“I’m starting a business!” I blurt out to my mom one day on the phone less than six months after I had my daughter. I can remember the moment. I am cradling my daughter in one arm. My phone is between my chin and my shoulder, and I am pushing a cart at the grocery store. I was having an, “I can do anything” moment. Never mind that I didn’t have time to take a shower, clean the house, take care of myself. I remember thinking, “It will be so easy! Things won’t take me much time. I can do this while she naps and plays. I can squeeze this into my life.” I now chuckle at my naivety.
As you can probably guess, I quickly realized balancing the “ands” in life, including running your own business is not as quick and easy as I thought it was going to be. Nevertheless, I persisted, pulled my greasy hair into a ponytail, and put my head down. Fast forward a couple of years. My business grew to a point where I had time to take care of myself, hire some help, and keep all the balls in the air, but the chaos level was still overwhelming.
As your business grows, your systems do, too. You also experience a natural increase in responsibilities, costs, expenses, and staff. At each step of the way, you have to implement new solutions, systems, book keeping, lists, and strategies to keep you organized and on top of things. Yes, you can have people help you with all these moving parts, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with you. No one will ever care about your business as much as you do, so you have to be the bearer of most (if not all) of the responsibilities including finance, quality control, customer experience, creative and the list can go on and on. If you are like me, you cobble together solutions as you go. Quickbooks for bookkeeping, a spreadsheet for project timelines, Gmail for communication, word docs for proposals, a portfolio to showcase your work, legal documents and contracts. After awhile your head starts to spin. I had all of these forms and systems in place but was still feeling unorganized. And I must tell you, keeping up on paperwork and bookkeeping is not my favorite pastime. All the upkeep was starting to eat into my creative time causing a lot of projects to get caught in the pipeline. All of which were affecting my bottom line.
What if there was an all in one solution to manage these things? What if there was a way to get hours back? What if I actually felt organized for once? Well, I am so excited to announce that I have found the perfect secret weapon: HoneyBook! If you are familiar with Rising Tide Society, you may have heard of HoneyBook. If you aren’t, you should check both out! What Rising Tide Society is to community building, HoneyBook is to productivity. Honeybook is an all-in-one business management tool, and there are so many great applications for it. Let me get down to brass tacks and share my favorite features with you.
Here are my top 5 favorite features included with HoneyBook.
1. Get Treated Like A VIP:
A lot of companies say they have a concierge service, but Honeybook actually delivers. They will get you set up and answer any questions you have. I reached out to have an account setting changed and received an answer less than an hour after I emailed. It was so refreshing not to have to wait 24 or 48 hours to receive help via email support. Keep up the good work Honeybook. As business owners, we all know how important customer experience is! Another useful resource is their free webinar trainings that teach you everything from basic functionality to utilizing their more advanced features. Honeybook does a great job of onboarding and training their customers.
2. Premade Templates Galore:
HoneyBook’s premade templates are where the real magic and time saving take place! Set up your services, proposals, invoices, emails, and intake questionnaire forms using their already laid out templates. Yep, basically, all the tools you use to create your onboarding and organizational systems (Word, Excel, PayPal, Google Docs, etc…) are all located in one dashboard. Here’s an example of how I use it for my website design services. First, I created my master proposal template for a website build out, setting up line items for the basic package as well as add-ons. That way when you go to create a new project for a client you can start from your pre-made template and then take out any options they don’t want with a quick click of a button. Whereas proposals used to take me upwards of an hour, I now can get them done in about 15 minutes. Time is money! Cha-ching!
3. The Legal Stuff:
That’s right! They provide templates for this, too. You can use their pre-loaded docs like terms of service, use your own custom verbiage, or use their text as a base to get you started. You can also send documents that allow clients to use e-signatures. This is amazing because I was paying for an outside service previously.
Add project manager to your resume because HoneyBook helps you track projects like a pro. Never worry things are slipping through the cracks! I love that you can keep your client in the loop. Also, invite other collaborators into the loop.
5. Easy Payment | Taxes | Quickbooks:
Ever feel intimidated by setting up a payment gateway? Well, have no fear because HoneyBook has made it so easy for you! In fact, the payment platform is integrated, so you don’t have to create an account with any 3rd party. There is a credit card processing fee of 3%, which is pretty standard. If you choose bank transfer, the fee is 1.5%. But, guess what? There are no other fees! I like that HoneyBook is very transparent and doesn’t sneak in any hidden fees. It makes me feel like a savvy consumer, too.
Community! Once you are a member, you automatically have access to the network of business owners like you. Connect locally with people, collaborate, meet, or find new friends.
I love that I can manage my business from one place. No more forgetting passwords, recovering passwords, and resetting passwords only to repeat this process the next time I need to log in. That convenience alone saves me so much time! The cost is $40/ month or $400/year. Not bad when you think about how much time you save, how organized you feel (priceless!), and the fact that you will probably be able to cancel some of your other subscriptions because HoneyBook has you covered.
But, wait there is more! Sign up with my handy little affiliate link HERE and receive 50% off your subscription. A win for all!
Is there a better feeling than streamlining your systems? I think not.