Running a business can be a rewarding experience, but there’s no doubt that there are certain processes that take up far too much time. Manual tasks that seemingly only take a couple of minutes can soon add up and often require a follow-up action too.
For example, when you receive a new business lead on Facebook you might need to send a sales email and then a follow-up email a few days later. The problem here is that if everything is done manually, and you’re dealing with multiple clients and different processes at the same time, then tasks can be forgotten. If you add staff holidays and illness into the mix then the system quickly breaks down and you could miss out on a vital lead.
The best solution is to process tasks automatically to make sure you’re getting everything done in a timely manner. If you automate tasks using Zapier, for example, then you will never miss a valuable sales lead again.
How does Zapier help you automate tasks?
Zapier is a no-code tool that helps you to be more efficient by automating your business processes. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can connect over 6,000 apps to automatically carry out tasks once a trigger has been activated.
Zapier offers free plans for those starting out, which allows you to experiment and build some workflows without splashing out any money. Once you start to see the benefits then you can apply what you’ve learned to other parts of the business to save even more time.
One of the best things about Zapier is that it’s useful for all kinds of businesses and will immediately free up time you would have spent on repetitive tasks so you can get on with other important work.
Marketing workflow automations
Creating marketing workflows can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be. For example, Zapier can link apps which remove the need for manual data entry at your end, saving you valuable time and reducing the risk for data errors.
One of the ways we automate tasks using Zapier is to link the Facebook Lead Ads app into a workflow with Google Sheets. Once you’ve generated a lead, Zapier will automatically trigger a response to add the data into a new row on Google Sheets. You could take this further by sending contact information to Mailchimp which automatically emails the potential customer with a standard, pre-written template.
Sales workflow automations
Although lead generation is super important for the success of your business, following up on leads is equally, if not more, significant. Once you’ve found someone who’s interested in what you’re selling, they may often require another little nudge to sign on the dotted line.
Zapier can help with this by linking a huge number of sales-based apps. For example, if you’re using Zoom to host a demonstration of your service then you could link this to Voodoo SMS to send a reminder. This app uses the lead’s details to automatically send them a text message just before the demonstration takes place.
Operations workflow automations
Making sure everything runs smoothly within your business is a difficult task to manage on your own. From leads to sales to customer retention, it can be tricky to stay on top of things.
Again, Zapier can play a vital role in this by making sure that apps are working in sync to keep things ticking over in the background without any issues. For example, you could create a workflow that is triggered by a new customer or project being added to Teamwork Projects that automatically adds new tasks for your team to complete in Todoist.
Finances workflow automations
Keeping your finances in order is a key business function and there are a range of accounting tasks that you can automate using Zapier. We can’t all afford a full-time bookkeeper but a lot of their manual work can be done via apps. You can easily find yourself in a mess if you’re dealing with payments from different sources, so introducing automation reduces manual effort and eliminates silly mistakes.
You can streamline the process by linking apps via Zapier to form a workflow that does the hard work for you. A simple example would be to create a workflow that is triggered by a PayPal sale which then automatically creates a new invoice in Xero. You could do this with other platforms such as Stripe and WooCommerce to knit everything together.
Reporting workflow automations
Data becomes almost worthless if it’s being collected but not analysed. This is especially true in business because you can’t strive for new goals unless you understand your current situation.
There are countless ways that reports can be integrated with a Zapier workflow. For example, if you were running a website then you could schedule Google Analytics to run at the same time every day and trigger an event to occur in Cascade Strategy. This app would then provide you with updates on progress towards your current goal and give you the information you require to make informed decisions going forward. If you wanted to take this a step further then you could add another integration upon which an update to Cascade Strategy would trigger a message to your team’s Slack channel detailing the new targets.
Linking your everyday business applications can give you a huge competitive edge. Automating tasks using Zapier will save time, ensure data entry is accurate, and make sure you’re working as efficiently as possible towards your goals.
The above examples demonstrate how effective Zapier workflows can be but there are thousands of other apps you can link together to create any kind of business workflow you can imagine. Whether you want to streamline your finances, contact leads efficiently, or simply want to grow your social media channels, there’s a way to make it easier with Zapier.
With the free-forever version covering 100 tasks per month you can get started with single-step workflows at no cost. When you’re ready to take it further the paid plans have additional features such as multi-step Zaps, premium apps, and custom integrations, as well as much more.
More Zapier tips
If this has piqued your interest then we have more Zapier articles you can use to get started with automation and connect your business apps.
Our other resources
We also have plenty of free resources:
- Our free e-book is the perfect introduction to business automation.
- Our Zapier functions cheat sheet delves into the powerful inbuilt helper apps which can supercharge your automations.
- A free checklist to help you justify an automation budget.
And finally, our founder / chief problem solver / chief automator Kelly Goss’ new book, Automate It with Zapier, is out now and is the most comprehensive Zapier guide on the market. It will get you up and running and to the stage where you can build and debug advanced automations. Buy your own copy today directly from publisher Packt using this link. Or here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) if you prefer.
Check out our automation training programme
And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.
It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!
Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘.
Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.
Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.
Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors.
Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.