Steal This Workflow: How a One-Person Business Automates its Onboarding Process

Joey Blanco
Joey Blanco / December 22, 2017

When you build a business or a product from scratch, that becomes your baby or labor of love—but it can also narrow your perspective. That's why phrases like "see the big picture" and "you can't see the forest for the trees" often resonate so much. If you're in the thick of it day in and day out, an outside perspective might be what you need.

Offering an unbiased, no-nonsense look at startups, Startup Audits aims to guide startups to their next step. For a one-person operation, though, founder and auditor extraordinaire Bram Kanstein found himself bogged down by manual tasks. Creating documents, folders, and spreadsheets—as well as writing each individual email—meant Bram wasted time on repetitive work.

Bram went looking for a solution. App automation tool Zapier brought him a higher level of productivity. "[Zapier] allows me to plan the work I need to do for my clients better," he says. Now, Startup Audits automates the client signup process. Read on to see how.

Automate Client Onboarding

Before Zapier, Bram had to repeat a lot of different tasks for each new client. He'd create a folder in Google Drive and a Google Doc. He'd write a custom welcome email for each startup and send it off. Then he'd add the new client to Google Sheets, building a client database. Finally, he'd create a card in Trello to track and manage the work.

Rinse and repeat for each new client.

With Zapier, Bram found he could automate this entire process. With a multi-step Zap—a workflow connecting multiple apps—Bram condensed his onboarding process and now it happens instantaneously.

When a client purchases one of Startup Audit’s products, it triggers Bram's multi-step Zap. First, Zapier creates a folder in Google Drive for the client. Within that folder, Zapier then creates a Google Doc questionnaire. This questionnaire covers everything from the startup's mission and values to what sort of assistance they need. It paints a full picture for Bram and lets him get started faster.

Next, Zapier sends out a welcome email to the client through Gmail, which includes a link to the Google Doc. The email says hello, provides instructions and guidance, and introduces the client to Bram.

Once Zapier sends the email, the Zap adds a row to Google Sheets, creating a log of clients' requests and the price paid.

Startup Audits manages their client projects with Trello. After adding the client to Google Sheets, Zapier creates a card in Trello. Bram has his Zap set up to add a checklist to the Trello card, so he can keep track of each task this audit requires.

The Zap has one last step: Emailing Bram to let him know everything went off without a hitch and he has a new client.

With this one Zap, Bram automates the entirety of his onboarding process—from collecting client information to adding them to the database and sending them an email. While Bram uses Webhooks by Zapier to grab the purchase information, you can swap that out for your favorite form app, payment collector, or even try out webhooks.

You can use these Zaps for the same workflow or use specific sections to work more efficiently. Pick, choose, and be productive:

"I think I've only discovered ten percent of Zapier's power and I'm already really happy!" Bram says. "When I get the notification of a sale, I know my client has received his/her instructions."

Thanks to Zapier, Bram spends more time with his clients and their startup than writing emails and adding rows to spreadsheets. Instead of a narrow focus on the day-to-day, Bram sees the forest for the trees and helps startups do the same.

All images courtesy of Startup Audits.

Photo of Lawrence Watkins

“Zapier helps me build processes and automation into my business like a programmer without having to learn to code.”

Lawrence Watkins, co-founder of Great Black Speakers

Try Zapier Today
Wufoo, Google Sheets & Mailchimp

Build workflows with your apps.

Try Zapier Free

Connect apps. Automate tasks. Get more done.

Try Zapier Free
Load Comments...

Comments powered by Disqus


Take the Work out of Workflow

Zapier is the easiest way to automate powerful workflows with more than 1,000 apps.