What’s your typical workday like?
If you are a busy photographer, you’d probably wake up to a dozen “request for quote” emails, a few business contracts to put together, and some bookkeeping as well to make sure your finances are in order. To make matters worse, you have a couple of shoots lined up for the day, so everything else gets moved to the back burner. A typical cramped workday can lead to a few projects slipping through the cracks. But, what else can you do?
Well, you can get an efficient business management system.
17hats is one such platform that photographers have been raving about recently. With a “business of one” approach, it integrates all your workflow processes and components into one interface, so you won’t have to switch between a dozen windows for a single project. Let’s take a closer look.
17hats lead form
Assuming you already have your website set up and running like a well-oiled machine, you’d want your leads aggregated into a common platform that allows you to respond quickly. Mailboxes simply wont do for obvious reasons of inefficiency and complexity.
With 17hats you can custom-create lead generation forms and copy-paste the code on to your website. The leads generated through the form will then get imported into your 17hats platform. Since all your leads are aggregated into a single interface, you can look up details or perform specific actions, like sending a questionnaire, without spending precious minutes looking up contact information or general customer details. In short, one place for all your customer details.
After a lead comes through, you can follow-up with a quote, a standard response, a questionnaire, or pretty much anything that is part of your workflow. Every step of your workflow gets recorded, so you can keep track of your projects and deadlines for action items.
Easy workflow tools
17hats has easy-to-use tools to help you create quotes, invoices, questionnaires, and contracts. The best part is you can create, for example, a questionnaire once and save it as a template that can be used for similar projects in future. All of the features are intuitive, so it takes just a couple of minutes for a new user to figure out how to execute standard workflow items.
You can also introduce a certain amount of automation. For example, you can send an automated invoice or the contract, for example, as soon as the customer signs off on the quote. This can save you a lot of time, in addition to making sure your response to every customer contact is timely.
Templates and customization
When you create a quote, an agreement, or so on, you’d also need cover emails. 17hats has a pretty useful list of readymade templates that you can directly use, or you can choose to create your own templates and save them, so you can personalize them later.
Even quotes and invoices can be saved as templates that can either be sent as-is or customized to address specific customer deliverables.
You can also set up workflows for each project, and define action items and deadlines, so you can stay on top of things and make sure you’re sticking to the deadlines.
Apart from this, you have bookkeeping integrated into the system so you can manage your invoices and cash flows. You can link your bank account to effortless manage bills, budgets, payments, and so on. You can also sync your calendar, assign to-do items, and even link your email account to receive alerts and notifications.
Simplicity and ease of use
17hats has an aesthetically pleasing interface, which is also extremely easy to use. Besides, there are training webinars that can shorten the learning curve. Setting up an account is simple, and managing it is even more so—including integrations with other customer contact points like your website and business mailbox. Plus, if you ever have issues with the system, 17hats’ support is highly efficient and responsive—they even have a voting system to decide on new feature integrations.
So, let’s see if your typical workday can get a lot simpler and easier with 17hats:
- Lead generation and aggregation – Check
- Lead conversion with a quick quote (template or customized) – Check
- Automated contracts or invoices to follow-up an accepted quote – Check
- Setting up a project workflow, blocking your calender, setting action items and deadlines – Check
- Alerts and reminders to ensure your project is on track – Check
- Follow-up questionnaires and thank you mails to the customer – Check
- Efficient bookkeeping for all your projects – Check
- Saving several precious hours on repetitive processes – Double Check
Plans start at $13 or 800INR per month, plus there is a free trial so you can check out the system before you invest into it.