The infamous debate: Honeybook or Dubsado? Let’s talk about it. Whether you’re just starting out, you’re seriously scaling your business, or maybe you’re somewhere in between, one of the best tools to invest in for your service-based business is a Client Relationship Management tool, more commonly known as a CRM.
What is a CRM?
A CRM (standing for Client Relationship Management) tool is a system that manages and supports relationships and interactions with your clients and customers. While there are a ton of different tools out there that do varying degrees of this, most commonly these days, a CRM will track and manage email communication, allow internal information sharing amongst your team, allow you to send agreements and questionnaires, send invoices and process payments, and more. And as these CRM tools develop and evolve, more and more features allow steps to be automated, giving you back time to spend showing up for your clients, instead of backend admin tasks.
Why Honeybook or Dubsado?
In the online, service-based space, the most popular CRMs that tend to be at the centre of this debate are Honeybook and Dubsado. Both are similar, and also so different so let me break them down for you.
Comparing Features: Honeybook or Dubsado
Contracts & Invoices
Both Honeybook or Dubsado, allow you to import contract templates and add in “smart fields” to auto-populate the agreement based on the client’s information and project details. Yes, you heard me — never write or edit another full contract again.
They also both allow you to send invoices and will track your financial progress, upcoming payments for recurring invoices, and more. One note is that Honeybook will process payments based on the invoice’s payment schedule automatically once the first payment is made via your client’s credit card based on the invoice’s payment schedule. This is a serious timesaver instead of having to chase clients down who don’t pay the monthly invoice you send them.
When it comes to keeping track of what’s been said when and by who, both Honeybook and Dubsado are pretty on top of tracking communication. They also both allow for additional, internal “notes”, which is great for you to remember things from calls and keep records as a solopreneur, or if you have a team with more than one member working on client things.
The only area that Dubsado has a leg up on Honeybook — in my opinion, of course — is workflows. Dubsado’s workflow templates allow you to automate truly the entire experience, from the moment they book through getting a brochure through signing an agreement and getting follow-up emails. And while getting to the Workflows area, which is hidden within a client, and then hidden again within their project is a bit glitchy and slow to get to, it is nice once it’s set up and applied.
Honeybook’s workflows are pretty primary at this point, and while I’ve been invited to trial a new feature they’re calling Honeybook Flows, they still have a long way to go in this area. At this time, Honeybook’s workflows can only be triggered by completing a contact form, so having any sort of automation attached to an appointment booked or being assigned manually is currently not an option.
Fortunately, a handy feature that both tools have is the ability to have a step in a workflow happen automatically or require approval so it triggers a notification to you to edit, check-in or remove that step before proceeding with the workflow.
Where Honeybook shines is its user experience, both from a company and a client perspective. The easiest way to put it is that it’s a much more simplified, beautiful experience compared to Dubsado. For me, here are some examples of what I mean:
- Dubsado portal from a business perspective is unnecessarily “confusing” whereas Honeybook is extremely easy to navigate no matter where you are in the tool
- Emails received by the client look way nicer. Maybe it’s just me, but the embedded buttons that Dubsado puts in their emails look tacky.
- The Project area to manage a client’s project in Honeybook is cleaner, far less confusing and much easier to actually use for client communication, sending files, and more.
Other Great Features If You’re Considering a CRM
To make sure you’re getting all the information you need about introducing a CRM into your business, I thought it would be helpful to talk about a couple of other great features to consider when you’re looking at different tools. They’re important, to making sure these features are set up the way you need is important.
Fortunately, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, Honeybook or Dubsado. Both have appointment schedulers. So if you’re using a Calendly or Acuity Scheduling, you won’t need that extra tool burden anymore. Similar to past comments, I enjoy the experience and simplicity of Honeybook’s scheduler. That said, Dubsado does allow you to ask questions and attach a questionnaire to different appointment types and at this time, Honeybook does not.
A fun new feature that Honeybook has recently added is Gift Cards. You can set up cards for people to buy and gift to others, offering a discount or incentive for your services or you can use it as part of a loyalty program you build into your business and send to clients after working with you to incentivize them to work with you again.
Our Answer to Honeybook or Dubsado?
While our clients are almost 50/50 who use Honeybook versus those who use Dubsado for their businesses, here at Rebel Office, are team Homeybook. Comparable in price, I almost always pick user experience over everything else. At the end of the day, I find the user experience more friendly for both me and my team and our clients. And let me tell you, it’s the best tool we invest in.
While Dubsado is definitely more robust in terms of automating the entire workflow, I really don’t mind having more of a pulse on the client experience. What needs to be automated, Honeybook handles, and the templates make it super easy for everything else.
Now, here are three pretty big reasons why Honeybook is our fave investment:
- The amount of time that Honeybook saves us in drafting agreements and standard emails and sending invoices
- The time I have back not chasing after invoices because Honeybook charges recurring payments automatically (Dubsado doesn’t do this, and by the time I signed up for Honeybook I was pretty over chasing payments through PayPal invoices that I wasn’t interested in continuing to do so with Dubsado)
- The organization of having all of my client roster information and communication all in one place
Let me be clear. Both options are totally great options and one may work better for your business than the other. Great. Try them both out and listen to your gut. If Honeybook is where it’s at for you, sign up using this link and save 50% off your monthly or annual plan, courtesy of us.
So You Have the Tool… Now, Make It Work For Your Business
One of the biggest obstacles of introducing a new tool/app/system into your business is that it takes time to set up properly. The least ideal thing you could do is bring on Honeybook or Dubsado and not use it to its fullest potential. Tools are supposed to make your life EASIER, so let’s make sure you get it set up properly. Grab one of the next spots for a Rebel Office Work Party, specifically the Elevated Experience day. Together, we’ll sit down, get your CRM organized, build all of the assets you need (yep, those contracts, proposals, questionnaires, all of it) and make sure they’re all streamlined, setup and working FOR your business so you can finally start working smarter, not harder. Apply here for Elevated Experience and let’s get it done in a day.