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 we’ll show you how to get started. So read on – join the no-code revolution and start freeing up your time for the things that matter!
Before you start – simplify your processes
Before you even think about automation, it’s absolutely vital to review and simplify your processes. This doesn’t have to be onerous though, and will really help streamline your business.
We cover this in our blog about how to document processes which is a great starting point. The steps you should follow are:
- Brainstorm your processes.
- Prioritise them so that you focus on those which are the biggest pain points first, which will save you the most time when you automate them.
- List all the apps you use in your business.
- Analyse the processes and simplify them where possible.
- Document the processes.
You are now in the perfect position to start automating your business processes, and our favourite no-code automation tool is Zapier.
What is Zapier?
Zapier is a no-code automation tool which anyone can use. You don’t need to be technical and all you’ll need to know is how to log into the apps you use in your business.
Zapier allows you to configure connections between your apps, to pass data from one to another and make them function automatically. It can be an absolute game-changer for many businesses which is why we love it! Rather than go into everything here, we’ve written a simple guide to Zapier which will get you started.
You can also read how our founder / chief problem solver / chief automator, Kelly Goss discovered Zapier in her origin story, which tells how she went from being a frazzled business owner to an automation superhero!
How do I get up and running with Zapier?
There’s a lot of lingo to learn with Zapier (for a start, did you know it rhymes with ‘happier’?) and we cover it all in our post about how to get started with Zapier.
We also compare the different pricing options because you can get started on Zapier’s free plan really quickly. It’s perfect for learning how to use automation and is extremely powerful, with pre-built integrations between over 6,000 apps.
Zapier links many of the tools you use every day, including:
- Microsoft apps like Excel, Outlook and Teams
- Google apps such as Gmail, Google Sheets and Google Docs
- Email platforms like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign and MailerLite
- CRMs including Pipedrive, Salesforce and Zoho
- Finance apps such as Xero and Quickbooks
- E-commerce tools like Woocommerce, Shopify and Stripe
- …and so many more, the list is endless!
What can I do with Zapier?
Hopefully you’ll have some ideas for automations from your business process analysis but if you need some inspiration then we have plenty!
Zapier doesn’t need to be all about business either – you can have plenty of fun with it too! Here are examples of fun automations to create such as receiving a daily weather report or connecting to smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
How to use Zapier’s super-cool inbuilt functions
As well as connecting with over 6,000 apps, Zapier has some really funky inbuilt integrations which are really powerful.
We have a free cheat sheet which lists them all, as well as guides to our favourites.
What else do I need to know about Zapier?
Once you’ve set up a few automations it’s really helpful to know how to organise your zaps. It’s like any other storage solution – if you start in an organised fashion then you’ll reap the benefits in the future.
Another great benefit of Zapier is that there’s plenty of help available. Not only are their own articles useful, there’s a huge community waiting to offer advice and assistance. We have written an article where we list all of the existing help options as well as some which are coming soon.
Where can I find out more?
Our free articles are great for finding out how to get started with automation, but if you really want to dig deeper then Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon. It takes you through everything step-by-step and includes some ready-made templates for various examples so you can get started really quickly.
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.