A Xero Workflow in Review – 2016
We spent a lot of time last year working with startups and businesses and helping them create a workflow that would allow them to automate a lot of those daily admin tasks that seem to take up so much time.
A lot of these were similar and used tools that we knew could accomplish (and where possible exceed) the business’s objectives.
So we thought we would share the most popular workflow of 2016 and explain how it works.
A lot of admin work is often associated with spreadsheets and lots of receipts, however with the introduction of software such as Xero, a lot of this admin work can be made pain free!
We tend to recommend Xero simply as we use it ourselves and are familiar not only with the interface but also API development. Your accounting app tends to be at the end of your workflow journey and the central point of collection for all of your data, it has to work out your profits after all!
Receipt Bank allows you to take pictures of your receipts and add them directly to your Xero account; think of all the time saved not having to manually add all of those receipts.
Everyone moans about late payments but there are things you can do to manage the levels of aged debtors by offering a direct debit service via Go Cardless; with really competitive rates, it is a worthwhile consideration.
There are lots of threads out there about which is the best platform for your shop, which is the best for SEO etc and lots of our answers.
I think the real question is which platform falls in line with your business objectives, needs and budget, they all have have an API and a rich eco environment of add ons and extensions, all offer similar features and functionality to sell to your customers, which one to choose?
We tend to do more integrations with Magento, however WooCommerce is a close second and Shopify seems to be getting more and more popular.
Those three probably fall into the top 5 of ecommerce platforms in terms of popularity, if not then definitely top 10, and therefore are well supported by developers and solution providers. Basically they play nicely with other platforms (or vice versa)!
Unleashed Software is a powerful inventory management platform that integrates with all of the above platforms ensuring that you always have the right numbers at your fingertips, (or via their app). Unleashed also has an integration with Xero allowing orders to flow all the way through.
Carry the One allows you to connect Magento directly with Xero and provides you with a wide range of integration options that sends all orders directly to your Xero account. Should you use Unleashed as your inventory tool, this would also superseded the need for a middleware connection.
Zapier is an awesome tool and once you get the hang of what it can do, you will spend hours creating new recipes and connecting all of your systems together.
With over 500 integrations and also the ability to build custom integrations we tend to use Zapier regularly when building our workflows.
We particularly use the custom integrations to allow us to hook into legacy systems that your business may still use. In the workflow outlined above, we have used Zapier for all new orders to send the relevant information across to the chosen CRM tool, which in this case is Capsule CRM.
CRM & Email
Mailchimp and Capsule are popular choices for emailing customers and managing customer relationships (though there are a lot of others to choose from) and 9 times out of 10, they will have an API allowing you to integrate them into your platform.
Using the example workflow, customer email addresses are sent to Mailchimp once an order has been made that the system identifies as new, i.e. they have not ordered with you before. You are then confident that when you send emails out to your customers no one will get missed off!
Capsule CRM is a great tool to manage your customer relationships and is relatively simple to get started with, rather than the very steep learning curve some CRM tools require.
In this workflow, the customer’s details will be sent to your CRM tool, this is particularly useful for B2B sales where bigger orders might require additional touch points or stages within your sales pipeline.
While the workflow diagram might not look complicated it is a massive time saver and will reduce a lot of those boring admin jobs to an absolute minimum, allowing you to get on with the important things i.e. managing and growing your business.
Need some help with a workflow or having problems getting things to work together?
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