you plan on calculating.

3. Carefully delete Access field values. 

Whenever you delete field values from a table, use caution. The reason for this is because you can’t recover the old value if you need to. Once you start doing other things, Access will forget about the value as if it never existed. Unfortunately, there is no Undo option available for an entire record. (Note: If you delete a value and realize you need it before doing anything else, you can do a quick Ctrl + Z.)

4. Backup your databases.

Backing up your database is extremely important. You can maintain backup copies at another location in case something happens at your place of work, such as a fire or flood. You can also store your backups to the cloud so they can be retrieved later. Here’s a great article on how often you should be backing up your databases and why it’s so important. 

5. Ask for help – it’s not hard to find.

One of the great things about Access is that help is easy to find. As the most popular database in the world, you can find support online or from an Access programming expert. The important thing is that you ask for help when you need it. Small missteps can add up quickly and cause huge problems for your database down the line. 

Microsoft Access remains a reliable database program for businesses of all types and sizes. If you need help managing your database, contact Arkware for a free consultation. 

How Real Estate Professionals Can Use Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access has a number of templates that are designed for real estate professionals. You can use the template that is included with Microsoft Access or download one created by a third party. The benefit of using templates is that you can organize and manage your data without having to create a database from scratch

For the purpose of this article, we will discuss the Real Estate template that can be downloaded directly within Access or from the official Microsoft website. This template allows you to manage your properties, buyers, sellers, prices and other information. 

Where to Find the Real Estate Database 

Go to the Real Estate template on the Microsoft Office template downloads page and click Download. Or, launch Microsoft Access and find the Real Estate template under the Business templates. Once the template is downloaded, you can open it on your computer and start entering data. 

The best way to start filling out your database is by clicking New Property and adding your first property. Include the property ID, type, street address, city and state. We also recommend clicking Email List in the toolbar so that you can keep track of your contact list. Successful realtors keep their contacts nurtured. 

Tips for Using a Real Estate Database 

Successful business owners know that their clients are their most important asset. The same is true for your real estate business. Plus, it’s important to know that your relationships with clients don’t end when a home is bought or sold. It should continue on so that you have easier prospecting, qualified referrals and repeat business.

Here are some tips for using your real estate database. 

  • Connect with existing customers. It’s easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers. By keeping an updated database of your clients, you can begin the nurturing process. For example, are you having an open house? A pumpkin decorating contest? 
  • Gather new prospects. Realtors are often so busy working with current prospects, they don’t look for new ones. Fortunately, your website can gather leads while you’re out showing properties. A data-driven website collects user information that is then pulled into your database. 
  • Be a resource. Set up monthly or quarterly events so that people can come to you when they are interested in buying or selling. These events also keep your name front and center so that you can retain customers and increase referrals. Send event info to the contacts in your database. 
  • Send housing market updates. It’s also helpful to stay in touch with contacts by sending them updates on the housing market. Most homeowners are happy to see what’s selling in their neighborhood. Plus, by sharing this info, you will become a trusted authority in your local market. 

Databases are a huge asset to real estate professionals. Microsoft Access is a great program to start with, as it’s easy to learn and familiar to most people. To have a custom real estate database created for your business, contact the database experts at Arkware. 

5 Reasons Microsoft Access is Great for Startups

Are you launching a new business? Good for you! This is an exciting time, though it may feel overwhelming until things get up and running. As you get closer to opening your doors, everything will need to be in place. This includes the database you plan on using. The good news is that Microsoft Access is an excellent database tool for startups, and you may already have it included with your Microsoft Office subscription. 

Here are five reasons why we recommend MS Access to startup clients. 

1. Affordable cost. 

Access is very affordable and comes included with an Office 365 purchase. You can buy Office as a one-time purchase or pay a monthly fee. By paying monthly, a few extras are included, such as security and compliance, support and deployment and file storage and sharing. Whichever option you choose, Access is not a major price commitment. At least that’s one thing out of the way!

2. Quick and easy database setup.

Thanks to the wizards and templates included in Access, you can set up a fully functioning database in just a few weeks or less. It depends on how elaborate your database is and if you plan to connect your website to it. With less time involved in the setup, you can put your time towards other business tasks, such as marketing your new business and driving in foot traffic. 

3. Lots of support available. 

Microsoft Access has been around for a long time. It’s one of the most popular database platforms in the world, making it easy to find support. Whether you have a simple question or need to update your current database, you will be able to find help. Also, because Microsoft Office and VBA (Access’ programming language) are so widely known, support services are cheaper as well. 

4. No coding experience required. 

Speaking of coding, you don’t need a background in code to use Access. However, we do recommend having some basic knowledge of Microsoft Office and database creation, as this will help you build a smart and intuitive database. The good news is that you can hire a database company for a reasonable cost. From there, you can use the database without problems. 

