The mess that happens without a system
For the first 4 years of my service business here at Meyne, I was just winging it when it came to my client system. Actually, I didn’t have a system at all.
Someone would fill out a contact form on my website saying they were interested in inquiring about my services. As long as that message didn’t end up in my spam folder (it often did), I would get excited, read the email…then take my usual 60 minutes to write a response asking for more details so I could give an accurate quote.
Then I would take another hour or two to do all the math, and send them an estimate. We would exchange many more emails about various things. I never remembered to give them all the right information up front, so they would have questions through the whole process that they shouldn’t have needed to ask. (No contract was included either. 🤦♀️)
Then there was the invoicing…another mess.
The cost of getting help
At year 4, I was at my wits end and I was ready to hire an assistant to manage all of that for me. For the work I needed, it would have cost me at least $500 a month, which was scary for me, but not as bad as facing another month of doing what I had been doing.
And then a business friend told me about Dubsado. She told me about how it actually handles all of that for you just like an assistant would, only instead of $500 a month, it was only $35 a month…no matter how much my business grew. 🤯
They give a free trial with no time limit on it, just a limit of three clients in the system.
So I signed up and took a week to go through what my process and systems SHOULD be. This was also the prod I needed to stop giving custom quotes to each potential client and have firmly set prices.
Then I set up the magic.
NOW, when someone wanted to know about my services, they would fill out a (reliable!) contact form on my site. The form asked potential client to select which service they are interested in. And then Dubsado automatically sends them a questionnaire based on the service they were looking for!
No more forgetting to ask anything, no more sending long, individually written emails with 100-message-long email chains I’d have to search through later in the project.
When they filled out the questionnaire, their answers (and even the files they upload to the questionnaire) live right there on their client page in Dubsado–nice and organized.
And all of this happened before I even knew that someone contacted me.
After having ALL of the information I needed, then I would reach out to them personally. If we needed to schedule a call, Dubsado could send them a link to my available days and hours, and they would just book it and automatically be added to my Google calendar. Otherwise, if the client and I were a good fit, I would just tell Dubsado to go ahead and send her the pre-made proposal and contract. Done.
How much time and money the system saved me
I added up the time Dubsado saved me, and because of how badly I was winging it before, it saved me about 8 hours a week. An entire work day, every week. $35 is a STEAL for giving you 32 work hours back every month.
In the first week of using it, I was so excited that I actually called my mom to explain how cool it was and how much it helped my business. Sorry again mom.
Clients love it too because they actually get their own page that they can log into to see all of our communication, invoices, contracts, questionnaires, website mockups…everything.
Will it work for your business?
Dubsado is great for any kind of service provider I can think of. I know it’s very popular among photographers and web designers. They have a free Facebook group you can join to get (and offer) help in and it’s filled with ALL KINDS of service-based business owners.
It can be a little daunting to set up at first. I wish I would have asked for more advice in the FB group in the beginning as to where to start. But Dubsado also has tons of fantastic video tutorials on their help pages:
The links for Dubsado are affiliate links, so they will give me a month free IF you love it as much as I did and sign up for a paid account after your free trial. But I’m gushing about it in 100% honesty because I want you to have a streamlined business with more time for the fun work too. (Would I call my mom to rave about something if I didn’t love it?) But the affiliate link actually helps you too. If you use it, Dubsado will give you 20% off your first month once you do decide to purchase!