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Add This Term to Your Business Vocabulary: API

Yes, another acronym.  API means Application Programming Interface.  Ok, your eyes just rolled back.  Don’t stop reading, I’ll give you some reasons why you need to know this term:

1.  The essence of an API is that it makes it easy for two types of programs to talk to each other.

2.  So when you are selecting an email marketing vendor or an accounting vendor, you want to ask them if they have an API.

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3.  Next, you should consider if there are already integrations in place.  If there are, then you don’t even need an API.  For example, if your email provider is already integrated with Salesforce.com, a popular CRM application, then you know the two applications can talk to each other automatically without you having to hire a coder to make them talk to each other.

4.  Now, if any application does not have an API, then consider that it will be significantly harder to get it to talk to other applications.  Just keep that in mind then you are in decision-making mode.

As examples, many vendors have free APIs already available to anyone.  For example, Twitter and Facebook have a variety of APIs that allow you to push your content directly to the social media platforms or let your users log in to your website directly with their Facebook or Twitter information.  Many of your key solutions also integrate with your website.  For example, your email marketing platform will communicate with your website and automatically update your mailing list when new users register.  This automated approach saves you time and eliminates error.

Overall, APIs simplify your business processes by making your solutions work together seamlessly.  They are easy to integrate so all you need to do is take advantage of their benefits!

About the Author: Rachel Blankstein

Rachel is a serial entrepreneur and is currently Founder & CEO of Comparz.com. Comparz.com is the "Yelp" of business services. Rachel also launched and grew the Data Services business at U.S. Cellular to a $100 Million business. Rachel’s was also [...]

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