I’m a huge fan of automating those tedious repetitive tasks that are part of everyday business. If I don’t automate them, they will get stockpiled and sometimes not done at all, my brain is hard wired to look for the shiny new object and repetitive tasks are a real problem with me.
What’s that got to do with WordPress I hear you cry, what is Neil spouting on about …
There’s A Cool Service That Lets You Automate almost Anything (Digitally Anyway)
I’ve been using a great software as a service tool called Zapier that lets me automated all those tedious little data entry jobs between the various software tools I use.
It has automated many of the tasks that bore me stupid, but are an essential part of running a business, the type of thin that takes up lots of our time by stealth.
Enough of that onto my Zapier review.
How It Works
Once you sign up for Zapier you can create something called a zap, a zap is an integration between two services.
Service A sends it’s data into the zap, and the zap then sends that same data automatically to service B so you don’t have to retype that data.
No data is lost, and no effort is expended at your end. The robots are taking over the world at last and our jobs are at stake :).
I’m always a fan of an example to help understanding. Here is an example of a Zap I’m using.
When you sign up for my maintenance service you create a recurring subscription in Paypal. I want that data to be sent to my accounting service Freshbooks.
I’ve created a zap so that when a payment is processed for me by Paypal that data is sent into zapier. That data is then processed and sent to Freshbooks as a new invoice. It adds a new customer, the invoice amount and then marks it as paid, as the money is already in my PayPal account.
The invoice is added into the sales section of my accounting package and the tax man is kept happy, all automatically, all without me lifting a finger to my keyboard.
Many of my paypal invoices are already added to freshbooks so part of the zap allows to me filter what is sent to Freshbooks. I check to see if the item description in paypal matches a certain string and only then data is sent to my accounts.
Loads Of Integration Services
At the time of writing there are 300+ apps that are integrated with Zapier, There are a vast array of service types covered:
- Social media
- Payment processors
- CRM systems
- Project management
- Helpdesk software
- Instant messages
- WordPress has lots of integrations
The list goes on and on, in fact, here is the list https://zapier.com/zapbook/apps/
The pricing model is based upon how many zaps you create and how often that zap is called per month . It starts at $0 and goes up to $125 per month for the big package, here is the pricing page https://zapier.com/app/pricing
The free entry level pricing option is a bit of a con, only certain services are available on the free plan, Paypal for example is not included boo to Zapier on that little stunt.
In My Day We Had To Program Our Own Integrations
Back in the day * we would have to program our own integrations using the API or application programming interface of each service. I’ve done this for my own business and clients, and it costs a lot in time and effort to code up robust solutions like this.
To me $20 per month is a huge saving in programming time and manually data entry time.
Running a small business as a solopreneur is all about running lean and keeping your operation as stream lined as possible, automating small repetitive tasks is one of my favourite ways to do this and zapier.com provides a great solution to those data integration problems.
If you need help bringing your disparate systems together why not get a no obligation quote.