Small business owners, freelancers and solo entrepreneurs undoubtedly need a solid software solution to organize the chaos in client relationship management and workflows. Using such tools makes drafting agreement templates, or preparing quotation templates and invoice templates much easier. While the market offers a number of viable options, it can be quite challenging to select the right platform for your needs.
You need to take into consideration the exact features that will suit your particular business management processes. Naturally, it depends on the field in which you’re working and the volume of clients you can take. Once you’ve determined what sort of solution can be a good fit for you, it’s time to compare the offers on the market.
Some of the popular options for small businesses and solopreneurs are HoneyBook and 17hats. In order to assist you in your choice, here is a thorough comparison of the two platforms. You can find detailed information about their features and pricing in the sections below.
HoneyBook defines its tool as client management software for small businesses. It is particularly targeted at creative entrepreneurs. HoneyBook is currently available only in the U.S. and Canada.
On the other hand, 17hats is positioned as a suite of business tools for solopreneurs.
Here is a checklist of the features and pricing for both platforms, which will give you a quick overview of what you can get done with each of them.
While both HoneyBook and 17hats are focused on booking coordination, contract signing, invoicing and online payments, 17hats clearly boasts more features. The additional ones that it has (and HoneyBook doesn’t) are targeted at lead generation and client relations, as well as at time management.
You can explore the advantages and disadvantages of the two platforms in the sections that follow.
HoneyBook has minimalistic design and a smooth interface. Here is how its features fared in our assessment.
The goal of HoneyBook is to help creative entrepreneurs focus on their creative tasks, rather than get bogged down in administrative ones. That’s why it aims to make the process of creating contracts, sharing them with clients, and getting them signed simple. The platform’s professional-looking contract templates contain all necessary legal information, so you need to input manually very few details. When you send the contract via HoneyBook, the clients can easily spot where they need to sign. You get notifications when they have reviewed and signed the document.
With HoneyBook, you can bring automation in your client relationships with ease and deliver timely and consistent communication. You can automate appointment requests, follow-up emails and thank-yous. In the project’s space in the platform, you can create to-do lists and tasks reminders, and set up automatic payment notifications.
HoneyBook connects with Gmail and Google Calendar, which is a great plus. This allows you to streamline your communication efforts, as well as to easily schedule appointments. It also integrates with QuickBooks for further accounting support. The Zapier integration, additionally, allows you to connect HoneyBook with many other tools and automate actions seamlessly.
HoneyBook proves to be a great solution for creative professionals. It is applicable in other sectors as well, but it lacks some important functionalities such as time tracking and task management. They would make it an all-round platform for a larger scope of businesses.
17hats is an all-round suite of business tools for solo entrepreneurs, and it lives up to the expectations in terms of richness of features.
With 17hats, you can easily run a couple of projects at the same time. You get an overview of the status of each project. You can filter the project dashboard according to leads, active projects and archived ones.
You can create lead inquiry forms straight in the platform, and then embed them in your website. Once you get an inquiry, the tool can send an automatic initial answer. It will also warn you that there’s a potential lead and will store the collected information from the inquiry.
The time tracking capability is certainly one of the best perks of 17hats. The built-in timer can automatically note the hours you’ve dedicated to a certain project and task. Then on the basis of tracked time, you can issue correct invoices to your clients, as well as keep track of your projects’ profitability.
It can be a bit difficult to get started with 17hats because of its numerous features and options. The design and user interface can be updated to make the onboarding and overall experience easier.
Both platforms fare more or less at the same level in terms of quality and features. HoneyBook is definitely the better solution for creative professionals, while 17hats has a broader range of potential users and boasts a more extended list of features.
It’s not by chance that Bonsai has been dubbed the number one freelance product suite. It’s tailored to meet the administrative and client management needs of solo professionals, making it the best choice whether your choosing between HoneyBook vs 17hats or not.
Bonsai helps you manage efficiently and easily the preparation and sending of client proposals, as well as of contracts. It also boasts time tracking, project management features and client CRM. Handling invoices is quick, and you can get payments in 180 currencies. Bonsai also supports your freelance business with accounting and taxes features.
You can get started with Bonsai today by signing up for a free trial and explore how it can boost your work.
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?