How to Create a Client Database

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A digital client database makes record-keeping and records retrieval a whole lot easier.
A digital client database makes record-keeping and records retrieval a whole lot easier. (Image: Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Creating a client database can be done in a variety of ways, and can be as simple as a list of client contact information in a lined notebook. However, a client database kept on a computer is much cleaner, easier to reproduce and more easily revised. Microsoft Excel, a common spreadsheet program that comes standard on many PCs, is a simple and effective tool for creating and managing a client database. It's easy to adjust for large or small databases and is printable as well.

Open Microsoft Excel. Click “File, Save As.” Choose a name for your database, something memorable that pertains to your service such as “Cake Clients, or Lawn Care Clients.” Type this name in the “File name” box and click “Save.”

Label the columns based on what information they hold. For example, “First name, Last name, Address, Phone number, Account Status.” To make the columns wider, move the selection tool over the line between the columns. Left-click and drag until the column is as wide as you need it to be. Do this with each information column.

Bold the headings of your columns for clarity. Select the first cell, hold down the Control button and click on each of the other cells with labels. Go up to the toolbar and click on the “B.” This will bold each label.

Enter the first client’s information in the next cell under your chosen headings. By separating last names from first names, or using the format “last name, first name” Excel can sort your client data more easily when you need to search.

Continue entering client information until your list is complete. Save often by clicking the floppy disk icon on the toolbar, or by selecting “File, Save.”

Sort the data as needed. Sorting is easy with Excel. You can sort the data by any field you have chosen. For example, you can sort by last names, item purchased or city. Do this by clicking on the column of information you wish to see your clients sorted by. Click on “Data, Sort, OK.” You can also click the “AZ icon” for quick sorting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft Excel allows you to turn your database into charts or graphs.
  • Save often to avoid losing data.

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