Formstack Blog

Why Your Small Business Needs an Online Form Builder

If you’re a business owner, it’s probably not unusual to find yourself constantly juggling multiple tasks, wearing many hats, and working long hours. Time is precious, and it’s all the more precious for a small business owner. Do you want to accomplish more in less time (and with less cost than you may think)? Of course you do!

In this post, I’ll show you how you can conduct business online with a versatile online form builder like Formstack. I’ll touch on how Formstack can help you easily sell online, streamline your processes, and deliver customer happiness.

Conduct Simple Online Transactions

An important piece of your small business is sales. If you’re not already selling online, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Getting started with online sales shouldn’t be a hassle—and it isn’t with Formstack. Here’s a quick rundown of Formstack’s ecommerce solutions for small business:

Calculating Fields
As the name implies, calculating fields are form fields that allow you to calculate values. These fields can be added to your online forms and assigned values. Then, the values can be combined to calculate a total.

One way to use calculating fields is to create an effective online order form. Let’s say you want to offer a variety of items for purchase on your site. You can assign a value to each item, and as a user selects the items, his or her total can be calculated and shown on the form. Complete the solution by integrating your form with one of our trusted third-party payment gateways (we’ll talk more about this later).

Discount Codes
To add more flexibility to your online ordering, Formstack makes it easy to add discount codes (via a simple plugin) to your order forms. Adding a discount code in Formstack couldn’t get much easier. You can set your discounts to be a flat rate dollar amount or a percentage off the total. You also have control over setting expiration dates or limits to how many times the discount code can be used.

Payment Processors
With calculating fields and discount codes in place, the last piece to your online solution puzzle is to enable users to check out and pay for their orders. Our form builder integrates with several secure payment processors, including Stripe, Paypal, and Chargify. With just a few clicks, you can connect these payment gateways to your form and start collecting payments or taking donations.

Streamline Processes with Powerful Integrations to Existing Tools

By passing form submission data directly into third-party apps, Formstack is able to reduce manual data entry—which saves time and helps you avoid clerical errors. You can connect your Formstack form to over 40 third-party apps with just a few clicks. Here are a few that are popular among small business users:

Google Sheets
With Formstack’s Google Sheets integration, you’re able to have form submission data ported directly over to a Google spreadsheet. Once in Google Sheets, you have all the flexibility Google offers to manage and organize your data. This includes filtering, sorting, and running formulas.

CRMs
If you’re already using a customer relationship manager (CRM) for more robust management of prospect and customer data, you can easily hook Formstack up to this as well. Salesforce, Act-On, and Batchbook are just a few of our CRM integrations. Connecting Formstack to your CRM means no more manual data entry. As your customers visit and complete your online forms, the data in your CRM is automatically updated, keeping all your records up to date.

Marketing Automation
A key part of marketing automation is your email list. Building your subscriber list and sending personalized messages to your prospects and customers is a great way to grow your business. Our powerful marketing automation integrations with tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Emma allow you to build up your subscriber list and—based on form submission data—create segmented lists and groups. From here, it’s just a matter of creating the necessary campaigns in your email platform to complete your personalized marketing automation machine.

API/Webhooks
Formstack offers many great integrations, but there comes a time when the tool you wish you could connect to Formstack isn’t offered right out of the box. If you have development experience or access to a development resource, you’ll be able to build your own Formstack integrations via our API and webhooks. For another code-free workaround, Zapier is also a great resource for getting Formstack talking to over 500 of your favorite apps.

Deliver Great Experiences for Customers

Your customers (and the experience they have with your brand) mean a lot. Filling out a form doesn’t always translate into an pleasant experience. But with Formstack, there are quite a few ways to ensure your customers have a positive experience with your business.

Email Confirmation and Routing
What happens after someone submits a form? First, that data needs to go somewhere, and second, we want to be able to continue the conversation. Formstack’s customization and routing capabilities are pretty robust and can make it easy for you to better please your customers.

With custom confirmation emails, you can send tailored and personalized follow-up emails to your users based on how they filled out your form. You can also establish who on your team should receive notification emails based on form data. This is a great way to keep team personnel in the loop on form submissions that may be particularly relevant to their role.

Conditional Logic
Too many fields on a form can be daunting, and they often become a turn-off for users filling out the form. With Conditional Logic, you can set certain questions or fields to remain hidden unless previous questions on the form are answered a certain way. A common example of this is on a feedback form like the one shown below. Here, a question is being asked about the quality of service. If the user selects “Good” or “Excellent,” the hidden field “Please explain why…” remains hidden. The additional question is only revealed when the user selects “Poor.”

Security
Last but not least is security. Keeping your form data secure is a priority at Formstack. To ensure safe capturing and handling of form data, we offer 256-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer is the industry standard for viewing and sending sensitive information on an internet browser). On the admin side, we also allow you set user permissions and passwords to control who can and can’t see form submission data. Lastly, with CAPTCHA fields, you can be sure an actual person is filling out a form and keep out any spammers or “bots.”

There you have it! Are you inspired to start thinking creatively about business problems that could be solved using online forms? I hope so! What I’ve covered here is just a small subset of the capabilities Formstack has to offer. We’re continuously adding features to make it easier for you collect and manage data online.

Interested in learning more about using Formstack to conduct business online? Click below to watch a webinar that details a real-life example!