10 Things I Love About 17hats
25 September 2020
If you’re an online business owner or agency owner, there’s no doubt you’re familiar with the concept of “wearing many hats”. I’m sure you’re also aware that there are a plethora of tech and automation tools on the market designed to make your life as a business owner a little easier.
In a previous blog, I wrote about Productivity Stacks and addressed the role CRM tools play in streamlining the backend of your business. With my 17hats subscription coming up for renewal soon, I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’ve noticed so much chatter in the online business world about the benefits of Dubsado and Honeybook that I wanted to really look at all my options before deciding whether or not to renew.
I won’t keep you hanging … I’ve decided to stick with 17hats for two more years (at least). I couldn’t help but notice that this is far from the “popular” choice, despite all the great features 17hats offers. In all the research I’ve done, I’ve had a hard time finding a comprehensive review that really does 17hats justice. So here we are!
Without further ado, these are the top ten reasons I’m sticking with 17hats.
This is hands-down the most awesome thing that no other CRM handles as well, IMO. 17hats syncs with my business bank account, credit card(s), Stripe, PayPal … all the accounts I need. Every transaction is brought in and I can categorize each one in seconds. No need to manually enter expenses. No need for the added cost or hassle of QuickBooks. To be clear, the 17hats bookkeeping feature is pretty bare bones. The day will likely come when I need to graduate to QuickBooks, but when I do, 17hats will integrate with it nicely.
Interestingly, a designer friend recently mentioned that she discovered a fraudulent $1,000 charge on a business PayPal account that had been inactive for a while. She credited the 17hats bookkeeping feature for discovering the charge so quickly!
Additional Note: At this time, Honeybook appears to be in the process of rolling out a bank account sync feature, but I don’t have access to it in my trial so I can’t test it out.
One of the other reasons I chose 17hats over Dubsado was the calendar set up. I loved how 17hats allowed me to sync multiple calendars and chose my own colors to differentiate them. I guess it’s because I’m so used to my Google Calendar. I really like having this flexibility.
This is another user interface/preference thing, but I really like how 17hats has their left-side menu setup. There is room for improvement in some areas, but compared to some of the other CRM set ups, this one just works for me. I’m able to get the info I need most often in fewer clicks and with less digging.
17hats took me some getting used to at first, but I find it to be simple and intuitive. You can absolutely create professional looking branded quotes, forms, client portals, questionnaires, and invoices. But you can not customize those with lots of fancy graphics or CSS like you can with Dubsado. I’ve not compared the workflow options/triggers of all the CRM options side by side. It’s possible 17hats might be less customizable there as well, but there's nothing I’ve needed to do in a workflow that I’ve not been able to do. For me and my business needs, this is one situation where less is more!
This is a fairly new feature that I’m pretty excited about! I use a project management tool to keep the steps and processes for complicated projects (mine and my clients) organized and trackable by the whole team. But now I’ve just moved all of my back-end, client management and business maintenance tasks right into 17hats. I created one project for my own business and called it “recurring tasks” and this is where I list my daily, weekly, or monthly recurring tasks. Things like “Pull P&L Report” at the end of the month or “Balance books”. I’ve given this project its own 17hats calendar with its own color coding so it’s easy to see my internal tasks from my client tasks and meetings, etc.
In general, CRMs are not the best at project management due to extremely limited features, but for basic, internal, project/task management, this small addition has made 17hats even better!
Up to 5 Users Included
With my subscription, I can add up to 5 users at no cost and specify what level access each person gets. It’s not perfect, but there are ways to tag/assign users to tasks or calendar events as well to use this as a basic PM system.
I can manage multiple brands from one account, with one log in, at no extra cost.
Template Sharing Between Accounts or Brands
Once you’ve gotten your templates all set up, you can easily share them to clients, friends, or your other brands! Why recreate the wheel?
Yes, there is a Zoom integration and a Zapier integration. There is also a QuickBooks integration and some others that are targeted specifically for photographers. But the one I’m most looking forward to trying is the Greetabl integration. It looks like the gift options are fairly limited but I love the idea of adding a gift workflow for new clients or client birthdays!
Time Tracking Settings
I didn’t realize how advanced 17hats’ time tracking features were until someone posted in a group recently looking for a very specific time tracking requirement. Her client needed a tool that could round down to the nearest 5 mins. I quickly checked the options and replied to let her know that 17hats could do it! The time tracking and invoicing process in 17hats is so seamless. I love it!
Note: I see that when you have a team working in one 17hats account you may need to use another option to track time. It seems only one tracker per account can run at a time. In most cases when you have a team, it’s likely you’re using a more robust project management tool that will likely have timetracking features.
Other features worth mentioning:
Support is great. I feel like I know some of these folks personally.
(#Shoutout to @Jeff who is awesome at answering bookkeepping questions and helping with syncing issues!)
- Yes, there is a scheduler feature and it works just like all the others.
- There are field tokens that allow for automatic customization of contracts, emails, etc. based on project/client.
- There is a client portal.
- There are custom field options.
- There is a marketplace where you can browse and purchase templates (although I feel it’s pretty limited).
- There are customizable Lifecycles, which is more or less like a sales pipeline.
- Leads and Contact/Clients are kept seperate.
- There is a 7-day free trial. They also have a 30-day guarantee so you can try it out longer risk-free.
17hats University - all the training you need to use 17hats successfully!
In a Nutshell
17hats is not the most elegant business management solution out there, nor is it the most robust for customization. However, what it lacks in extra-fancy branding abilities it more than makes up for in convenient, easy to use features. Easier to use than Dubsado, but with some essential elements that both Dubsado and Honeybook are missing, I think 17hats doesn’t get the love it deserves in the online business world.
With a month-to-month rate of $45, 17hats comes off as pretty pricey ($5 more per month than Honeybook). However, when you consider the annual plan at $295, it’s more affordable than both Dubsado ($350) and Honeybook ($400). Not to mention, the built-in bookkeeping features mean you don’t need to pay for a bookkeeping tool unless you really need something more sofiticated.
If you purchase a two-year plan, the price is $395, which comes out to $17 per month, which is the best I’ve seen. EVEN BETTER … if you use my referral code, you can take advantage of the BOGO offer and get two years for $300 or $12.50 per month! I do get a little bonus as well, which is really appreciated!
If you’re interested in learning more, I’d be happy to answer questions. I’m far from a 17hats expert, but I’ve spent a good deal of time on many platforms and have plenty of insight when it comes to choosing the best one for your needs. I have clients for whom Dubsado makes the most sense, so I’ve set up systems for them there as well. I love different aspects of every tool out there, but for myself and my business, I’ve learned 17hats has some features I just can’t live without!