This week I’m here to tell you all about Dubsado and why you should be using it.
If you haven’t heard, Dubsado is, in their words, used to “…manage projects, build client relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to automate the entire process. Dubsado is a business management platform built to save you time and grow your business.” In my words, it’s my business lifeline. Wander Design Co. is a boutique studio that demands fluidity and ease when it comes to administrative tasks and CRM. It’s the veins that connect to the heart of my business, and Wander wouldn’t have its seamless client-onboarding process without it.
From the beginning of the Dubsado user experience, you know you’re taken care of. Despite Dubsado’s growth, you can still tell it was started by two people who knew what freelancers and entrepreneurs needed and what the industry was lacking. Started by serious power-couple Becca & Jake, Dubsado has grown from two founders to a 30 person employee family – and I emphasize ‘family’ because you can feel it. You can get to know them here or during a Dubsado intro webinar.
First thing’s first: the money. Yes, you have to pay to use Dubsado, but you don’t have to pay right away. You don’t even technically have to pay after one week. Or 30 days. Or three months. Dubsado lets you create three projects (read: clients/jobs) for free before you commit to paying for the service. And when you commit, there’s no sticker shock:
$35/month is a bang for your buck when you’re able to streamline your workflow and integrate every part of your process. The only additional costs in Dubsado occur when you add a brand (+$10/month) or add more than three user access accounts (+$25/month). So there’s no “Upgrade to Premium!” for more features, and no one’s trying to make you feel cheap or cheated from the full experience. Dubsado clearly believes that, no matter how big your business is or how infrequently you log in, your experience is just as valuable as everyone else’s. That’s refreshing in a world of upselling and priced features.
When you log in to Dubsado, you’re taken to your dashboard which has three focus points at the top: Financial Goals, Open Invoices, and Revenue Indicator, because this is your business and you’re making money! You’re able to tell that the company is still rooted in their mission: to make your life easier. They’re not trying to convince you to change a certain system to cater to theirs, and they’re not demanding you use all of the features of the platform. They’re just… there for you.
The biggest relief that Dubsado provides is eliminating the daily administrative tasks, so you have more time to a) work on your business and b) live your life. The platform does this in several ways. For starters, they provide templates for you that are designed to streamline your manual business tasks. They have five different ‘forms’ that are templates, yet completely customizable: contracts, sub-agreements, questionnaires, proposals, and lead captures.
The contracts and the sub-agreements are all legally binding documents. These documents require a signature, they have initial fields, and they are locked once they are signed electronically, Dubsado also stores the IP address for any legally binding reasons. You’ll find that these forms free up your time without compromising any detail. There is also never, ever any duo branding. It’s all about your business, all of the time.
As a user, you’re able to choose from Dubsado’s contract templates and edit them as necessary (your color palette, your logo(s), your design) or upload your own. This is true for all of the ‘form’ sections. Dubsado also offers generated smart fields that auto-populate when you’re communicating with clients. They have an array of smart fields that you can choose from that are commonly used in freelance business communication, and they also allow you to create your own and, yes, you can integrate them into your canned emails as well. Once you have your templates, you can continue to customize it once you apply it to a particular project without editing the original template. This means there is no double-backing or unnecessary repetition in your workflow when customizing.
The ‘Proposal’ forms allow you to attach packages that clients can choose from, as well as a la carte options for clients to add on (with minimums and maximums). This isn’t a mandatory part of the proposal forms, but it’s a perk. You also have the ability to add on a contract, and when the contract comes back signed, an invoice will automatically generate. This might not be the right workflow for every client, but it sure is a nice option to have and slashes a considerable amount of admin work.
Your ‘Lead Capture’ forms are essentially your contact form. I use this on my website and have a workflow attached, so every form entry receives an automated response from me saying “Thanks!” and when they can expect a more detailed response from me. You can easily embed this into your website, and when a potential client fills it out, Dubsado automatically generates a new lead capture or project. You can finally say goodbye to manually inputting clients (if you want to).
Because not all leads come from your website, Dubsado also generates a direct link that you can use in your social media profiles, messages or texts. If you’re someone who likes to nerd out to lead sources (who doesn’t?), you can check out the ways that Dubsado generates this for you. They break down your lead capture sources (Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) in both graphs and pie charts.
When it comes to taking payment, Dubsado integrates with three platforms: Stripe, PayPal and Square. If a payment comes through and it’s not one of those three (such as Venmo, check, etc.) you’re able to manually apply the payment to invoices. To further free you up, you’re able to create payment schedules and reoccurring invoices. If you use Stripe, like I do, your client (and you) have the luxury of setting up auto-pay! This has been significantly beneficial for my retainer clients. This is an option that is chosen by the client and is only outward facing on the invoice, but you will be notified if they choose auto-pay (cue the sigh of relief).
The invoices through Dubsado are also living documents, meaning you can update them when clients make payments, whether it’s payment up front or particular milestones. If changing your invoice method over to Dubsado makes you anxious, don’t worry – you don’t have to. You can still get all of the other perks while leaving some other systems in place. Additionally, if you use Dubsado to keep track of your business financials (another seamless process), you can integrate Quickbooks and the platform even automatically generates a business profits/loss sheet. Taxes just got a little bit less stressful.
When it comes to tasks and daily reminders, Dubsado does that, too. They integrate calendars from just about every platform, and they don’t have to go both ways: i.e., you can have our family calendar on your work calendar, but your work calendar doesn’t have to show up on your family calendar. Their ‘Tasks’ mirrors Asana and Trello with a little less color. Again, the people of Dubsado always make it clear that if you have a system that you don’t want to change, you don’t have to.
Dubsado has helped me streamline my entire workflow and client process, and there is no doubt that it has been a pillar for business growth at Wander Design Co. If you’re thinking about making the leap, know that they are there to answer all questions. There’s an hour-long webinar to take that covers all of the basics, as well as bite-sized learning videos and 1:1 support to schedule if you need it. If Dubsado sounds tempting but you’re dreading the idea of transferring everything from your current CRM – don’t worry about it. They do that for you, too.
So try it out for free up to 3 clients. And if you sign up with my affiliate link, you’ll get 20% off your first paid month. Don’t forget to tell me how much you love it by emailing me or messaging me on Instagram!