If you’re a freelancer or service-based business owner, managing your clients is the backbone of your business. It is for me, too.
I used to spend a few hours a week sending invoices, creating proposals, and monitoring where leads were in the pipeline. All that time I was spending on running my business was unbillable. Time I was spending on running my business was time that I wasn’t spending on caring for my clients. I knew I would need a good CRM system if I wanted to reduce downtime and increase my profits.
I wanted a system that was faster AND easier. Was I being too greedy?
After months of trying out different tools, I found the solution I was seeking. Here's a review of why Dubsado is the best CRM for my business:
1. Manage clients from one place
Prior to using Dubsado, I had a bootstrapped client management system full of software that didn't integrate. They didn't "speak" to each other and that meant every step was manual. This system involved:
Streak CRM or an Excel spreadsheet for lead tracking.
Canned Emails inside of Gmail for pitches and responses.
Attaching a welcome packet to an email from my computer's hard drive.
Boomerang for Gmail to schedule email reminders.
Google Docs or Bonsai to create a contract.
HelloSign to sign a contract.
Marking my calendar to remind myself when a proposal would expire.
Google Forms or TypeForm for questionnaires.
Manually adding client to my email marketing software.
TMetric or Toggl for time tracking.
Freshbooks Classic for creating invoices and payment.
Asana for keeping track of all of the above.
This was time consuming, sloppy, and headache-producing. Many of the tools used were great, but they were great at one or two things.
I wanted to simplify and Dubsado allows me to do just that.
Dubsado allows me to:
Capture leads from enquiries on my website.
Log notes for calls and create to-dos
See my calendar.
Send and sign contracts.
Give clients the ability to select which packages they want to purchase.
Send invoices and collect payment (with a tipping option, too).
Deliver canned emails.
Track my time.
Automate my workflows.
And so much more.
With Dubsado’s robust features, I can manage my clients from one place.
2. Designed for small business owners and creatives
There are a lot of great softwares out there. However, each software is designed to serve a certain market. Early on, I tried using tools that weren’t designed for my business and, ultimately, they just didn’t work the way I needed them to.
Dubsado is designed for small business owners and creatives. It is intended for a solopreneur or small team to manage. Because of that, Dubsado allows you to be professional, without being impersonal.
Dubsado works really well for:
Graphic & web designers
Project managers and OBMs
Various other creatives and freelancers
It’s also mobile-friendly and integrates with other tools small businesses commonly use like G-Suite, Zapier, and QuickBooks Online.
3. Client portals
This is one of my favorite features for a few reasons.
Firstly, client portals impress my clients. I like any software that makes me look more polished!
Secondly, it allows clients to help themselves. If they need a copy of an invoice, want to find out what my office hours are, etc., they can do so 24/7 without me need to be involved. That means I can spend more time churning out deliverables for my clients.
Client portals, like the rest of Dubsado, are mobile-friendly. They are great for when you (or your clients) are on the go.
Ready to give Dubsado a go? Download this free blueprint to simplify your setup.
3. Pricing and fees (or lack thereof)
This was big for me. I found free CRMs, but they couldn’t do everything I needed. I had to supplement with paid services for invoicing, contract signing, and lead management. Then I looked into paid CRMs and the subscriptions were too expensive for my budget.
But that’s not all…
I found other paid CRMs charged fees for processing payments. I could collect money using Paypal or Stripe, but they would charge about 3% to do so. Considering Stripe and Paypal charge around 3% on their end, I would lose 6% of my earnings before they ever enter my bank account. While there are costs of doing business, it felt unreasonable. After all, I was paying a monthly fee to use the CRM in the first place.
Dubsado doesn’t charge payment processing fees.
Paypal, Stripe, and Square take about 3%, but Dubsado doesn’t charge you to use those services. If you collect money through ACH transfer, you’ll pay about $1 out of every $100 in the payment, but only up to $5 per transaction. With ACH transfer, you’ll never pay more than $5 per transaction.
Example: Say you charge a client $1000 once a month.
With many CRMs, you’d pay 3% to the processor and 3% to your CRM. You’d lose $60 on every transaction.
With Dubsado, you only pay 3% to the processor (Stripe, Paypal, Square). You only lose $30 on every transaction. If you use ACH transfer in Dubsado, you would pay just $5 for processing a $1000 payment.
That’s an extra $30-$55 you can keep and that really adds up over time.
4. Unbeatable customer service and community
Dubsado has the best customer service of any company I know. I can’t count how many times I’ve had no access to live support via chat, email, or phone. That’s never a problem with Dubsado and they provide top quality service. The Dubsado team is committed to helping their customers as best they can.
Furthermore, they listen to their customers. They are constantly cranking out new features customers request.
Then there’s the Facebook group. The Facebook group is part helpdesk, part community and a whole lot of wonderful. It’s a great place to get ideas for all the different things you can do with Dubsado, but it also a lot of fun. As someone who works remotely, I especially appreciate having a community of like-minded people to connect with.
5. Automation, templates, and workflows
Now for the holy grail of Dubsado’s features..
Dubsado’s automation, template, and workflow features save me time and energy.
I have a systematized process that’s better for my clients and myself. My clients have consistent experiences now and I have less of a headache. It’s a win-win for both of us.
I no longer have to put effort in to keeping track of clients. I simply login to Dubsado and it tells me the next task to do. And sometimes, I don’t need to complete a task at all -- and that’s because of automation. Dubsado does part of my job for me.
Simply put, automation, templates, and workflows have made my business a well-oiled machine.
I would not say that I settled on Dubsado because the truth is, Dubsado is the best CRM for my business. I upgraded! I manage my clients from one place on a software that was built to work for my business. Automation, templates, and workflows save me time and no processing fees save me money. My clients like Dubsado and I like happy clients.
After reading this review, think Dubsado might be for you, too? Give Dubsado’s free 3-client trial a try. You won’t find a free 7/14/30 day trial here -- you'll only pay when you exceed 3 clients!
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