Small business automation: getting started with Ruby and Zapier

Small business automation: illustration of attorney at her desk with Ruby and Zapier logos in the background

“Automation” may sound complicated, but it’s actually the opposite. Automation is all about making things easier. And it can be a powerful tool for getting stuff done—especially for a small business.

Automation, in basic terms, is just using technology instead of human labor to perform tasks. It’s best used for simple, repetitive, time-consuming tasks, AKA busywork.

At Ruby, we’re big fans of automation because it frees people up to spend more time doing what matters. That’s why we’re excited to share some details about how you can use Ruby and Zapier to automate busywork, so you can save time and get more done.

Why is automation important for a small business?

Time is money, is it not? Of course it is—especially when you’re the one paying the money to employees in exchange for their time. 

So unless you’ve got an all-volunteer force at your command, chances are your budget could benefit from a little streamlining with automation! 

Automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks frees your team to focus on work that drives growth and profits. Automation can also reduce human error while boosting efficiency—a one-two combo that’ll knock out those tedious tasks bogging down your business. 

What kinds of things can small businesses automate?

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of task small businesses can—and do—frequently automate:

  • Email: This one’s a no-brainer. It’s easy to automate email filtering, categorization, and auto-responses. (In fact, if you’ve ever set an out-of-office response, you’ve used automation!) And the sooner you do, the faster you’ll see the time savings. 

  • Calendar management: Here’s another area in the “must automate immediately” category for many businesses. Why not use automation to simplify appointment booking, reminders, and other calendar management functions?

  • Social media activity: From scheduling posts in advance to producing reports, a lot of the grind associated with social media can be easily automated with the right tools.

  • Accounting and finance: Automated invoicing. Payroll processing. Expense tracking. All this and more can be automated with the right tools in your bag.

But there’s another area where automation might have the biggest impact: your call activity.

Getting started with automated call monitoring and management

Calls are a major part of any small business. Unfortunately, the more calls you receive, the more time they consume—and monitoring and managing all that activity can get repetitive, fast. 

But is there a way to automate calls without removing that all-important personal touch? You bet there is. That’s where Ruby and Zapier come in:

Ruby’s virtual receptionists can answer and route your calls, take messages, answer customer questions, qualify leads, and screen out robocalls. 

Zapier automates workflows by triggering actions in connected apps based on specific events—such as calls! 

See where this is heading? 

How Ruby and Zapier can transform your business

Individually, Ruby and Zapier can save your business countless hours and capture plenty of opportunities. But together, we can turn your business into a well-oiled machine. Here’s how: 

Automated data entry

When integrated with Ruby, Zapier can trigger actions such as creating a new contact in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool or database when a new customer calls. Imagine having all client interactions recorded in your Google Contacts, Google Sheets, or Mailchimp—without lifting a finger. Better yet, why imagine? 

But wait, there’s more! Zapier can also send call data right to software like CallRail, CallTrackingMetrics, LeadConnector, and Klaviyo.

Easy follow-up tasks

With Ruby and Zapier, you can use call information to create follow-up tasks in project management tools such as and Trello. You can even get new message notifications sent straight to your team in Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Accelerated lead capture

Your lead generation process just got easier. Because, in addition to capturing caller info, our integration adds that data into your marketing tools (e.g. email campaigns in Mailchimp, Active Campaign, or Constant Contact) based on predetermined conditions the caller meets. 

As an added bonus, Zapier can even generate pre-filled forms (via Google Forms or Jot Forms) and automatically send them to callers to initiate further engagement. 

Other Zapier integrations

Zapier’s real superpower is its versatility. Built for integration, it’s ready to sync up with almost all your business tools—opening an infinite world of automation possibilities. 

Frankly, that’s the main reason why we at Ruby were so excited to partner up with them. And we’re just one of nearly 7,000 apps Zapier integrates with. Other popular apps include ActiveCampaign, Airtable, Asana, Calendly, ChatGPT, ClickFunnels, Constant Contact, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Forms, Google Sheets, HubSpot, Instagram, Jotform, Kajabi, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Excel, Outlook, MS Teams, Monday, Salesforce, Shopify, Slack, Squarespace, Stripe, Trello, Webhooks, Wix, WooCommerce, WordPress, YouTube, and Zoom. 

From business intelligence and AI to commerce, communications, content, HR, marketing, sales, support, and more, Zapier can sync up with a dizzying array of apps to “tame the chaos with automation” so your business can “accomplish more with less work.”

Ready to learn more?

Automation, especially with powerful combinations like Ruby + Zapier, can streamline your most burdensome tasks, providing you and your team with a level of freedom you never thought possible. 

The trick to successful automation is simple: Find the areas where time can be saved in your business processes. Then start experimenting with a few integrations. It’s an investment worth a little patience. 

Over time, you’ll find the tactics that work for your business model and can gradually build from there. 

Learn more about automation with Ruby and Zapier.