SimpleMarkup #177 – All-in-One Biz

When I first started freelancing and opened Pikko’s House in 2014, I felt very much alone, with only my bare website, a couple of clients, and haphazard recordkeeping.

Fast-forward seven years to 2021, and I’m now on Project #0834, with #0835 about to be signed. I started the year at Project #0796, so needless to say, things are moving at a breakneck pace.

I eventually started a monster of an Excel sheet to keep track of things, but really what I needed was a CRM, or a Customer Relationship Management system. I used to use 17Hats, and although it did the job, there were so many limitations to it because it was originally made for photographers.

Last October, I moved my business database to Dubsado, and I’ve been very happy since. I can now sign, bill, and manage my projects all from one system, and my clients only really need to look at one portal now instead of three (or was it four?). Everything is cleaner, more professional, and smoother. These are all things I need given how crazy busy running Pikko’s House is today.

This week’s comic isn’t really a funny one, but it does highlight one of the stigmas that surrounds freelance professionals. After all, we’re just working on our own, how hard can it be, right?

Really hard, actually. We freelance business owners have to take care of everything, and sometimes investing in a really smooth CRM and a virtual assistant can be the difference between success and a straitjacket.

So in December, I finally found a virtual assistant and set my mind toward turning more tasks over, toward letting things go and accepting that I don’t really need to do everything. She’s not my first, but she’s the first that I’ve offloaded so many tasks to, and boy, is it nice to be able to breathe again.

Dubsado turns five years old this month, and they’re celebrating their birthday with a giveaway. Like any CRM, there are minor quirks I would love to see fixed, but overall, it’s an amazing product and well worth the cost.

Having a comprehensive set of information on your business and projects is invaluable. And trust me, once your business starts getting busy, going back and adding all of your projects into a system is a serious PITA. It’s better to start now and invest in something that will allow you to study yourself later to find out where you’re doing the most business.

Have a great rest of your week!

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