Running a startup or new company often requires long working hours, and plenty of admin. Any tool that can help cut back small business admin is worth trying, and that’s where Zapier can be a big help.
Zapier is an online application that allows you to link services that don’t typically integrate together by default. By connecting your favourite apps together, Zapier lets you automate repetitive tasks.
How Does Zapier Reduce Small Business Admin?
Zapier puts together a trigger and an action to create a “Zap”.
A trigger is an event. Zapier continually monitors the apps you have configured with it, waiting for an event to occur. The frequency of these checks depends on the Zapier plan that you’ve subscribed to.
Once a trigger is detected, Zapier acts upon it. For example, you might set a trigger of having a new file uploaded to a Dropbox account. When Zapier detects a new file is uploaded, it may perform a set action such as sending an email to a specific recipient to let them know the file is available.
By automating small business admin, Zapier significantly cuts down on the amount of time you’ll waste forwarding files and sending generic emails.
What Is Zapier Capable of Automating?
Zapier can connect more than 700 third-party services and applications with each other. It also has its own built-in triggers, such as a process to check RSS feeds.
Here are just a few areas where you can put Zapier’s automating abilities to good use:
- Communication – Zapier works with all of your social media and communication channels including LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, Slack, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Record-keeping – Share information between Evernote, Google Calendar, Trello, and other apps.
- Storage – Transfer files in and out of Dropbox, Office 365, Google Drive and other cloud storage services with ease.
- Email autoresponders – Trigger events with MailChimp, GetResponse, or AWeber when you receive an email opt-in or when you send an email out.
What Are Some Other Alternatives to Zapier?
Although Zapier has over a million users that are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service it offers, there are some other similar small business tools that you might want to take a look at before deciding on Zapier. Zapier generally provides a broader functionality and support for more apps than these services, but they may be able to fit a specific need in your business.
- IFTTT – This acronym stands for “If This Then That”. It’s popular with smart home enthusiasts and generally offers a simpler approach to automation. If you need straightforward triggers, IFTTT is free, and it puts the focus on simplicity and is easy to learn. That simplicity comes at the expense of some customisation, though, and it doesn’t cover the more obscure business services that Zapier can work with.
- Microsoft Flow – Flow’s strength lies in integrating Microsoft’s proprietary programs, apps and services. If your small business admin is mainly limited to Microsoft services, Flow might be worth taking a look at.
- Automate.io – Automate.io is another web-based service that can help automate business processes. Its free plan allows for 250 actions per month.
- Integromat – Integromat offers a free plan that includes 1,000 operations and 100 MB of data transfer per month. If Integromat provides supports all of the apps and services you plan to integrate with each other, it might be worth considering as a Zapier alternative, mainly because it’s cheaper.
So while services like Integromat are promising, Zapier seems like the logical choice for most small businesses.
Is Zapier Worth Paying For?
The numerous free features that Zapier includes, including the ability to make two-step Zaps, should be more than enough to give it a try. By the time you need to make 3+ step Zaps and take advantage of the other benefits that a paid subscription offers, Zapier will most likely have proven itself and made your small business admin significantly simpler.