2019 Dubsado Review

Dubsado Review for coaches, consultants, and service-based business owners.

If you've worked in the online business world over the past two years, you've probably heard "Dubsado" mentioned *a lot* when someone asks about a CRM, proposal, or contract solution.

As one of the most popular "go-to" solutions, you may be wondering if Dubsado is right for your business? Is it really the cure for all of the administrative ails in your business?

Here's my Dubsado review for 2019.

 

Proposals, Contracts, and Invoices


Dubsado allows you to build reusable form templates for contracts, sub-contracts, questionnaires, and proposals. The form template features work well, can incorporate specific details from an invoice or package, and will save you a significant amount of time if you write and send proposals/contracts frequently. Additionally, there is an optional layout feature you can use to automatically redirect clients that complete your proposal to sign the contract, then pay an invoice.

How I use this feature

I currently use Dubsado to send all of my proposals, contracts, and invoices for my setup/implementation sessions and packages. I've setup my proposal and contract templates to utilize as much of the package info as possible. So, when I apply a package to the project invoice those details are automatically added to the proposal and contract. This saves me a significant amount of time, and allows me to put a proposal together in 10 or 15 minutes. I also use the redirect features mentioned above, so my clients are able to complete the proposal, sign the contract, and pay the invoice as quickly as they'd like.

When I've seen it work best

These form/template features work best when you're writing a proposal with one specific scope of work or have pretty standardized services or package options. Do you have a few packages all of your prospects can choose from? Maybe you have several standard add-ons that can be included in project? If so, these templates will work well for you and will allow you to create your proposals more efficiently and get them in front of your potential clients quickly.

When it's not the right solution

The form/template features lose some of their time-saving benefits if you're creating customized package options for each proposal. So, if you want to give your potential client an option between a few packages you've custom built for them or you tend to rewrite a lot of your proposals each time you send one out, Dubsado is probably not the right solution for you. While you can definitely accomplish these things in Dubsado, it's going to be a bit more frustrating and not save you much (if any) time vs. writing a proposal in a Google Doc or using another proposal builder. Additionally, while you can make your proposals look professional in Dubsado, if you want pixel-level control over the design of your proposals, Dubsado is not the right solution for you.

 

Workflows and Automation


In Dubsado, you can build workflows that will automate system processes (like send an email/form/questionnaire) to happen after a specific event has occurred. For example, you can automatically send a link to your scheduler after someone completes your lead capture form or you can send a thank you email with your new client questionnaire immediately after your client has paid their first invoice. This is another feature that can save you a lot of time and works well when automating a very specific set of steps like kicking off the onboarding process for a new client or getting an approval on a design proof.

How I use this feature

I use this feature to automatically kickoff the onboarding process for my clients. Once they've paid their invoice, I use a workflow to automatically tag clients in Dubsado and send them an invitation to book their project kickoff call while putting together their welcome packet.

When I've seen it work best

This feature works best when you have a specific set of steps that can be accomplished within Dubsado--like sending a specific set of emails or forms. You may have to adjust a few of your processes so the workflows can work their automation magic, but it's definitely worth the time.

When it's not the right solution

If you have very specific workflows that can't be changed and/or you need the actions your client take in Dubsado to trigger an outside system, this is not the right solution for you. Dubsado does not currently play very well with other systems, and most Dubsado implementations I've worked on require some adjustment to established processes to enable the workflow automation to be incorporated.

 

Scheduler


One of the long-awaited Dubsado feature releases to make it a true "all-in-one" solution was their scheduler. And, while they make it very clear that their scheduler is still in *beta,* for most users of other online schedulers it leaves a lot to be desired. This feature allows you to set up multiple meeting types with different availability, allows you to add a link if you use an online meeting tool, integrates with your calendar to check your availability, and require a form and/or payment to be completed before booking. It has a good amount of functionality, but it's not quite the functionality I'm used to with my current online scheduler (Acuity).

How I use this feature

I don't. The functionality is too limited for me to switch from Acuity. More specifically, I love the flexibility and control I have over scheduling appointments as an administrator in Acuity, which is not currently available in Dubsado.

When I've seen it work best

If you're new to using an online scheduler, you'll likely be happy with the Dubsado scheduler. Also, if you don't have a need for a specific feature that's not available in Dubsado, the scheduler may work well for you. I've had clients and colleagues that have switched from other schedulers that have had no complaints.

When it's not the right solution

If utilize the follow-up email feature on a scheduler and want reminder emails to be sent to you/your team as well as the client, need your meeting software integrated (to create new meeting links for each appointment), or need to be able to easily move appointments around, cancel, and rescheudle things as an administrator, Dubsado's scheduler is not the right solution for you--yet.

 

CRM


Dubsado gets mentioned a lot in discussions about CRMs. One of it’s best features is that It allows you to break up your projects into leads or jobs then have multiple categories under leads and jobs on your Dashboard, which easily allows you to track leads through the proposal process. However, to use it as a full CRM to track, tag, sort, and manage your clients is a bit difficult. While there is an address book where you can store contact info, there's not currently an easy way to sort and filter your contact list to see where each contacts lives in the sales process.

How I use this feature

I use Dubsado to track the status of my proposals, and an Airtable base to track and categorize all of my contacts.

When I've seen it work best

If you have a short sales cycle and don't need to tag/categorize your contacts or simply need a way to track your clients through your onboarding and project processes, Dubsado is a good solution.

When it's not the right solution

If you need a fully-functional CRM to track correspondence, provide reporting, utilize multiple pipelines/sales funnels, and tag/categorize your contacts for easy filtering and sorting, Dubsado is not best option. Also, if you're using a current CRM that allows you to create a company then add multiple contacts to that company then assign them to jobs/deals, Dubsado is not the right solution.

 

Miscellaneous


Below are a couple of other notable features in Dubsado.

Online payments

This is a great feature. You can integrate a few payment processors (Stripe, Square, and PayPal) that will allow your clients to pay their invoices online by credit card, bank transfer, or ACH.

Multi-user

If you need to give other team members access to Dubsado, but don't want to share your login info, Dubsado has a multi-user feature that is perfect for you. You can invite multiple users and assign them specific user roles to control what they can and can't see. One thing to note, even if you have multiple users Dubsado will still only send emails from/to the email address you have integrated with the main account.

Time-tracking

Dubsado has a time-tracking feature that allows you and your team to track time and add it to an invoice. However, it’s a bit limited. Right now, you can't change the date of the tracked time or enter time for a previous day.

Support

The Dubsado support team is fantastic. They have a good response time and listen to their customers when it comes to developing new features.