Choosing a business app?............use Zapier

Who is this post for?

This blog post is for: business owners who are looking at choosing an app for their business.

Any app, not just accounting software

Reading this should take: 5 minutes

Choose wisely young Skywalker

So, you are a business owner.............and you are looking at some new software to help run your business?

You could be looking into an app from a category such as:
  • Marketing
  • CRM
  • Accounting
  • Appointments
  • Email and storage
  • Dashboards
  • Ecommerce
  • Human resources
  • Notifications
The list goes on...................so what do you do to research?...........probably what everyone else does:
  1. Ask around
  2. Google search it

Asking your mates

Often, we think the most trusted method in assessing apps, is to ask our mates.

But the reality is, people often self-teach themselves how to use an app and as a result, are always unsure wether they are using the app to its fullest capacity.

They are not sure if they are the right person to ask but they naturally want to help out their mates.................assuming the relationship is good.

So they might say something like:

"Its a great app, I reckon it would be good for you, it works well for me".............when they probably mean to say:

"I think its a great app, but then again, I am not sure if I am using it properly"..............

So can you be sure?.....................

You can always jump into the many discussion groups you can find......but once again, opinions, people, resources, conflicts............

Google it

Jump on Google and have a look.

You will be confronted with a HEAP of info...........some paid advertising, some good SEO websites and possibly the higher quality apps will be higher up the list........maybe.

But is just assessing website after website, review after review enough?..........

Do you have time to do the FREE trials for let's say, 3 apps you have selected?............probably not.

Either of these apps will result in you having to create processes around them.............but will those processes be efficient?........will it be you that needs to be the person operating these systems?...........there are more questions than answers.

Is there a better way to choose an app?

YES, choose one from Zapier.

What is Zapier?

When I asked a colleague that question, they replied "Zapier is a 3rd party integrator".

My response was, "Speak English please"

Eventually I came up with my own description.

"Zapier brings different apps together, to automate workflows, create efficiencies and allow for scale"


In other words :

"Zapier does stuff that you don't want to be doing..........or don't want to pay anyone to do"

Let's see that in an example.

Example - Xero

Let's say that you use Xero for your accounting.

But you also have a CRM such as Salesforce or online forms such as Typeform, or an ecommerce store such as Shopify.

So between these two to three systems is some common data, such as

"Customer Information"(EG name, email address, postal address, customer type, buying history)

So you may end up with separate databases on customer information......................that is NOT good for business.

However, these apps MAY have what you would call a "direct integration" which basically means that they have agreed to share data between the API. This data share is often called a "trigger"..........an example trigger may be:

"Every time a customer is added to Salesforce, I want those customer details in my Xero app".

Direct integrations are wonderful as they save YOU having to worry about duplicate data and inefficiencies in your system.

But what if there is NO DIRECT INTEGRATION?

Then you use Zapier

When there is no direct integration, you can use Zapier.

Let's look at our example, Xero and Salesforce.

Let's say that there is NO direct integration (data sharing) between these two apps.

Zapier will jump in between and connect them for you.

How? Jump onto Zapier and take a look.

What you can see is a "directory" of zappable apps..................this means that if two different apps are listed on the directory, then Zapier can connect the two.

When these two apps connect, they can either:
  1. Save you a HEAP of time
  2. Save you a HEAP of heachaches
  3. Allow other opportunities to emerge
Try some of the more familiar apps you can think of, all the big players are there, such as:
  1. Google apps / G Suite
  2. Amazon
  3. Facebook
  4. Linkedin
  5. Twitter
  6. SalesForce
  7. Paypal
  8. Infusionsoft
  9. Dropbox
  10. The list goes on and on

How does it work?

Zapier has "triggers" and "actions"

A trigger in one app, creates an action in another app.

The Salesforce customer creation is the trigger, the new customer in Xero is the action.

To save me reinventing the wheel, here is one of their blogs.

They have great weekly blogs. I often get all these really cool tips on how things can be made better. They really know their stuff.

I use Zapier. I have online forms with Typeform, and I use Insightly CRM. So I have a ZAP set up between these two. Every form creates a "lead" in Insightly. Also, every time a student signs up to my online course, they go into my email marketing app (DRIP) so I can send them deals and promotions on new courses.

Imagine having a plug those together yourself?

Stuff that.

Choose your app with Zapier

So getting back to what this blog was originally all about

If you are choosing an app, look on Zapier and ask yourself?
  1. Is it on Zapier?
  2. What are the common zaps people use?
  3. If its not on Zapier, what category of app an I after?..........then select your category and find other similar apps
  4. What can it do?.............you may need to test it out


Thanks for reading, I hope that was valuable.

Donnie Buchanan,
Guy who writes stuff about stuff


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