What is IFTTT?
IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a free to use web service that lets you manage and automate your interactions with other web services. It works by using chains of “conditional statements,” also known as “recipes.”
So I know that was a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that can be hard to understand for a lot of people, so let me clarify by providing a few examples of what you can do with IFTTT:
You can set up a recipe that makes it so that any file put into your Dropbox is also automatically put into your Google drive.
You can create a recipe that automatically links any posts on your blog to your Twitter, Facebook, etc.
You can create a recipe that monitors certain stocks, and will send you an email and push notification if the stock drops more than say 5% in a day.
Hopefully this has clarified what IFTTT is. The above recipes are just examples I took off the top of my head, and they represent only a fraction of what IFTTT has to offer; once you learn how to master IFTTT, you will be able to automate lots of mundane business interactions.
How can IFTTT help small businesses?
IFTTT can be incredibly useful for small businesses. First off, IFTTT can greatly help businesses manage their day to day record keeping.
Do you keep track of payments in a spreadsheet? Well an IFTTT recipe can make it so that any payments accepted via PayPal or Square, are automatically added into a spreadsheet.
If you spend a lot of time creating invoices, managing client information, or other similar administrative tasks, then you could potentially save hours by automating it all with IFTTT.
You can create a recipe that automatically adds client contact information into your company’s records when they place an order.
Another useful task that IFTTT can do is manage social media accounts. Social media management is an important task for any small business, but it can also be time consuming; especially for businesses that maintain accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
A simple IFTTT recipe can make it so that if you post something on your company’s blog, it will get automatically posted to all your social media accounts.
You can also set it up so that something posted on Twitter will be posted to your other social media accounts. This makes scheduling and managing social media campaigns easy and quick.
Finally, IFTTT can just greatly boost the overall productivity of a business by cutting down on the amount of boring tasks you have to do.
Do you get a lot of attachments sent to you by email? Well then create a recipe to automatically download all your email attachments and put them in a folder or on the cloud.
See an email you want to respond to later? Well then create a recipe that lets you get reminders about emails you have marked as “important.”
Do you like reading about any mention of your business on the web? Well create a recipe, and you can have a link alert sent to you every time something is written about your business on the web.
These may seem like small things, but by automating small tasks with IFTTT, you save a lot of time and really boost productivity.
Some good recipes for small businesses
So, now that you have been hopefully convinced of the usefulness of IFTTT, you may be wondering “what are some good recipes that small business owners should be aware of”?
I have compiled a list of the top 5 IFTTT recipes that I think small business owners should take advantage of.
If you are a small business owner, then chances are you know how important your smartphone is to your business. You have all your business contacts on there; eventually it can become difficult to manage.
And of course it goes without saying that your smartphone could be damaged or reset, which would cause you to lose all that valuable contact information.
Thankfully, IFTTT has a solution; you can easily create a recipe that backs up all contact info on to a Google spreadsheet.
Not only does it back up old contact info, but it also automatically adds all new contact info on to the spreadsheet as well.
Having a company blog is a great way to grow your small business website; blogs allow you to rank higher on Google searches, allow you to reach out to customers, and is a great way to provide information about your business to potential customers.
Of course a great way to get more exposure is to put links to your latest blog post on to social media; but, that can be really time consuming.
So a quick way to save time is to create an IFTTT recipe that instantly shares your latest blog post on Twitter and Facebook.
So, as a small business owner, you probably receive hundreds of emails over the course of a day. It can be hard to find the time to respond to the really important emails you receive. A simple IFTTT recipe can make it so that you can star an email, and then receive reminders later on, reminding you to respond to the email.
It can be hard to keep track of all the contact info of the people you are talking with over email. So, with a simple IFTTT recipe, you can make it so that any time you receive an email, that person’s contact info is added to a Google Spreadsheet.
This makes it easy to keep track of who is emailing you, and makes it easy to keep all important contact info in one spreadsheet.
Cloud based services like Dropbox or OneDrive are great ways for small businesses to backup important files or data. But, it can be a bit time consuming to manually download file attachments sent by email, and then back them up to the cloud.
So, why not cut out the middle man? An easy IFTTT recipe can let you send files directly to the cloud service of your choice.
These are just a few simple recipes that a small business could take advantage of. There are thousands of possibilities, and if you are willing to put in a bit of time, then IFTTT can help you automate large parts of your small business.
These are just a few options for you and your business, but the ways you can use IFTTT are endless. Go and check out IFTTT right now and start automating those boring business tasks.