5. Scalable. 

Lastly, Microsoft Access is scalable. Access has a reputation for being basic, but this isn’t necessarily true. Many large businesses use Access with no problems. However, if your business grows to store thousands of files, or you need hundreds of people to access your database at a single time, you’ll need to upgrade. Luckily, you can migrate the data to SQL Server. 

Access is an excellent database tool for startup businesses. If you need help getting your database ready for launching, contact Arkware today for a free consultation. 

How Databases are Used in Ecommerce

Databases are an important part of running an ecommerce business. They are used to store, analyze and manage key information about products, sales and customers. By having this information accessible to you, it’s easy to make intelligent business decisions. You can also share your database with suppliers and logistics partners to increase productivity and efficiency. It’s a win-win for everybody! 

If you are just starting out with an ecommerce business, it’s important to have a database program lined up. Most new businesses do well with Microsoft Access because it’s easy to use and similar to other Microsoft Office products. Plus, you don’t need a background in coding to use the program. 

Here are some ways that MS Access can be used for your ecommerce business.

Store Product Information

Use your database to store information on your products, including detailed descriptions and specifications, product numbers, prices, availability and special promotions. It’s also helpful to include the supplier of each product so that you know who to order from when availability runs low. 

When things change, all you have to do is update your database and your website will show the latest information. This is far easier than having to update your website each time there’s a change in price or quantity. 

Organize Customer Data 

Your customers are the backbone of your business, so you want to keep track of the types of people you are selling to. The more you know about them, the better you can meet their needs. 

Enter in the full names of your customers, along with any personal information you know about them, such as their age range, income level, geographic region and interests. Just be sure that your database is secure, as a database breach can damage your business’ reputation.

Track Buyer’s Journey 

The customer journey is also important when learning about your customers and how they shop. Record information on your customers’ product searches, information requests and purchases so that you can build a comprehensive picture of the buyer’s journey. 

What types of product preferences do your customers have? What does their purchasing history look like? What is their future buying potential? 

Manage Campaigns 

Ecommerce databases make it easy to run marketing campaigns. First, you can target specific audiences based on their demographics. This allows you to create highly targeted campaigns that reach the right audience.

Second, you can analyze the transaction information to see how effective your campaigns are. Was there an increase in sales following your promotion? Did your discounted products get more views? As you learn what works and what doesn’t, you can create more effective campaigns. 

As you can see, databases are an important tool to have in ecommerce business. While Microsoft Access is user-friendly, it does require a learning curve. To ensure your database is set up correctly and updates your website in real-time, contact Arkware for a consultation. 

How to Make an Inventory Database on Access

If your business has been using spreadsheets to track inventory, you may be ready to move onto a more powerful database program like Microsoft Access. Inventory databases are important for several reasons, including storing details and quantities of the products you stock, along with their suppliers. With a well-organized database, you can reduce the time, cost and effort of inventory management. 

Below are five simple steps to help you create an inventory database using Access.

Step 1. Consider your business needs.

Think about what your database needs to be helpful to your business’ inventory. For example, what items do you carry? Are there differences that need to be noted? What are the turnover times? This is the type of information that should be included in your database. 

Also, figure out how the database will be implemented within your software architecture. In other words, how will Access interact with your other programs? Your IT staff should be able to help you with this. 

Step 2. Install Access on your computer. 

Decide where your database will be stored – on your personal computer, on an internal server or by a third party. It can then be downloaded and installed. Microsoft Access is part of Office 365. You can buy the basic or premium version and pay $8.25 or $12.50 per user per month, respectively. The premium version comes with additional services, such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Teams. 

Step 3. Build your database. 

Once installed, you can start building your inventory database. If you’ve used Microsoft Office before, Access will feel comfortable and familiar. However, building a high-quality database that is free from errors can be difficult to do at first. 

To ensure your inventory database is well-built, consider working with a database development company. This way, you’ll have the peace of mind that your database is accurate. 

Step 4. Fine tune your database.

Once you have your fields in – units ordered, units received, product information, etc. – you can fine tune the database according to your notes. Be sure to establish relationships between the fields. Find out what values you will have returned when using the database and a way to store them. Also, avoid having duplicate data in multiple fields. 

Step 5. Enter in the information.

When your database is properly set up, you can start populating it with information. While you can input the data by hand, an easier option is to import your previous spreadsheet. If you were using Excel, you can click “Excel” and import your spreadsheet this way. Because both programs are developed by Microsoft, they are usually preserved when importing from one to the other. 

This is a brief breakdown of how to make an inventory database on Access, but if you have more questions, contact Arkware today. We’ll be happy to help with all stages of creating, managing and storing your inventory database.