6. Use Visual Cues to Identify Low Stock or High Costs

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As a business owner, it is critical for you to know immediately if too much money is being spent or if you are running low on inventory.

In this video, you will highlight negative numbers in another color using conditional formatting.

This visual cue lets you see problems at a glance.

Identifying items that have higher costs than sales lets you make adjustments before your business loses money.

Negative numbers also indicate that you have sold more products than you have in stock.

Conditional formatting changes the look of numbers or text in spreadsheet cells.

In this example, the conditional formatting turns numbers red if they are negative.

To begin, highlight the numbers in the “Profit” column.

Conditionally format the cells.

The cell range you highlighted should show in the conditional formatting window.

If it doesn’t, click the “range” box, and highlight the cells you will format.

In this case a negative number triggers the formatting.

Enter “less than” and “zero” as the 2 parts of the condition.

Next, select the formatting style to change the color.

Apply this same conditional formatting to the cells in your summary table to determine if your overall expenses are on track.

Use the same conditional formatting to check the Current Stock column.

You can see if you have oversold a particular item.

You can adjust the conditional formatting to be activated above zero, if you can’t easily restock or create new products.


  1. Use conditional formatting in the "Profit" column to change numbers to red if they are less than zero
  2. Apply the same conditional formatting to your summary table and the “Current Stock” column.