- author: Alicia Schneider
HoneyBook is a venture-backed business management and CRM platform founded in 2013. It was envisioned as a solution to make business easier for creative entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries. It has largely accomplished that goal by building a platform with robust functionality without compromising on simplicity. It’s ideal for small businesses but medium-sized businesses on the lower end of the spectrum may still get value out of it. HoneyBook is also currently only available in the United States and Canada.
Plans & Pricing
HoneyBook has unique pricing among CRM solutions. Most of them charge you based on how many users you have, however, HoneyBook has flat pricing divided into a monthly and yearly subscription. Each plan comes with all features, a 7-day free trial, and account set up assistance.
The monthly plan costs $40/m and when you sign up, you get access to all of its features which include adding your branding, personal onboarding, an invoicing tool, access to the mobile app, lead tracking, and so much more.
The only difference between HoneyBook monthly and yearly is the price. The annual plan costs $400 a year which is a savings of $80 over the course of 12 months.
When compared to other CRM solutions on the market, HoneyBook is incredibly cheap. Other platforms charge per user and have pricing tiers that limit the number of features you can access. If you’re on a budget and have even a few members of your team using a different CRM, it’ll quickly become more expensive than HoneyBook.
Features and Functionality
HoneyBook is a feature-rich platform that’s tailored to the needs of creative entrepreneurs who provide services as opposed to products. You can perform many mission-critical activities such as send out proposals and track interactions with them, use a customized client portal, manage your business with a mobile app, and even process payments with the platform. The cloud deployment means it’s accessible at anytime from anywhere.
Lead tracking and management
HoneyBook gives you the ability to see where your leads are coming from which helps you double down on the channels that are working. You can even determine if a channel is producing leads that don’t turn into customers. Once a lead signs up, you can manage bookings, communications, organize signed contracts or sent proposals, and more.
The platform also has the ability to set up automated workflows to keep you on top of client communication and the necessary tasks that need to get done. Create automatic reminders, build task lists for projects, automate processes such as appointment requests, follow-ups, and thank yous.
HoneyBook has a number of contract templates which you can customize to fit your needs. Once you’ve tweaked them to match your situation, you can send them to clients directly from your account. Track when clients have looked at the contract and, since it supports electronic signing, you’ll know exactly when the deal has been sealed.
Invoicing and payments
The software also has an invoicing system that can be connected to proposals and signed contracts to create a seamless experience. Collect credit and debit cards or bank transfers, set up autopay, and send automatic payment reminders. You’ll be able to view all paid and pending invoices in your dashboard and take action accordingly.
Ease of Use
Due to the nature of the application, it can be overwhelming at first because of all the features. It combines the functionality of multiple tools into one so it takes a bit of getting used to. With that being said, it’s not difficult to understand how to use the application. When you first sign up, the team will help you set up your account and walk you through the major features so you don’t get lost.
The dashboard shows major menu items such as projects, tasks, invoices, calendar, and more so you can quickly perform the most important tasks or check your business’ health.
Contacts & Users
HoneyBook gives you the ability to add clients to your account in multiple ways. If you’re coming from a different solution, you can export your contacts from there and upload them via a CSV file. You also have the option of adding them manually, when you’re creating a project, or capturing them from your website with a form built in HoneyBook.
Additionally, you can connect platforms like Facebook and Zapier to route leads directly into your database and start following up with them. You can customize the information you collect from contacts and add private notes to keep track of interactions.
The sales pipeline features are organized under the project section of the application. You’re able to customize the stage to suit your needs and add as many as needed. There are a few stages that cannot be changed or deleted because they’re updated automatically by client actions such as signing a contract or paying an invoice. If you’ve used a different CRM with a sales focus then you’ll be familiar with the way pipelines work in HoneyBook.
Reporting & Integrations
HoneyBook gives you insights at various stages of the sales pipeline. It starts by showing you where leads were generated and how many. Drill down further to see the value of projects attributed to different lead sources. This lets you know your best channels so you can focus on them. It’ll also show the conversion rate and time to booked broken down by lead source.
It also has a monthly report that shows you the total number of booked projects, the number of files or proposals you sent, and your conversion rate. You can get more granular and see the value of projects booked, payments collected, and payments outstanding. Unfortunately, you’re unable to customize the default reports provided.
On the integration side, it has direct connections to Zapier, Quickbooks, Calendly, Gmail, and a few other solutions. It doesn’t have an accessible API but many of the integrations are used to make it easier to automate simple tasks or import data into HoneyBook.
Pros & Cons
- Send contracts and proposals from within the platform
- Automated reminders, appointment requests, and more for clients
- Concierge onboarding for new customers to ease the transition from another tool
- Robust training library and knowledge base
- Analytics are fairly basic
- Internal automation is relatively unsophisticated
- The mobile app is currently lacking many features of the desktop application
The consensus is clear. HoneyBook has a great support team that answers enquires quickly and with clear expertise. Most issues can be resolved with an article available in their support portal but if that’s not an option, they have chat support available for a good portion of the day.
Phone SupportIt’s available throughout the week but it’s only for billing issues.
Live Online ChatLive chat is available from 6 AM to 6 PM PST on weekdays and 8 AM to 5 PM on weekends.
Video TutorialsThere are many video tutorials available through the official support portal as well as on YouTube.
FAQIt has multiple FAQs on key website pages.
Community ForumIt maintains a forum that’s available for customers and non-customers that provides networking opportunities.
BlogIt has a well-maintained blog that shares company updates, customer success stories, and business tips.
HoneyBook is a solid platform to manage relationships with clients, generate leads, and ensure you get paid on time. There’s a clear focus on freelancers and service-oriented small business’ and it shows in its straightforward interface. It can be overwhelming because of the many things it does but If you stick with it, you’ll begin to appreciate it.
Build out custom workflows, create pipelines that match your business’ needs, create, send, and manage contracts, and even collect payments directly from your invoices. It has a limited integration ecosystem which is surprising for a CRM but it does connect to Zapier which is a plus. It has a low price point and, all things considered, it’s a solid solution for its target market.