I have recently had the opportunity to try out 17hats – not only as a CRM but as a complete solution for the solopreneur regarding managing clients, projects and finances, and I have to say, I love it!
A CRM is only as good as the person using it!
In my quest for the ultimate CRM, I have found that 17hats is by far the best yet for companies where collaboration is not required. 17hats is a single sign-on system and so can only be used by one user, if a collaboration platform is what you need, this is not for you!
The system suits businesses such as photographers, web designers, graphic designers, coaches, consultants, freelancers- in fact, any business type where there is a requirement to quote, send a contract and manage a project. It will suit other businesses too, but these are the types that will get the most “bang for buck”.
The interface is exceptionally easy to use, with no complicated menus – simplicity being the primary aim of the system, and the chosen font scheme makes it very easy on the eyes and less intimidating to those not familiar with these types of system.
The system allows you to add leads, either manually or by adding a form to your website or other pages (works fantastic on your Facebook page) and then follow that lead through to conversion, and completion of a project with invoicing and payment solutions added in. While the system does house a simple to use accounting set up, it is not as robust as an accounting solution like QuickBooks for things like reporting and analyzing or complicated transactions like split payments. However it gives you all the basics to get you started and now integrates with QuickBooks so you can invoice through 17hats still.
17hats is packed full of valuable added extras that I am in love with such as the questionnaire feature that allows you to send inquiries to your client and monitor the progress and return of those inquiries. Questionnaires can be used for things like information gathering ahead of a project, feedback on completion of a project, or client to-do lists where you want to give your customer some accountability. The questionnaires integrate with the 17hats calendar so you can see when they are due back and chase up as necessary.
The system comes with many pre-designed templates for your use, such as contracts, invoices, e-mail templates, all of which are easily tailored to suit your business. Logos are easily uploaded, and present on everything you send to your customer and there are many backgrounds to choose from to make 17hats seem more like a part of your business that a stand-alone application.
Pricing in my opinion for what they system does is fantastic, especially if you make a commitment and purchase a two-year plan up front which comes in at $13 USD per month. Listed below is everything the system will do for you, with many of these features able to be automated.
- Accept credit cards
- To do Lists
- Time Tracking
- E-mail sync
- Lead Capture
The system has an easy to use help feature where you type in the keywords or question you are looking for help with. The system will then load previous posts from other users that may contain the answers you are looking for and if not you have the option to submit your question to 17hats, and they get back to you usually within 24 hours. 17hats are also continuously looking for feedback on what to enhance or develop next and within the help area has a link for “help us decide what to add next”, so you feel like the team is listening to their customers.
Overall I am supremely impressed with the ease of use, bang for buck and many tools that this system provides. If you want to know more 17hats will provide more information, or if you are a Canadian User, pop over to the 17hats Canadian user group on Facebook and see how other small business owners are making the most of this system!