In order to be successful, a business owner has to be organized throughout the process of working with clients. If you’re running your own business, that means a lot of time spent tracking all those administrative tasks such as drafting contract templates or preparing scope of work templates, keeping clients happy, and ensuring your invoice templates get paid.
An online, all-in-one business management platform can make that work a lot easier, while keeping you organized and ensuring you look professional.
One popular platform is HoneyBook, which provides cohesive management of every aspect of your business. It enables you to work with clients throughout the process, from an inquiry that serves as a new lead through to booking to project completion. It has invoices, contracts and project management features that are integrated.
HoneyBook is one good option, but may not be best for your freelance business. There are HoneyBook alternatives on the market that can support your work and provide different features and pricing.
Here’s a list of 10 great alternatives to HoneyBook, one of which could be the best solution for your business.
Bonsai has a product suite that’s designed for freelancers, with a full slate of tasks related to running a freelance business. That makes it the perfect HoneyBook alternative. Each of the products are integrated, and provide templates to get you started, with the ability to customize for your needs. You can prepare and send proposals and contracts, including the ability for e-signatures (using our online signature maker) to make it official.
Those are then integrated with invoices and project management, so you can view each of your projects and know exactly where you are with all your work. You can also use it for time tracking, task management, and bonus features like automatic reminders to clients, as well as support for accounting and taxes. Bonsai supports 180 different currencies, ideal for the freelancer who wants to work internationally.
To date, the Bonsai suite has been trusted by more than 200,000 freelancers and agencies - go ahead and sign up for a free trial today!
Dubsado is a popular business management solution with features that help freelancers handle contracts, invoices and workflow. Manage clients by communicating with them from your own email address, but with Dubsado’s custom forms, contracts and invoices. Book appointments with clients and connect your email to your calendar and payment processor to ensure your system is integrated. You can also create payment schedules and send automatic reminders. Use the system to custom design forms with your brand, and build a client portal to make life easier for your clients. Watch your finances grow as you track leads, generate reports, and set financial goals with this HoneyBook alternative.
Since an entrepreneur wears so many different hats, this system has a name that rings true for freelancers. 17hats brings together integrated calendars, contacts, and invoices in one place, making it easy to run your business. Paperwork becomes paperless with an online system that’s easy for you and your clients. Use it to track leads, coordinate bookings, create quotes, contracts, and invoices, and fulfill tasks with a project management system. You’ll also be able to monitor the progress of your company with at-a-glance financial details, tracking your results by job, month, or quarter.
Insightly is a CRM platform that also provides a range of functionality and integration to support your business, with marketing, sales and project management tools in one place. It’s particularly useful for freelancers who have a team. You can use it to manage a sales force, by distributing leads to sales reps, sending tracked emails to prospects, and managing sales opportunities. You can also use it for project management, and connect to tools you already use, like Office 365 or Google Apps.
This is another platform that’s ideal for freelancers and a great HoneyBook alternative, because Plutio has multiple integrated features perfect for those managing their own business. You can use it to manage projects, track your time, and send invoices. Create proposals and contracts using a drag-and-drop tool that’s easy to figure out. You can track when proposals and contracts are opened and signed, and when invoices are opened, providing clients with multiple payment options and easy online payment integration. The CRM component is also powerful, helping you build and track relationships with clients.
This system is powerful if you work with teams and you’re not in the same location. Monday will support marketing and sales, but also has project management tools, workflow, and the ability to manage a remote team. If you’re building an agency and want to collaborate with other freelancers, Monday has the tools you’ll need.
If you’re a freelance photographer, StudioNinja is made specifically to suit your needs. In fact, its user interface is praised by photographers and videographers for its simplicity in setup and use. You can use it to convert leads and enquiries into sales, and then manage them in a workflow system. For enquiries through your website, the system sets up a series of trigger emails. Track progress on jobs, automatically send emails, contracts and questionnaires to clients, and use it for quotes, contracts and invoices. You can also set a payment system and generate reporting to make tax time easy.
Considered a top client management system for photographers and other creative freelancers, Bloom has a suite of products that help creative types handle those administrative tasks that take time away from creative pursuits. It's one of the great HoneyBook alternatives. The workflow system makes it simple to track tasks and projects, the integrated invoicing software makes it simple to send invoices and process payments, and a powerful calendar system makes life easy for your clients.
By getting a link to your Bloom calendar, clients can book appointments when you’re available, making it simple for them to sync their calendar with yours. You even embed an event planner link in a contract to make it simple to onboard new clients. Then you can sync the Bloom calendar with Google and iCal to make it easy to manage your work and personal life. This and other slick features make Bloom a good alternative to HoneyBook for creative freelancers.
Another system designed for photographers, Tave is easy to use for any type of creative freelancer. It will help with your business processes, organize workflow and more. You can automate it to send invoice reminders and other inquiries, prepare calendars and to-do lists, and track client communication with emails, quotes, contracts, questionnaires and invoices. It offers e-signature for contracts, connects to payment gateways, and provides advanced tax reporting. Customize your client-facing communication with your brand.
Keap is a CRM and sales and marketing tool with many similar features to HoneyBook, and ideal for a service-based freelance business. Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) supports your efforts to acquire new leads, including website capture, and then track and manage them. It allows you to create a repeatable sales process and build marketing campaigns, collect client information, send branded invoices, and even set up recurring payments.
Do you want to get started with Bonsai, the best HoneyBook alternative? You can sign up for a free trial - no strings attached - and explore the powers of Bonsai to transform how you run your freelance business.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?