+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

 

Our Chief Problem Solver, Kelly, recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Practically Perfect virtual summit for assistants, talking all about the tools and technologies which can help VAs, executive and personal assistants to boost efficiency.

If you’re a service provider such as a bookkeeper, accountant, business analyst, virtual assistant, or online business manager (OBM), we have created a free masterclass (which you can access below), so that you can learn all about supercharging productivity with automation too.  If you help businesses with their day-to-day tasks and want to help them improve their business processes, or implement these principles in your own business, then this masterclass is for you. You can sign up below.

 

Kelly’s own lightbulb moment

Back in 2015 Kelly was sitting at her computer on a dreary Sunday at 4pm, finishing her VAT return, which was due the next day.  Doing VAT returns manually anytime is bad enough, but she had just finished yet another 70-hour week of managing her veterinary clinic’s sales, operations, and finance by day, and then was knocking out social media and other marketing activities at night.

Although they had the right systems doing the right jobs, it was all done manually, and nothing was connected.   Data had to be entered in multiple places, and there was plenty of room for error.

What’s more, the more successful the business became, the more work there was to do!  She was so busy treading water that she never had the time to connect the automation dots.

Then Kelly discovered Zapier, which has the ability to connect more than 2000 software tools that firms would normally use independently to run their businesses.  She was really excited because it validated that she wasn’t crazy, and it was possible to work smarter not harder.  The tasks just needed simplifying, integrating, and automating!

 

How Kelly helps businesses now

The beauty of Zapier is that you don’t need to hire an expensive developer to connect your systems.  You too can harness the power of automation to increase productivity, and Kelly has proved this as she doesn’t have an IT background.  She is proud to be one of the very few female Zapier Certified Experts listed on Zapier’s own website.

Now, Kelly works with businesses every day to streamline their processes and reduce (or eliminate) manual tasks.  Learning about Zapier literally changed her life, building a business, which means she can work from anywhere in the world, with flexibility in her day.  She really does work smarter, not harder, and her mission is to prevent other business owners from falling into the same overworked and overwhelmed state she was in.

 

How can business process automation help with productivity?

Many companies have systems that don’t communicate with each other.  Their processes are super manual, extremely time consuming, and prone to human error. 

Introducing the right software tools and connecting them together allows them to significantly improve productivity. 

Business Process Automation (or BPA) is all about using technology to perform repeated tasks that would normally be done by a human.

Supercharging productivity with automation means you can focus on the tasks which truly matter for the success and growth of the business.

Beware!

Automating business processes comes with a warning though; you shouldn’t automate an already-inefficient process.   Instead, take a step back, look at the process holistically and identify the steps which would benefit from BPA.

 

What are the benefits of business process automation?

The main benefits of business process automation are:

  • Reduced manual data entry and error.
  • Reduced operational costs.
  • More time for sales activities.
  • Better customer service.
  • Increased staff engagement and satisfaction.
Virtual assistant at her desk, checking her smartphone with a computer screen in the background displaying a colourful bar chart.

The no-code revolution

An integration is simply an exchange of data between two applications.  Many cloud-based applications, such as Xero and Pipedrive, include their own prebuilt integrations.  Their developers have spent time writing code to link with the apps which their users most often need to share data with.   Their websites will list these apps, but these tend to be limited and are unlikely to connect with the smaller, less-used applications.

If you want to connect with another app that isn’t available as a pre-built integration then what are your options?   Developers are expensive to hire, so it’s unlikely to be financially viable.

Instead, you can use no-code tools that act as a bridge between thousands of cloud-based apps.  These allow users to build business-specific workflow automations with a simple visual editor using pre-built integrations.   These integrations seamlessly perform repetitive tasks without human intervention.

The beauty of no-code solutions for linking different applications is that you don’t need advanced technical skills to use them.  Our favourite no-code tool is Zapier, and we love it because it’s easy to use, has a powerful free version, and connects over 6,000 applications!

 

Examples of automations using Zapier

These are some of the popular business processes we’ve built using Zapier, but the possibilities are endless!

  1. Removing duplicate data entry in multiple systems to SAVE TIME.
  2. Reminders for Zoom and other meetings means NO MORE MISSED CALLS!
  3. Sending an email sequence when finishing a job to ask for customer feedback results in MORE TESTIMONIALS.
  4. Supercharge your customer onboarding by automatically adding their information to your CRM, sending them a contract, creating meetings and setting up workshops to STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS.
  5. Analysing your processes to connect the apps will REDUCE MANUAL ADMIN.
  6. Never forgetting to chase a lead again by setting up a sales sequence of text messages and emails means you will WIN MORE BUSINESS!

