Why Spreadsheets Are Ill-Suited for Scaling SMEs: Understanding the Risks

Jack Gill

31 Mar 2023 · 3 mins read

Why Spreadsheets Are Ill-Suited for Scaling SMEs: Understanding the Risks

Spreadsheets are ubiquitous in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for managing everything from personal data to inventory tracking. They are simple to get started with and readily available in software like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers. 

However, as SMEs scale their operations, spreadsheets quickly become inadequate and pose risks that could hinder business growth. In this article, we will discuss the limitations of using spreadsheets for scaling SMEs, the risks associated with them, as well as offering an alternative solution that can address these issues.

Spreadsheets are risky business

While spreadsheets may work for small-scale data management, they fall short when a SMEs operations begin to expand. Here are some of the disadvantages of using spreadsheets for scaling SMEs:

Limited functionality

Spreadsheets have limited functionality and may not be able to handle complex data structures or automate processes that are crucial for scaling SMEs. As the business grows, it may become necessary to manage larger datasets or view information in different ways, which spreadsheets may not be able to support.

Increased risk of errors

Spreadsheets are prone to human error, especially when dealing with large amounts of data or complex formulas. One misplaced number or formula can have significant consequences on the accuracy of financial records, inventory tracking, or other critical business operations.

Just read about a few of the disasters that spreadsheets have caused over the years and you’ll understand why they are risky for your growing business. 

Security risks: 

Spreadsheets are not secure, and sensitive data can easily be compromised by cyber-attacks, accidental deletion, or unauthorised access. As SMEs scale, the risk of security breaches increases, and spreadsheets become more difficult to manage, track, and secure.

This is especially concerning considering that findings from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, show that 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack in the last 12 months. The potential for financial loss and reputational damage caused by such breaches underscores the importance of adopting a more robust work management solution.

An Alternative Solution: Gridfox

To overcome the limitations of using spreadsheets for scaling SMEs, businesses need a work management solution that is secure, scalable, and flexible. Gridfox is a cloud-based platform that offers all these features and more. Here are some of the advantages of using Gridfox for scaling SMEs: 

Comprehensive work management

Gridfox allows SMEs to manage their operations, projects, and teams in one platform. It provides a centralised hub for all business data and allows users to customise their workflows, reports, and data structures to match their unique needs.

Find out about some of the businesses who have transformed their business with Gridfox. 

Secure and reliable

Gridfox is built with robust security features, including data encryption, role-based access control, and multi-factor authentication. It also provides automatic backups, versioning, and audit logs, ensuring that data is always safe and accessible.

Scalable and flexible

Gridfox can handle large datasets, and sophisticated reports, making it suitable for scaling SMEs. It also integrates with other tools and software, to streamline workflows and automate processes.

Find out more about some of the great features that Gridfox offers in this recent blog post: Gridfox: The Work Platform for SMEs


Spreadsheets may be an excellent tool for managing small-scale data, but they are ill-suited for scaling SMEs. They lack the functionality, security, and scalability required for businesses to grow and adapt to new challenges. 

To overcome these limitations, SMEs need a work management solution like Gridfox that can provide comprehensive, secure, and flexible management of operations, projects, and teams. By making the switch from spreadsheets to Gridfox, SMEs can streamline their workflows, minimise errors, and focus on growing their businesses.

Get started with Gridfox for free here.

Gridfox: The Work Platform for SMEs
Gridfox: The Work Platform for SMEs
Streamline your View Creation Process with Gridfox
Streamline your View Creation Process with Gridfox