There are so many low-cost time-saving tools that can be used by entrepreneurs, but which ones do YOU choose? Over the past few years, I have used many.
Goodness, I have wasted money in some instances because I wasn’t really sure what I would use the tool for, but someone else was using a particular tool and it worked soooo good for them, I was sure it would work for me. Usually this was not the case.
Have you have had this experience, too? ?
You are so excited that THIS will be the tool that will bring it home… it’s free or low-cost and will save you time (plus fit in the budget!). Only after you begin to use it, it’s not at all what you thought and you are back to square one.
So freaking draining – right?
I’ve done so many trials I can’t even count! ? Email marketing, websites, social media scheduling, graphic creation, financials, invoicing, organization.
While I could list every tool I use, or have used, I decided to narrow it down to the three tools I currently use that are low-cost AND save me time.
Who doesn’t want that?
So, here we go… the 3 tools I currently use that are low-cost AND time-saving!
The most comprehensive tool I use in my business is Dubsado. Seriously… this saves me so much time and energy it’s unbelievable. If you are running a business where you schedule appointments, create proposals, send contracts, send invoices, have monthly subscriptions (not memberships though), and would like to automatically send emails, this is for you!
I am able to automate much of my business using Dubsado through the use of workflows. Before Dubsado, I was using about 4 different “systems” to make my business work and would spend tons of time getting all the pieces in order before I even began work with a client.
Dubsado is the only software that can manage all your tedious business tasks while you spend your time maximizing your profits. I love automation and anything that can do this for me is a winner in my book! Dubsado does it all! No kidding! Let’s take a look…
1. SEND CONTRACTS WITHOUT ANY HASSLE
Thanks to Dubsado – the contract signing and management has become a lot easier. You can easily create a new contract proposal (or choose one from the available templates) and send the link over to the client for signing it digitally.
Dubsado will save the contract in your client’s record, and you’ll receive a notification as soon as the contract is signed. And… when the contract is signed, you can set up an email in your workflow to automatically send the invoice. When the invoice is signed, what else needs to happen? Dubsado can do that, too! (See #5 below)
2. LEAD TRACKING – NEED I SAY MORE?
Even if your client’s bucket list is full at the moment, you’ll want your connections active with the prospective clients for when the need arises in the future. Having leads in the sales funnel is essential, PERIOD.
All you have to do is to create your lead form on Dubsado and share the link. There are many applications that you can embed with Dubsado for this purpose, and the process is as simple as 1 2 3!
The lead management process on Dubsado can be entirely automated by using workflows. Whatever information or selection your potential lead makes on your lead form, Dubsado automatically sends the relevant emails and forms accordingly.
Boom! Done! I love it!
3. RECURRING INVOICES? OH YES!
Dubsado allows you automate recurring invoices. All you have to do is to set up the payment details on Dubsado, and it will take care of the rest. On the selected date, your client will receive an invoice, along with a payment button. You can set up the payment schedules for as many numbers of months or years as you want, and when the need arises discontinue them with a single click.
It’s not only you who benefit from the Dubsado automation, but your clients are equally on the receiving end. This software can be connected with PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
4. EVERYTHING IS IN ONE SPOT
Instead of your contract being on one system, your proposal in an email, your invoice in quickbooks, your questionnaire on google docs, everything is now housed under one roof.
Even if this is all Dubsado did, it would be worth it.
The headache of going back and forth between systems, and forgetting or losing stuff are now in the past. Dubsado allows me to literally keep 90% of everything I need for my client filed away (and organized amazingly) in my client project. That other 10% are my design files, etc.
5. CAN YOU SAY AUTOMATION?
Implementing Dubsado doesn’t cost much, but the benefits are manifolds. It’s just like hiring another employee to do the jobs for you, and that too without even making any mistakes. You can create workflows and automate almost everything using this tool – name the task, and you’ll find the solution in Dubsado. FOR REAL!
Sending the contract for signing; sending the payment invoices; setting up the automatic reminders and sending an appropriate message and/or email along; you’ve got it all covered in Dubsado.
This is the only CRM tool that allows maximum automation so that you can spend your precious time in the tasks that matter the most.
Your Investment is FREE for up to 3 clients, then it is $35/month. Totally worth it to check it out. You can use my affiliate link and get 20% off your first month.
My new (but old) favorite organizational tool. I say, old, because I had been using Trello for a while, and then got sidetracked by ClickUp (shiny object syndrome!). Not that I don’t like ClickUp, but it was a bit complicated and way more than I needed and I got “lost” in all the features.
Trello is quite a badass and I love that I can organize by entire business on one platform. Three main things I am using Trello for now are:
CRM stands for Client Relationship Management. I have a board for each client (that I make a copy from a template I have), I keep track of strategy sessions, project timelines, account information, calls. I also keep ongoing client information on this board, like links, hours, and other information I need to access regularly.
2. Business Operations & Systems
Everything about my business is on this board – or it is slowly getting there. I’m still working on getting this board going, but I can already see how useful it’s going to be. No more searching for systems, service details, images and content that pertain to JoLi Design Solutions, free opt ins I have going on, important email sequences for Mailerlite, my email marketing platform… it’s all under one “roof” and I am in love!
3. Blog Hub
This is an area of business that I am focusing on more. I have seriously been obsessed with writing valuable content and using Pinterest to grow my following/website traffic. I am keeping track of everything I write, and want to write on this board. Images, links, checklists… basically anything to do with my blog is housed here.
Trello is FREE to use forever! You can really do a lot with it, too. I have the lowest subscription and it does so much! There are a ton of resources and if you search Pinterest for help, you will definitely find it.
Example of my Business Binder board:
This one you may or may not be familiar with, but let me tell you, it’s the best thing since sliced bread! I was introduced to this note-taking system a few years ago and loved the idea of being able to customize my notes in a way that made sense to me. I’m able to categorize written copy, and now, as I begin 2020, I have turned my notebook into a planner!
Yes! All the talk I hear about planners has me on the search every year…. Maybe this will be the year I find one that works… and I have searched high and low for one that makes sense to me.
Well folks, this is the year. I have my neat, clean, uncluttered planner, PLUS can insert line, graph, plain, dotted paper to use for writing. It’s phenomenal. Now, I am just starting to use this, however, it’s already made my life easier. One place for planning and a birds eye view of my day, week, month and year.
I will transfer tasks and ideas to Trello but this is the place where it all starts.
Other Tools I Use
- Mailerlite (totally in love and it’s FREE)
- Google – all things Google!
That’s pretty much it. Going back to numero uno… Dubsado… it takes care of SO MANY tasks that I don’t have a need for many that other entrepreneurs use.
I have my domain and professional email with Google and am completely happy.
So many people get burnt out with the ins and outs of their business that they don’t find joy in it anymore. But I will say when you have a smart systems working for you, you can get back to truly enjoying your business.
What systems do you have in your business? Are they working for you?