How to set up your first automated workflow with Zapier

With just a few simple steps you can set up your first automation with Zapier.

  1. First, you’ll need to register for an account with Zapier. We recommend the free version so that you can have a go without any commitment, and you even get a free trial of the professional plan for 14 days.
  2. From your dashboard, select one of the apps you use to see what integrations Zapier will suggest. You can then choose which app you’d like to connect it to, and Zapier displays a list of pre-built integrations that people have already used.  This is so useful as it will give you ideas about how you can use Zapier in your own business.  You can simply click ‘Try This’ to set one up for yourself!
  3. For each zap you’ll see the ‘trigger’ step which is ‘when this happens’, and the ‘action’ step which is ‘do this’. For each app that you connect you tell Zapier what will trigger it and then what to do when the trigger happens.
  4. All you need to set up the zap is to connect to your apps by logging in once, and authorising Zapier to use them, and that’s it! Zapier will remember the connection parameters and use them every time the zap triggers.
  5. Turn on the zap, sit back and relax, knowing you’re working smarter not harder!

How automation can help improve your turnover as a business consultant

We recently shared a blog post 5 reasons why automation can help assistants, which includes how learning automation can help you earn more.  If you’re a service provider such as a bookkeeper, accountant, business analyst, virtual assistant, or online business manager (OBM), who helps businesses with their day-to-day tasks then you could offer business automation consultancy to help those clients optimise their processes.  It doesn’t take long to become familiar with Zapier and once you’ve seen how useful it can be, you’ll want to share the love!  It’s an extra string to your bow, which could prove to boost your turnover…

 

Next steps

Would you like to find out more about supercharging productivity using automation with Zapier?

Step 1: Sign up for our FREE MASTERCLASS below.

Step 2: If you’re a beginner then you might like our free e-book, An Essential Guide To Business Productivity.

Step 3: If you’ve used Zapier a little then our Zapier cheat sheet lists all their inbuilt apps such as SMS by Zapier and Formatter by Zapier.  You can harness these inbuilt apps for many different workflows, so we highly recommend digging deeper and learning more about them.

Step 4: And finally, we are so excited to be launching a new course in 2021, Harnessing The Power Of Zapier. You can get on the wait list here so you don’t miss the latest news and launch details.

GO FORTH AND AUTOMATE!

 

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.

Related Posts

Wooden block capital letters spelling out the word 'TRAINING' on a blue background

How to justify an automation training budget

  If you’re keen to learn more about automation then you may be wondering how to justify a training budget to your boss.  Taking a course is the best way to fast-track your learning but usually comes at a price.  Here we tackle the ways you can successfully...
Split image, the left side featuring a green plant in a green plant pot with white text on a blue shape saying “Use Zapier To Send a Simple Drip Email Sequence”. The right side features an image of Kelly Goss with the Solvaa, Xero, Pipedrive Expert and Zapier Certified Expert logos.

How To Use Zapier To Send A Simple Drip Email Sequence

Setting up a drip sequence of emails is super simple using Zapier and will save you a ton of time.  You can trigger them when something key happens in your business, such as winning a new client.  Having an automated drip of emails means that you’ll never worry about...
A piece of corrugated card with the text Process Automation on it, alongside a black market pen and some wooden discs with letters printed on them. This is overlaid with text which says : Automate tasks using Zapier : 5 quick wins! Includes a small Solvaa logo in the corner.

Automate tasks using Zapier : 5 quick wins!

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,...
Flatlay of a macbook, glasses, coffee and plant on a dark desk with overlaid text saying 'Trello checklist for social media engagement'.

How to automate creation of a Trello checklist for handling Twitter engagements

Keeping on top of your social media accounts can be extremely time-consuming.  It takes so much longer than you think to create content and post it, and you can then waste hours on engagement. If you regularly nip in to check for comments then you can easily fall into...

How to automate your Pipedrive CRM sales processes

One of the biggest challenges for business owners is maintaining a streamlined sales process that is both reliable and easy to use. The modern sales process tends to rely on multiple tools and apps which, while making individual tasks easy to complete, leads to...
Solvaa blog post title image for post "New low-code features from Zapier bring automaton power to the people."

New low-code features from Zapier bring automation power to the people

Have you ever been frustrated when a Zapier app integration doesn't have the action you need? Or perhaps you have Zaps filled with webhook steps, and only the most technical people in your team know how to update or edit them? Zapier has built low-code features App...
Featured image for blog post: AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy. Part 4: No code? No problem. Build an AI chatbot using Zapier.

AI-tomation Part 4: No code? No problem. Build an AI chatbot using Zapier.

Zapier's chatbots feature has graduated from its first version into beta, so if you've been thinking about creating your own AI chatbot, now's a great time to take the plunge! In this article, we'll cover how to create your chatbot and everything else that you need to...
Male businessman with a tablet in his hand and icons representing business process automation floating above it.

How to get started with automation and work smarter, not harder

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Do you feel like you're working all the time but not getting anywhere? If so, it might be time to start using automation to help lighten the load. Automation helps you work smarter, not harder, and in this blog post...
Decorative image - The featured image for the Solvaa blog post "AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy Part 5 - Wrapping up and looking forward"

AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy – Wrapping up and looking forward

In this series about AI automation, we've been exploring how Zapier is weaving AI throughout it's product to enhance user experience and power up automation.   If you missed our previous posts, you can find them here:  Part 1: An overview of AI in Zapier Part 2:...
Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

5 Reasons why Virtual Assistants should learn automation

  When our chief problem solver, Kelly Goss spoke recently at the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit, she talked about the wealth of opportunities that automation can bring to Assistants and Online Business Managers.  After transitioning to a remote working...
Business growth concept in shades of blue with arrow pointing upwards and text Automation Growth next to a bar chart.

What are the latest trends in automation and how is it growing?

As automation superfans, we witness first-hand how it is transforming businesses, but it's great when this experience is shared by others. We were really excited to read the recent Workato report which is a comprehensive review of their users and how they use...
Blog title image "There's an app for that, but do you need it?"

There’s an app for that, but do you need it?

From lead management to turning on the office coffee machine, there's an app for everything these days. When a task or process is time-consuming or difficult, it can be easy to jump straight to looking for something to do it for you. It's worth taking time to pause...
Infographic showing the outline of people in rainbow colours and rainbow-coloured cogs on a white background with black text saying ‘7 reasons to invest in your employees learning automation’.

7 Reasons To Invest In Your Employees Learning Automation

In today’s increasingly competitive market, businesses should be looking at ways to keep employees engaged as well as maximise profit.  One way of achieving both these goals is by investing in your employees learning automation.  Not only does it upskill your staff...
Close-up of a businessman's hand placing the roof on a house made out of building blocks.

How can I use Zapier’s Sub-Zap feature to save time with automation?

One thing we love about Zapier is how it is constantly evolving and introducing new features, like the new Sub-Zap function. Sub-Zap by Zapier is one of the built-in tools which Zapier developed to supplement the functionality that your other business apps provide....
Concept of business meeting showing an overhead shot of hands from a group of business people looking at a colourful report and pointing their pens over it.

How business owners can benefit from no-code workflow automation in 2022

Everyone is talking about the no-code revolution and “no-code” is one of 2022’s most common business buzzwords.  But what exactly is “no-code” and how can no-code automations help business owners?   What does no-code workflow automation mean? A no-code solution...
Closeup of computer keyboard with blue ‘survey’ button between the A and D letters.

Our business survey reveals that business owners are keen to automate

We recently conducted a survey of business owners, employees and entrepreneurs to get a better understanding of their attitudes and plans regarding automation.  We were delighted to find that the vast majority of respondents are keen to automate parts of their...
The head image for the blog post showing a photo of a calendar on a yellow background. Next to the calendar is the Solvaa Automation academy & consultancy logo. Under that are the logos for the Calendly and Zapier apps.

Create a Zap for rescheduled Calendly events by adding one simple step

When you're using Zapier, it can be frustrating if the trigger or action you need doesn't exist. If you're technically minded, you may be able to build your own, but sometimes there's a simpler solution. If you're using Calendly with Zapier, you'll know that there...
Blog featured image for Solvaa blog post Using business automation software and excited to automate something new? Do these things first!

Using business automation software and excited to automate something new? Do these things first!

In the ever-evolving landscape of business processes, automation has become the cornerstone of efficiency and productivity. In this post, we'll delve into the art of enhancing your existing automation infrastructure by seamlessly integrating new automations into the...

Tools for small businesses: do you need a spreadsheet or a database?

Choosing the right tools for your small business is crucial for both cost and efficiency. As with many areas in life, it's important to choose the right tool for the right job. When it comes to storing and organising data, many people default to using a spreadsheet...
Closeup of coins in increasing piles, with someone adding three coins to the biggest pile as a concept to represent earning more money using automation.

How business automation using Zapier can improve your pricing and earn you more money

There's no doubt about it – business automation is a key component to success in today's economy. But what if you could take your business automation to the next level to increase your profits? Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect different applications and...
Automate ebook

Get our free ebook

Learn about how business process automation with Zapier can help you to run your business on autopilot. The ebook is packed with real-life examples, use cases, and success stories. Whatever kind of business you have, you can use automation to help you work smarter, not harder.

Thanks! Your ebook is on the way.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares