What is HoneyBook and who should use it?

Man on his laptop using HoneyBook for independent business

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform that provides a variety of small business tools. It’s used for overall business management and can support different types of independent businesses. Learn more about how all types of businesses use HoneyBook. 

Man on his laptop using HoneyBook for independent business

Every independent business owner knows that managing the growth of your business and meeting customer demand quickly is essential to long-term success. No matter how small your team may be (it may just be you!), delivering the same quality of services as you scale up your business can create a number of challenges.

So how do you juggle the demands and requirements of a growing small business, continuing to innovate, and ensuring clients receive a consistent experience?  

The best solution is a clientflow management platform, and HoneyBook is the leading option for independent businesses. Regardless of business type, HoneyBook is used for streamlining all of your client interactions as well as the work that goes into providing excellent services. 

With HoneyBook, you get multiple business tools in one platform: 

  • Workflow automation – Automating and completing repetitive tasks to free up your time for more important duties
  • Bookkeeping and invoicing – Invoice your clients, collect payments, and track your revenue and sales
  • Meeting scheduling – Manage your business calendar and let clients schedule consultations, sessions, meetings, and more
  • Online payment processing – Process secure transactions and allow clients to use a variety of payment methods to improve user experience
  • Communications – Use a single, efficient platform for communicating with team members, clients, potential leads, and collaborators
  • Contract management – Generate, sign, and store professional and legal contracts that are necessary for your small business operations
  • Template creation and management– Along with invoices and contracts, access file templates for each step of your clientflow, including sales, client onboarding, project closure, and more

These are just a few of the features that can help you manage your small business with HoneyBook. Let’s look more into detail at some of the small business industries that benefit from HoneyBook.

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Centralize your client management

Capture leads, sell services, manage projects, and nurture client relationships from one platform.  All that and more with HoneyBook.

HoneyBook for marketing providers: Designers, copywriters, social media managers, etc.

Marketing is an expansive industry that includes fractional CMOs, social media consultants, SEO agencies, web designers, and more. Nearly every type of business needs some type of marketing support, so these businesses are in a lucrative niche. 

However, freelancers and business owners in this market often find themselves competing with a crowded market as well as corporate teams. This means staying organized and providing quality services is essential for smaller firms and individuals to continue finding and landing contracts.

So how can you use HoneyBook to help your marketing business compete?

  • Proposals and scoping– As a marketing provider, you often need to take a hands-on approach to scoping projects with your clients. With HoneyBook, you can use editable proposal templates that allow you to include your services and contracts, which you can review with clients until you reach an agreed-upon scope. 
  • Invoicing and payments – Custom HoneyBook invoices allow you to create professional, detailed bills for clients that also include payment processing. HoneyBook invoices give you worthwhile features like custom payment schedules, recurring billing, auto-pay, and automatic payment reminders. Once you send an invoice, you can track paid, upcoming and overdue payments in one place. 
  • Scheduling and client communication– Scheduling is essential for coordinating meetings, kick-off calls, and check-ins with clients or business partners. HoneyBook’s online meeting scheduler lets you set your availability for specific types of meetings or sessions, eliminating back and forth when it comes to finding the best time to connect. You can also manage all of your client communication in one place via email and SMS, and even track when your messages are read. 
  • Automation – In any small business, process automation is part of how you’ll be able to grow your business. HoneyBook can help you automate your busy work so you can focus on more important tasks.  
HoneyBook consultant invoice
Example of a HoneyBook consultant invoice on mobile

HoneyBook for creative entrepreneurs: Artists, graphic designers, decorators, photographers, etc. 

One of the main attractions of being a creative professional is the chance to set your own hours and make your own decisions while doing a job you truly love. 

Whether you are a photographer catching memorable moments, a designer helping shape the inside of a home, or an artist looking to bring your work to a wider audience, creative professionals thrive off freedom from the typical business life. 

However, small business owners working in this space often find the flexibility and ability to create what they love can be overshadowed by the tedious needs of maintaining the books and handling business logistics. This is where HoneyBook can help — by opting for a suite of smart tools for small businesses, you can focus on the part of the work you love while letting the platform take care of the details. For example:

  • Lead tracking – Undoubtedly, you’re getting interest in your work from all different channels like Instagram, Facebook, your website, word of mouth, and more. It’s amazing, but if you don’t have a place to funnel leads and follow up with them, they might as well not exist. HoneyBook’s lead management enables you to capture leads and understand where they’re coming from. You can also use automations to reply to inquiries faster.
  • Sales collateral – Selling services often means selling yourself. You’ll likely need a sleek, convenient, and digital method to showcase your work and book clients. HoneyBook’s interactive file templates let you create beautifully branded brochures, pricing guides, and proposals. With endless customization, you can create all different types of sales files to suit your needs.
  • Invoicing, payment processing, and bookkeeping– Make it easy on yourself, your accountant, or your bookkeeper by collecting all of your sales, invoices, and expenses in a single system. HoneyBook also integrates with QuickBooks so that you can sync your HoneyBook payments with all your other accounting data. 
Wedding photography brochure inside HoneyBook
Wedding photography brochure inside HoneyBook

HoneyBook for business service providers: Business coaches, virtual assistants, consultants, etc.

Even in the world of big corporations, there’s still an ecosystem of small business professionals who provide the essential services needed to support large organizations’ operations. From virtual assistants to consultants and business coaches, many individuals have found success and increased demand for niche services that corporations prefer to outsource and hire on a per-contract basis.

Whether you’re working for corporations or other small businesses, business service providers need to be organized and professional to meet clients’ expectations. The best way to help ensure this happens for your business is to HoneyBook’s clientflow platform and these helpful tools:

  • Qualification For business service providers, it’s important to make sure you and your clients are a good fit. After all, your projects are entirely relationship-based. With HoneyBook, you can use lead forms that include qualifying questions or build questionnaires that weed out leads who aren’t a good fit. 
  • Proposals – Deliver professional proposals that show clients why they should work with you.
  • Professional contracts – Use attorney-reviewed online contract templates and collect eSignatures from stakeholders to ensure legal compliance. Plus, track all your contract versions and edits online. 
  • Calendar/scheduling– If you require a screening call, consultation, or even just want to schedule client meetings, HoneyBook’s online scheduler will make it easier for all parties.
  • Invoicing and payment processing– If you only need to accept payments, something like PayPal might work, but if you want to create a more professional client experience, you may want a billing system specifically for managing client relationships, like HoneyBook. Accept payments via credit card or ACH bank transfer with some of the lowest fees in the industry. 
  • Client communication – Send reminders and notifications to help with client management, an essential tool when working with a large business or a corporate team. Tools like HoneyBook are great for ongoing communication along with maintaining your contracts, invoices, onboarding documents, and more.
HoneyBook proposal template
HoneyBook proposal template

HoneyBook for event industry professionals: Event planners, caterers, florists, DJs, etc.

No one understands the importance of staying organized more than event industry professionals. When your business is based on helping events happen as planned, lacking organizational skills can mean a quick end to your time in the market.

Event professionals know that staying on top of your various clients and the stages of their upcoming events can be a headache during the busy season. That’s where HoneyBook can help with the following tools:

  • Online payment software – Coordinate payments with clients for all types of events, including deposits and cancellation fees.
  • Communications and planning tools – Organizational tools are useful for working with both event attendees and vendors. With HoneyBook, you can assign specific permissions to vendors to enable more effective collaboration. Also, save all your client communications and files in one place for easy access.
  • Contract management – For an industry that is driven entirely by contracts, an intuitive online contract management platform is essential to protect your business and your customers.
HoneyBook contract
HoneyBook contract template

Access all of your small business tools in one platform with HoneyBook

For any of these industry professionals looking for a comprehensive, dynamic set of small business tools, HoneyBook is a perfect option for you. With an all-in-one platform that offers everything from online payment processing to contracts, scheduling to online invoices, and other key small business needs, HoneyBook can be a simple and elegant solution to helping your independent business grow. 

Centralize your client management

Capture leads, sell services, manage projects, and nurture client relationships from one platform.  All that and more with HoneyBook.

18 passive income apps for making extra cash

Woman using passive income apps

With so many passive income apps out there, how do you know which ones are worthwhile? We did the research for you. Here are the top 18 that can help you generate income on the side.

Freelancer checking her passive income apps

Passive income apps can be a great way to make extra money on the side. It can help boost your income on top of your day job or serve as a starting point for starting your own business.

With so many passive income apps out there, how can you know which ones are worthwhile for extra income and which ones are a waste of time?

We’ve compiled an extensive list of tried and tested passive income apps that actually work. Give a few of these passive income ideas a try and slowly add more as you get more comfortable. 

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What does passive income mean? 

There’s always something new to learn when it comes to building passive income. Because passive income is such a buzzword, it seems only right to provide a small caveat about what we mean when we say “passive income apps.”

It’s very unlikely any of the passive income apps in this list will make you a millionaire overnight with no effort.

While many people use the word “passive income” to describe a wide spectrum of potential revenue sources, in this article, we’ll stick to apps that allow you to make money on the side from activities you’re presumably already doing on a regular basis (driving, shopping, using your phone, etc.)

Not all of these passive income apps are 100% passive. They all require minimal investment and, over time, can supplement your income. 

The best passive income apps to start earning extra cash

Survey Junkie

One of the quickest and easiest passive income sources is using passive income surveys to make extra money without a lot of extra time or effort. Passive income surveys like Survey Junkie connect users (you) with companies that need research data from potential or past customers. Often, passive income surveys take less than a couple minutes, allowing you to make extra money during downtime throughout your day.

Google Opinion Rewards

The Google Opinion Rewards App is another way to make a little extra money. The payouts come in the form of Google Play Store credits where you can buy books, movies, apps, and more.

What’s great about this passive income app is you’re sent questionnaires or online surveys based on places you go, apps you use, videos you watch, or things you ask Google Assistant. 

Since you’re doing all these things anyway, you can make a little extra money by sharing your opinion with Google (and their partner companies).

HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform, so you might not think it can help with passive income opportunities. But there are a couple of ways you can leverage HoneyBook as a passive income app to supplement your income.

First, if you’re an independent that uses HoneyBook, we offer a referral program that gives you up to $200 cash for each referral that joins using your unique referral link. Many members have seen success by simply including their referral link in their social media bios, promoting them on their website, and even offering their link to clients.

If you’re a business owner, you can also leverage HoneyBook to create projects and manage your client journey. Automate your lead response and streamline your entire clientflow

When using your HoneyBook contact form, you can embed one on your services landing page. When someone fills it out, the app will automatically send an invitation to book without you lifting a finger. 

With little effort, HoneyBook can help you bring more money in!

Leverage automation to build passive income

Try HoneyBook free for 7 days to see how powerful automation, invoicing, and payment processing can bring in more revenue.

Creative Market

If you’re a creative person, a little upfront work can have a huge payout and big long-term dividends with sites like Creative Market.

Learning how to make money on Creative Market can take time, but if you’re already creating artistic elements for your work or hobby on a daily basis, why not upload them to the platform? Sell them for a reasonable price and start generating some passive money.

Using the Creative Market as a passive income app works well for designers, illustrators, photographers, and other visual creatives.

Society 6

Another great way to make passive income is to sign up for an app like Society 6 where you can license your work for extra revenue.

In essence, licensing your work means you create it once, making an initial investment of time and work, and then sell customers the right to use your work in certain settings. While licensing fees are not usually very high, they add up over time.

Fluz

If you’re looking for passive income apps that help you get money back on purchases you would have made anyway, then you should start by checking out Fluz.

Fluz is a passive income app that offers cashback rewards you for shopping at certain popular retailers. 

But what makes Fluz super-cool is the “network” element. When you get friends to join Fluz, you get cash back when they make a purchase too. And if they invite friends, you’ll get cash back from those strangers’ purchases as well. Not bad!

Swagbucks

If you spend a lot of time shopping online or doing a wide range of anything on the Internet, then you could be missing out on additional income from the passive income app Swagbucks

Swagbucks pays you to do stuff you were already planning to do anyway— shopping on Amazon, watching YouTube videos, and lots more.

Then, once you’ve built up enough Swagbucks to cash them in, you can trade for gift cards to your favorite retailers or cash via PayPal.

Fiverr

If you’re willing to do small tasks on a regular basis, Fiverr may be one of the passive income apps to check out.

Sites like Fiverr allow users to offer services to customers at a standard price. When customers search the large site and find your services, you complete the work and get paid. Fiverr could be a great way to leverage your side hustle and add another source of income if you aren’t ready to turn it into an independent business yet. 

The trick to making passive income with Fiverr is to sell tasks that can be easily repeated with minimal effort.

Instacart

If you ever pick up groceries for your family or significant other, why not make a little extra when you take those trips to the grocery store?

With the Instacart App, users can request grocery delivery from local stores. When they do, the passive income app notifies you and you pick up your neighbor’s groceries while you’re out getting yours anyway.

Instacart splits the fee with you once you deliver the goods—a win-win for you and your neighbor too.

Ibotta

Another way to earn passive income through cash-back rewards is to sign up for Ibotta. With passive income apps like Ibotta, you search through their coupon codes and offers before you shop, identifying items you were going to buy anyway.

Then, you use the Ibotta app to make those purchases and you’ll receive cash back almost instantly. Plus, you can get an immediate $20 welcome sign up bonus just for using the app.

Fundrise

Of course, we can’t create a list of quality passive income apps without diving into the world of real estate, right?

As one of the original and purest forms of passive income, real estate is as alive as ever—despite factors like the economy and the digital world that surrounds us on a daily basis.

But investing in real estate properties can seem overwhelming and expensive—which is why there’s Fundrise.

Fundrise pools users’ funds to raise money for large real estate investments around the world allowing you to invest in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of real estate. 

Betterment

One of the most traditional ways to generate passive income is to start investing in the market. You might already be investing as a way to financially plan for your future retirement, but investing can also help you build wealth with a target date in mind to utilize the cash before you retire. 

Passive income apps like Betterment offer a simple way to get started investing without a lot of financial knowledge. With automated options, you can choose an investment portfolio that’s already put together and also utilize automated tools that help you prevent unnecessary taxes on your investments. 

If you already save money in a bank account, consider setting some inside to invest.  

Honeygain

Here’s one of the most creative and simple passive income apps: it’s called Honeygain. It relies on “sharing internet.” What does that mean exactly? You get paid to let Honeygain take advantage of the unused traffic resources on your computer. They then sell that to data scientists and others, sharing that payout directly with you.

It means you can simply install this passive income app on your active device, surf the web, and start collecting money right away. 

Fetch Rewards

If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed, you know that groceries can take a massive bite out of your monthly finances (pun intended). 

With Fetch Rewards, you can collect rewards for buying the food you already have on your shopping list.

Just download the app, shop for groceries, scan your receipt, and the passive income app will send you rewards for purchases you were going to make anyway.

DoorDash

If you find yourself eating out a lot, you may want to think about signing up for food delivery passive income apps like DoorDash.

With DoorDash, you sign up to deliver takeout to people living in your city. When someone places an order, you drive to the restaurant, pick up the food, and deliver it. Then you collect a small fee.

Not 100% passive by any means, but a nice way to get paid while you’re out running errands or on your way home from work.

Wikibuy

If you do a lot of online shopping, you can save a ton of money with Wikibuy. While it’s not technically additional revenue in the form of passive income, it is still extra money you would have spent while shopping anyway.

The Wikibuy app is free to install and activates when you shop on Amazon or other online retailers. Before checking out, it will notify you if the same product is cheaper somewhere else—saving online shoppers hundreds (or more) each year.

Nielsen App

Known for its famous TV and radio ratings, Nielsen is one of the leading media research companies in the world.

Once you install the Nielsen app, you just continue to use your devices as usual, while Nielsen Mobile Panel collects data on your usage in the background. The more data they collect, the more rewards they send you. Every bit counts towards your pocket.

Native

If you’re interested in getting paid to share your data, habits, and behavior with companies you shop with, then Native is another great option when it comes to passive income apps.

Native sends you tasks based on your location (enter a specific store, for example) and then sends you payments and rewards for taking those actions and providing feedback.

Neighbor

If you’ve got an unused basement, garage, or shed that’s sitting empty, then you should sign up for Neighbor, the peer-to-peer storage sharing app.

With Neighbor, people in your city pay you to store their stuff for short- or long-term periods. At half the cost of traditional storage units, it’s a win-win for both of you.

Even more passive income ideas

Naturally, this list of passive income apps only scratches the surface of what’s possible when it comes to potential earnings via passive income. There are hundreds (probably thousands) of passive earning methods—including some you’ve never even considered—so the only thing stopping you from making (or saving) a few hundred dollars each month is your own creativity and go-getter attitude.

Work more efficiently

Set up custom automations with HoneyBook that ensure you’re still providing personalized interactions.

The 7 best invoice apps for small businesses

phone and wireless earbuds

A variety of invoice apps are available to help small business owners with their client billing and online invoicing. Which one is the best invoice app for ease of use, pricing, and other useful features? Compare seven of the best invoice apps to find the right one for your business.

phone and wireless earbuds

As an independent business owner, you’re going to need some help getting your invoices clients and getting paid on time. It all comes down to offering a smooth invoicing and payment process for your clients. Ideally, you’ll want to find software that can offer features such as invoice templates, auto-pay, payment reminders, payment processing, and a mobile app to use on the go, along with other useful features. That means you need to identify the best invoice app for your purposes.

Many invoice apps are available to help you send invoices to clients and process their payments. Let’s take a look at seven of the best invoice apps, including HoneyBook, Square, Invoicely, PayPal, Stripe, FreshBooks, and Zoho. Read on for more information to help you find the best invoice app for you.

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Create a professional invoice for free.

Customize, download, and send a professional custom invoice in minutes.

What should go into a professional invoice?

A service invoice is a statement for clients indicating the total payment due for services rendered. It can be for services already provided or for recurring services. Independent businesses can make invoices themselves, or they can use online invoice templates to get started. You can send your invoices as a PDF through email or an online invoicing platform.

Invoices should include the following basic elements:

  • Invoice number
  • Date of services rendered and date of invoice issuance
  • Your business name, address, and contact information
  • Line item description of services provided
  • The total amount owed, plus taxes, if applicable
  • Payment instructions
  • Payment due date
  • Payment terms
  • Payment options (credit card, bank transfer, check, etc.) and instructions

How to evaluate invoicing software

Using the best invoicing software can make sending invoices and collecting payments much easier. The right invoicing software not only makes things easier for you: It also streamlines the whole process for your clients. This ensures that you get paid faster and that your business looks like a well-oiled machine of professionalism. 

When you’re evaluating a prospective invoice app, consider the following:

  • Ease of use: Opt for software that prioritizes user-friendliness. Intuitive interfaces and straightforward features streamline the invoicing process, saving time and minimizing errors.
  • Pricing structure: Carefully evaluate the pricing plans of different invoicing apps. Seek transparency with clear, straightforward pricing structures that align with your budget, whether you’re a startup or an established business.
  • Additional features: Beyond basic invoicing, consider the supplementary features offered. These may encompass customizable invoice templates, automated payment reminders, mobile accessibility, and support for diverse payment methods.
  • Invoice tracking: Ensure the selected software provides robust invoice tracking capabilities. Real-time updates on invoice statuses, including payment receipts and overdue notices, empower you to stay on top of your financial transactions.

Some invoicing software even comes with a customizable invoice generator that allows you to design professional invoices that fit your small business’s brand.

The seven best invoice apps for small businesses

Rather than waiting for paper checks in the mail, which is a much longer process, invoicing software lets you send invoices and collect payments in multiple ways. Which invoice app is best for you? Consider the following list of some of the best invoice apps available for small business owners.

1. HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform with many features in one platform. Here are some things to consider about HoneyBook:

Ease of use

You’ll first notice that HoneyBook is very easy to use. Your account home page offers an all-in-one overview of your business, including inquiries, your calendar, invoice and payment tracking, and notifications of any projects with new activity. To create or edit invoices, it also comes with a simple builder that allows you to work in sections and add media like photos and videos. 

Pricing

Starter PackageEssentials PackagePremium Package
$16 per month$32 per month$66 per month
Includes:
– Invoices and payments
– Unlimited clients and projects
– Reports
– Automation
– Professional templates
Includes:
– Starter features
– Online registration for QuickBooks
– An additional team member
– Additional report features
– Expense tracking and management
Includes:
– All other package features
– Priority support
– Unlimited team members
– Advanced reports (coming soon)

HoneyBook bills its packages yearly or monthly and often offers discounts, so you may get up to 50% off when you sign up. Plus, there’s a seven-day free trial to try out its features. Plus, HoneyBook’s processing fees are some of the most competitive of the top payment processing applications on the market.

HoneyBook invoice template
Example of a HoneyBook invoice template

Additional features

HoneyBook sets itself apart with its additional features. HoneyBook strives to be the source for managing your client touchpoints by offering you a communication platform: a place to set payment terms and collect contract signatures, schedule appointments, and automate various workflows. With a HoneyBook account, you’ll also get: 

  • Lead capture
  • Automations
  • Scheduling
  • Interactive file templates (contracts, proposals, questionnaires, and more)
  • Task management
  • Client communication and client portal 
  • Mobile app for work on the go 

Invoice tracking

Beyond creating and sending invoices, HoneyBook allows you to track the status of outstanding invoices and offer your clients a gentle nudge to remind them to pay on time. 

Pro tip

Choose an invoicing app that includes integrated payment processing to make receiving payments easier like HoneyBook.

2. Square

Square is one of the most well-known modern payment processing solutions. Here’s a look at what it offers.

Ease of use

Ease of use is considerable, as Square lets you save user profiles and payment methods, but it’s mostly known for serving in-person clients and collecting payments right away rather than invoicing and collecting later. This is great if you work with clients in person but becomes more complicated if you primarily invoice online

Pricing

Free PackagePlus PackagePremium Package
Free + processing fees$29+ per month + processing feesCustom pricing + processing fees

Square’s pricing structure is a bit more complicated, as it offers hardware that allows you to accept in-person payments, and it’s generally suggested that you set up a hardware POS — point of sale — system if you want to use their invoicing features as well. 

Additional features

With Square, the additional features for each of the above packages vary depending on your industry. They can include:

  • Advanced POS features
  • Retail reports
  • Inventory tools
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Payment tracking

Invoice tracking

Square allows you to schedule recurring invoices and track payments to help you manage your incoming revenue. It also offers automated reminders to help you collect payment from clients on time. 

3. Invoicely

As you can guess based on its name, Invoicely is an invoicing platform for small to medium-sized businesses. It lets you track your time and expenses for services rendered and, like many others, offers a free plan. 

Ease of use

Overall, Invoicely is an easy-to-use and straightforward application. Its simplicity makes it a very manageable option for invoicing, payment processing, and expense tracking. 

Pricing

Free PlanBasic PlanProfessional PlanEnterprise Plan
Free $9.99 per month$19.99 per month$29.99 per month
Includes:
– Five invoices per month
– Three saved clients
– Zero additional team members
Includes:
– 100 invoices per month
– 25 saved clients
– Two additional team members
Includes:
– 500 invoices per month
– 100 saved clients
– 10 additional team members
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices per month
– Unlimited saved clients
– 25 additional team members

Additional features

Invoicely offers the unique added feature of being able to invoice and collect payments in any currency through integrating with larger payment processing companies, such as PayPal. However, it’s not until the upper tiers that you can invoice enough clients to run a business. Other additional features include sending branded estimated quotes and generating summaries of earnings and expenses. 

Invoice tracking

Invoicely also offers invoice tracking that allows you to send payment reminders to clients automatically. These automatic payment reminders offer convenience in getting paid on time by letting you set the reminder parameters ahead of time.

4. PayPal

PayPal has been a household name in business for over two decades and is known worldwide. PayPal is so ubiquitous that in 2022, it generated over $27.5 billion in revenue. How did it do that? Fees.

Ease of use

PayPal is generally considered easy to use, but the interface isn’t distinctly amazing at helping you navigate through the platform. Though everything is labeled and pretty straightforward, the platform can be a bit overcrowded. 

Pricing

Transaction TypeFees
PayPal Checkout3.49% + fixed fee
PayPal Guest Checkout3.49% + fixed fee
QR code Transactions2.29% + fixed fee
Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services2.99%

This is just a snapshot of the extensive fee program PayPal uses. And, if you’re wondering what the additional “fixed fee” for each transaction is, that depends on the currency in which you’re receiving payment. 

Additional features

While the constant advertising of their banking products can clutter up the platform, they’re also useful additional features. PayPal offers competitive cashback credit cards for your business and several other financial products that help keep your endeavors funded. 

Invoice tracking

PayPal also claims to let you track invoices from anywhere you have an internet or data connection. It also allows you to set up payment reminders on your phone so you don’t have to do extra work to remind clients when they have an outstanding payment due.

5. Stripe

Stripe is a well-reviewed, well-rounded invoicing and payment processing application. It allows businesses to accept payments through various methods, including credit and debit cards, ACH bank transfers, and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Ease of use

Ease of use with Stripe depends on what you want to accomplish. While the general invoice and payment tools are straight forward, Stripe also gives you the option to fully customize your checkout flow. While this is a great feature, user reviews claim it isn’t easy. Some reviews claim the customization process requires advanced technical knowledge that may include some coding.

Pricing

Invoicing StarterInvoicing Plus
0.4% per paid invoice0.5% per paid invoice
Includes:
– Dashboard analytics
– Hosted invoice page
– Customer portal
Includes:
– Starter package features
– Smart retries for automatic collection
– Email reminders for payment
– Auto-reconciliation

Stripe has one of the most unique fee structures on this list and these fees seem to only cover the invoicing, not the payment collection. For payments, the Dashboard fee structure varies based on the form of payment your clients utilize. For example, The fee changes to 0.8% for ACH transfers and 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge.

Additional features

Though the Starter package is quite basic, as you get into Stripe’s additional features that you can add, there’s a lot to love, like:

  • Real-time reporting
  • QuickBooks and Netsuite support
  • iOS and Android dashboard apps
  • Technical support on Discord
  • Acceptance of over 135 currencies

Invoice tracking

Stripe also makes it easy to track the status of an invoice from the invoices page found on the app dashboard. This feature is rather straightforward with Stripe, as it simply provides a list of invoices you’ve created and shows a brief status. 

6. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a comprehensive invoicing and accounting software designed for small businesses and self-employed professionals. Here’s a look at the vitals.

Ease of use

FreshBooks software is reportedly easy to use with an intuitive interface. However, user reviews also report that few customizable options make other applications more accessible to use. Additionally, it’s noted in multiple reviews that the platform is best for freelancers and very small businesses, which could make it challenging to continue using as you grow.

Pricing

Lite PlanPlus PlanPremium PlanSelect Plan
$17per month$30 per month$55 per monthCustom
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to five clients
– Run reports of taxes
– Expense tracking
– Credit card and bank transfer payments
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to 50 clients
– Recurring bills and client retainers
– Mobile mileage tracking
– Business health reports
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients
– Automatic expense tracking
– Financial and accounting reports
– Invitations to your accountant to view your account
Includes:
– Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients
– All other plan features, plus a selection of additional chosen features

Additional features

FreshBooks is perfect for adding extensive accounting and reporting features to your invoicing application. At the highest tier, it offers the following additional features:

  • Checkout links
  • Line items on bills
  • A dedicated number for exclusive support

Invoice tracking

FreshBooks invoice tracking lets you see if an invoice you’ve created is:

  • In draft
  • In progress
  • Overdue
  • Outstanding

Additionally, FreshBooks allows you to utilize both automated and manual reminders, to ensure your clients know when payments are due.

7. Zoho

Zoho Invoice is a customer relationship management software — CRM — designed to offer free and simple invoicing. 

Ease of use

Generally, this application is straightforward and touted in reviews as a great entry-level CRM software. So, though it’s easier to use for beginners, business owners looking to scale their business may find this no longer fits the bill.

Pricing

StandardUltimateProfessionalEnterprise
$14 per user each month$23 per user each month$40 per user each month$52 per user each month
Includes:
– Basic modules
– Email insights
– Other basic features
Includes:
– Macros
– Sales signals
– Assignment rules
Includes:
– Multiple scoring rules
– Webform analytics
– Data encryption
Includes:
– All other level features
– Zoho analytics

Additional features

In addition to the tiered features you see about, Zoho offers the following additional features:

  • PayPal and Stripe integrations for payment processing
  • Customizable invoice templates
  • Additional languages and currencies for invoices

Invoice tracking

Zoho offers invoice tracking that sends automatic reminders to clients with due or overdue payments. While this is helpful as invoices come due, it still requires you to remind clients to pay on time to avoid fees and so that your revenue stream remains consistent.

Invoicing and payment processing in the best invoice app

When choosing your invoicing software, you’re going to want a platform that does more than just send invoices to clients. Luckily, a clientflow platform like HoneyBook can help you with writing legally compliant contracts, using invoice templates, and processing payments from clients.

You can send proposals, schedule meetings, and manage client communications. The platform also allows you to save client details to fill in invoices, making invoicing even quicker. When a client pays, you’ll also be notified in real-time.

Since invoicing and booking are so integral to your clientflow, why not use a platform that’s built for your processes? With HoneyBook, you can combine key actions, so there’s no need for you or your clients to jump back and forth between different software. Communicate with leads and clients, book projects, and manage your work in one place.

Fast, reliable payments

90% of HoneyBook invoices are paid on time or early.

Dubsado vs. HoneyBook: What you need to know

Dubsado vs HoneyBook

Compare Dubsado vs. HoneyBook and determine which one is right for your business. We’ve evaluated each based on lead capabilities, project management, pricing, templates, files, and more.

Dubsado vs HoneyBook

Selecting digital tools to manage your business can be difficult. You may be asking yourself which platforms are best for client communication, which can help you appear more professional, and if a CRM can really help you optimize your processes as you grow.

There are a few platforms that boast these capabilities on the market, but which one is best for your business? Here we dig into HoneyBook and Dubsado and highlight the best features of both that can help your business look polished and professional—every time.

Jump to:

HoneyBook vs Dubsado graphic

What is HoneyBook? What is Dubsado?

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform where you can email leads, sign and send contracts, send invoices, take payments, and more.

HoneyBook’s interactive client portal helps you manage your clientflow friction-free, and allows your clients to access everything they need, from communications to documents and more with only a few clicks.

HoneyBook helps you manage every client touchpoint from one place. You can manage your clientflow manually or with programmed automations that enable you to get back to clients first, send client questionnaires for information gathering, and thank a client + ask for a referral after services are delivered.

HoneyBook home screen
HoneyBook

Dubsado is a client management platform that offers customizable forms, invoicing, automations, and an interactive client portal. Dubsado identifies as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) + Client Management System (CMS) hybrid with some workflow automation capabilities.

Dubsado home screen
Dubsado

Is HoneyBook or Dubsado better for getting better clients?

Whether you’re just starting a business or have an established independent operation, increasing your client base or maintaining a steady stream of clients is an important consideration. Keeping leads coming in during the slow season, for example, can be difficult if you find yourself in a lull.

The business that responds first becomes the choice for 86% of clients when it comes to booking a service provider. Lead capture tools can assist with responding quickly to interested prospects. Both HoneyBook and Dubsado offer lead capture tools that help independent business owners capture leads—but which is better?

Dubsado lead capture

  • Your prospective lead submits to your customizable, embeddable contact form and gets added to your Dubsado address book. Then, a project is created.
  • Separate leads by project inquiry type and automatically send follow-up questionnaires specific to the prospect inquiry with automation.
  • Embeddable contact form compatible with:
    • Squarespace
    • Wix
    • WordPress.org

HoneyBook lead capture

  • A customizable, embeddable contact form for your website allows users to ask questions and collect information for optimal qualified lead capture.
  • Can create from scratch or a template.
  • Automate your follow-up as soon as someone inquires, whether that means sending a thank you email, questionnaire, brochure, and more. Automatic responses are always optional.
  • HoneyBook lead forms enable you to provide a fully branded, customizable experience for clients that you want to book immediately. This includes turning new inquiries into business right away by streamlining the process for capturing, qualifying, scheduling, and accepting payment.
  • Do you get a lot of leads directly in your inbox? Turn your emails into projects with the HoneyBook Chrome Extension
  • Lead capture features accessible from any type of membership

Lead capture and the HoneyBook Mobile app

  • Priority Leads feature on the mobile app that notifies you about inquiries from your contact form that are more likely to result in bookings or generate higher revenue, allowing you to decrease your response time to leads, improve your lead-to-client conversion rate, and drive revenue growth.
  • AI Composer (beta) on the mobile app sends you a custom, AI-generated response that you can edit and send instead of using an automated response, allowing you to respond to leads in seconds rather than minutes even without a custom automated reply.
HoneyBook mobile app

Who has the better lead capture tools?

HoneyBook is the superior program when it comes to increasing both the quality and volume of leads captured. While both Dubsado and HoneyBook offer embeddable lead capture forms that drive inquiries into your project pipeline, HoneyBook does more than just capture leads.

HoneyBook’s mobile app, AI tools, lead forms, and Chrome extension give independent business owners the leg up to be the first business back in their prospect’s inbox. This means HoneyBook users have a significant advantage over Dubsado users when using the HoneyBook embeddable contact form, lead forms, mobile app, and suite of AI tools.

Does Dubsado or HoneyBook have a better client portal?

A client portal is an important comparison point between two client-facing softwares. It provides you and your clients with a single source of truth so you can ensure you’re on the same page. The best client portal software will enable you to share files, view communication, and store project updates.

Dubsado client portal

  • Give access to your clients so they can find their forms, contracts, and invoices all in one place
  • Test drive Dubsado as a client and see what kind of experience your clients have receiving documents
  • Customize your client portal to be on brand
  • Embed the login to the client portal on your website so clients can access their files with you or on your website
Dubsado client portal
Dubsado client portal

HoneyBook client portal

  • Clients have access to a customizable, branded client portal where they can access contracts, files, invoices, and more
  • Demo the HoneyBook client experience in mobile so you can understand how your clients experience everything from inquiring to booking and scheduling with you
  • Share the login page with a simple link–either using the HoneyBook domain or your custom domain
  • Clean user interface on the client side for better ease of use
  • Embed the login to the client portal on your website so clients can access their files with you or on your website
HoneyBook client portal
HoneyBook client portal

Who has the better client portal, HoneyBook or Dubsado?

HoneyBook and Dubsado offer similar client portal experiences. Both offer a file upload portal and the ability to embed it on your website. Additionally, you can share both portals using a link. So what’s the deciding factor on who wins out?

It’s the friction-free communication process that follows accessing the client portal that makes HoneyBook the front-runner. Clients have every document they need in one place and hardly need to lift a finger when signing contracts, making payments, or accessing event information.

Does HoneyBook or Dubsado offer better project management?

Projects don’t happen efficiently without one thing: project management. With that in mind, it’s important to consider how well your clientflow management platform or your CRM software supports you in juggling multiple clients and administrative tasks all at once.

Dubsado project management

  • Time tracking can be added to any invoice from the platform, but the invoice must exist first
  • Task management view with the ability to sign to other team members
  • Client portal preview
  • Selective communication (cc and bcc functionality)
  • Customizable project pipeline
  • Notes section where you can view your activity log, call log, and manual notes 
  • Tag projects to organize and better manage your projects
  • Inbox
Dubsado task management
Dubsado task management

HoneyBook project management

  • Organize your template gallery with your most-used templates
  • Time tracking allows you to track billable and nonbillable hours directly from the app, and create an invoice directly from your tracked time
  • Client portal allows your clients to access all their docs and comms from one place
  • View all client activity and updates in one place and add project notes
  • Create tasks for yourself and your team members, automate reminders, and view all your tasks in one place
  • Customizable project pipeline
  • Sync your email with HoneyBook to view all your client communication in one place
  • Integrate with standalone project management software
HoneyBook task management
HoneyBook task management

HoneyBook or Dubsado for project management capabilities?

Project management typically refers to internal task management. Both softwares have similar features when it comes to their project management capabilities, so it’s not a make or break between the two. Both offer robust task manager sections, but they’re not comparable so something like Asana.

It saves you time and stress if your robust clientflow management platform talks to your project management software, which is why HoneyBook wins overall for this category. Using Zapier, you can integrate your HoneyBook account with any project management software, like Asana, Clickup, Notion, and more.

Dubsado vs. HoneyBook: Who is better for taking payments?

If you have a business, you take payments; it’s that simple. But there’s a lot more to payment processing than one might realize, especially if you have to set up an entire third-party payment processor and sync it with your bank account and CRM. Here’s how Dubsado and HoneyBook stack up when it comes to payment processing.

Dubsado payments

  • Offers payment plan templates so you can pay in installments—this is good for retainer payments, etc.
  • You can connect your payment processor like Stripe, Square, or PayPal to your Dubsado account

HoneyBook payments

  • Customize your clients’ payment plans to fit your needs
  • With HoneyBook’s integrated payment processing system, you don’t need to set up a third-party payment processor
  • Our dedicated disputes team handles all disputes
  • HoneyBook payment fees are some of the most competitive in the industry:
    • Credit card entered: 2.9% + 25 c
    • Card on file: 3.4% + 9 c
    • ACH: 1.5%
    • Instant deposit: 1%
  • Can take payments from anywhere internationally and issue invoices in Canadian or U.S. currency – we don’t offer ACH in Canada either

Who’s better for taking payments, HoneyBook or Dubsado?

According to a study by HoneyBook in partnership with Visa, being able to pay using a preferred method is important for clients. While credit card transactions are preferred by 80%, and 60% prefer debit cards, many people still prefer checks, cash, wire transfers, and ACH.

With HoneyBook, you have all of these payment options and more, plus you can see when you get paid on the go via the mobile app—can you say cha-ching? Not only that, but HoneyBook has a dedicated disputes team to support you through dispute claims.

While Dubsado gives you the flexibility to choose your payment processor, whether you use Stripe or PayPal, that’s one more subscription app for you to manage and integrate—and one more support team to communicate with if things go awry.

Overall, HoneyBook offers a stronger payment processing plan with lower fees compared to some of the top payment processing platforms.

How do HoneyBook and Dubsado compare for managing invoices, contracts, and other files?

Part of your clientflow is managing admin tasks, and admin tasks typically include lots of documents. But the whole point of a clientflow management platform or client relationship management platform is to support the must-dos so your clients never see you sweat.

Dubsado

  • Templates
    • Proposals
    • Questionnaires
    • Contracts and sub-agreements
  • Send legally binding contracts to clients
  • Dubsado doesn’t offer invoice file templates, though you can still create invoices in the platform manually
Dubsado invoice
Dubsado invoice

 HoneyBook

  • Templates
    • Proposals
    • Questionnaires
    • Contracts
    • Invoices
    • …and more
  • Send legally binding contracts to clients and receive notifications when they receive, open, and sign documents
  • Dual authentication ensures your documents are being signed by your client
HoneyBook invoice template
HoneyBook invoice template

Is Dubsado or HoneyBook better for document management?

Both HoneyBook and Dubsado offer robust document management, whether you want to build each document from scratch or find a pre-designed template in either of their template libraries.

The key differentiator between these platforms is the mobile app. With HoneyBook, each relevant document lives in its relevant project so everything is tidy and easy to find, and you can see when clients, open, sign, and respond on the go. More freedom means more time spent with family and friends and less time in front of the computer.

Who is better for new businesses? Established businesses?

If you’re a new business, you’ve likely learned about a few key things like branding, invoicing, and taking payments. The next step to take in leveling up your business is improving your services by decreasing friction points.

Is Dubsado better for new or established businesses?

  • Dubsado onboarding kicks off with brand settings. If you don’t have branding yet as a new business, this may not apply to you
  • Dubsado points you to set up your payments; keep in mind that if you don’t have an account with these processors, you’ll have to set this up first
  • It’s easy to connect your Gmail account to your Dubsado account, but it’s not so easy to connect your email account if you don’t use Gmail
  • Dubsado admits that if you use their default communication system, invoices, contracts, and other documents will likely end up in spam

Is HoneyBook better for new or established businesses?

  • Starting a 14-day trial is as simple as putting in a few pieces of information
  • Payment processing is easy with HoneyBook; if you’re starting a business and don’t have a payment processor set up, you can just create an account, connect your bank account in your company settings, and send an invoice. Your business is up and running in minutes, not hours
  • You can connect your email in HoneyBook seamlessly or use the platform to send invoices. Don’t worry about emails going to spam, because HoneyBook sends from an authenticated email. HoneyBook supports Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, iCloud, Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, and Live
  • HoneyBook AI features give established business owners an edge

Given HoneyBook’s ease of onboarding, and the fact that you can invoice a client with a high-quality, professional, branded invoice in a matter of minutes, we think HoneyBook is the best choice for new business owners.

If you’re an established business looking to maintain the same systems and focus on a few clients, Dubsado will work just fine. If you’re dedicated to increasing your client base, getting more time back in your day, and getting higher paying clients, HoneyBook’s AI features and mobile app give established businesses an edge to simultaneously increase their revenue and decrease time spent on admin tasks.

In addition, if you’re an established business owner, HoneyBook’s Premium account comes with a customer service management report that walks you through how to set up your business—and even does most of the setup for you. Clients are prompted to register for a group session where they learn what process mapping is, how to do it for their own clientflow, and get to see a basic example of what one looks like. After new clients attend the session, they receive an intake form that gathers as much detail as possible about their clientflow.

Once submitted, CSMs record a custom loom walk-through of your account, showcasing your clientflow and how to set up and use certain features that will help streamline your operations.

If you send over files for setup, a CSM will build those files out for you and do additional recorded walk-throughs to show them how to do it on their own. This means the setup and learning process for Premium users is entirely customized to their unique business offerings.

For these reasons, HoneyBook is also a better option than Dubsado for established businesses. HoneyBook gives you the tools to hit the ground running in the platform and make changes as necessary as you evolve your offerings.

Dubsado vs. HoneyBook: Managing multiple brands

For all you serial entrepreneurs out there with multiple brands: we know this one is important to you. Which platform does a better job of allowing you to host multiple businesses from one account? Read on to find out.

Dubsado

  • Can add on another brand for $10
  • Create a new brand with a free trial (add the address, logo, name, etc.)
  • If you have two companies, you can synch your calendars so that you don’t double-book yourself between brands
  • You can (must have) two different payment options

HoneyBook

  • Can add another brand at no cost to you with all the functionalities of a second account
  • Company settings, bank accounts, QuickBooks integration (for two distinct companies), projects, templates, contact forms, calendar, and integrations are distinct
  • Use one login to access the account
  • You share your availability and it includes the availability of both companies to prevent double-booking

Dubsado or HoneyBook for multiple businesses?

This one is easy, and it comes down to one simple difference: Dubsado costs $10 extra dollars per month per brand, and HoneyBook does not. It’s that easy. And with HoneyBook, you can have as many different brands as you want.

Dubsado vs. HoneyBook pricing: Who gives you the most bang for your buck?

“Which one is cheaper?” is a classic question to consider when looking into software. The good news is, most competitive platforms are priced competitively relative to one another, so you can prioritize choosing the best fit for your business.

HoneyBookDubsado
Starter: $16/month (billed annually)Starter: $16.70/month (billed annually)
Essentials: $32/month (billed annually)Premier: $33.30/month (billed annually)
Premium: $66/month (billed annually) 

Why HoneyBook is better than Dubsado (and who it’s better for)

HoneyBook is the leading clientflow management platform for independent business owners with established businesses, business owners with multiple service-based businesses, and new business owners.

Whether you’re thinking of switching from Dubsado to HoneyBook or have been a long-time HoneyBook user curious about what Dubsado offers, sticking with HoneyBook is the right choice. If you’re switching from Dubsado, HoneyBook’s customer support and document transfer can get your company set up in the platform within a few days instead of weeks.

If you’ve got multiple brands, there’s no need to pay extra with HoneyBook. Simply onboard your second (or third, or fourth!) brands into the platform and know that your bases are covered.

Lastly, if you’re a new business owner, HoneyBook’s easy-to-use interface will help you send a branded invoice in minutes. Leave the technical jargon and tedious platforms behind—HoneyBook’s user-friendly interface will get you paid today.

What is a clientflow management platform and why you need one

Nearly every independent business owner has a clientflow. Your clientflow comprises the complete process of selling and delivering your services. When you email a lead, sign a contract, send an invoice, take payment, and deliver your services–every client touchpoint is part of your clientflow.

A clientflow management platform is the solution to creating, streamlining, and managing your clientflow. It allows you to manage every client touchpoint from one place.

According to recent research by HoneyBook in partnership with Visa, 86% of prospective clients get back to the independent business that responds first. 80% of businesses prefer to pay with a credit card, closely followed by a credit card. From “hey” to “pay,” clients expect communication and action with independent business owners to be seamlessly integrated. The best way to exceed these client expectations is with clientflow management software where you and your client can see everything needed in just a few clicks.

Centralize your client management

Capture leads, sell services, manage projects, and nurture client relationships from one platform.  All that and more with HoneyBook.

How to remind someone to pay you: 7 tips & examples 

Person working on a late payment reminder

Here’s how to remind someone to pay you—and be sure you actually get paid. Use these 7 tips to ask to be paid politely and get paid on time. 

Person working on a late payment reminder

While nobody likes to chase after their clients to get paid, it can be a normal part of running any business. 

Reminding someone to pay you is key to ensuring positive cash flow, successful projects, revenue growth, and good client relationships. 

With the right tools and strategies, you can take a lot of the work off your plate when it comes to chasing down payments. With automatic reminders and online invoices, it’s easier than ever now to get paid faster—and on time. Here’s how to send a payment reminder email to pay you so you can feel less stressed about collecting payments.

Jump to: 

1. Include all the payment details upfront

The best way to get paid is to avoid the need to hound your clients in the first place. When it’s time for your client to pay their first invoice, make sure you’re providing the entire payment plan upfront. 

Oftentimes, people simply forget due dates–it’s not that they’re trying to avoid paying you. 

Within your online invoice, include the following details and payment terms: 

  • Invoice number
  • Due date
  • Remaining balance
  • Additional due dates
  • Late payment policy and any associated fees
  • If you plan to charge interest on overdue payments

As soon as you send your first invoice, confirm that your client has received it. If your client has questions, you can take the time to answer those at the start of the project before you get the ball rolling and more payments are due.

2. Schedule payment reminder messages

The best way to remind your clients to pay an invoice is to send them a series of payment reminder emails.

Unfortunately, if you have a lot of clients, the time it takes to send dozens of payment reminder messages will add up quickly.

By using payment reminder software like HoneyBook, you can make your life much easier by automating email templates to send out on a predetermined schedule. For example, you can send a polite email reminder for payment a week before the invoice is due, on the day the invoice is due, and two days after it’s due if the client still hasn’t paid.

Setting up a series of payment reminders can feel like overkill at first, but in most cases, your clients will appreciate the reminders. This is especially true if the reminders provide them with a link to pay the invoice immediately with an online payment software.

Include the following information in your payment reminders: 

  • Use clear subject lines
  • Re-attach the original invoice
  • Write in a friendly tone, even if payments are late
  • Make the payment due date clear, and reiterate the payment terms they agreed to
  • Remind them how they can pay, and list the payment methods you offer
  • Provide clear details of the work they’re paying for

Once the client’s payment is late, you can rest easy knowing you’ve already provided your late payment terms.

3. Send payment reminders that are personalized and automated

If you’re automating emails, you may worry they’ll come across as too stiff or impersonal. But, you can easily have the best of both worlds with reminders that are both personalized and automated, so they still take work off your plate. 

Try an email system or automation software that lets you incorporate your brand. With HoneyBook, for example, you can implement your personal email signature and branded headers. 

When you’re setting up your payment reminders, write in your natural voice and tone. Personalization doesn’t have to mean every single email is unique; it just means you’re still adding your personal touch while relying on automation. You want your emails to be assertive and informative, but to still sound like you.

If you’re still worried, you can choose to approve your automated reminders before they send. You’ll get a notification that they’re ready to go, giving you the time to update them with any specific details for your client. 

4. Offer multiple payment options

When your client’s payment is due, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to pay. Always give your clients the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has a lot going on, so a late payment could just mean they’re confused about how to pay. 

Provide a seamless online payment experience by offering multiple payment options, linked directly from your online invoice. With a payment processor that includes invoice templates, you can offer credit and debit card payments as well as ACH payment processing

If your clients have to track down their checkbooks or pay via cash, you’re more likely to deal with an outstanding invoice. 

5. Try a phone call

If emails aren’t working, it’s time to pick up the phone. Sometimes, a two-minute phone call is all it takes to get a payment issue resolved. They may have not checked their emails, or perhaps they went on vacation and forgot to set an autoresponder.

When calling your client:

  • Introduce yourself (if needed)
  • Say that you’re calling about a late payment
  • Speak clearly and professionally
  • Give your client the benefit of the doubt
  • Be polite (even if your client isn’t)
  • Summarize what was agreed to in the contract before hanging up

Try to avoid asking why the payment is late. You can offer to provide any additional information needed to make the payment happen.

6. Remember to keep it polite

Keep in mind that your client most likely isn’t trying to swindle you. Your goal is to get paid as soon as possible and move forward with your project, not sacrifice a client relationship. 

Whether you’re scheduling automated reminders, hopping on the phone, or texting with your clients, stay personable and polite. 

You can use these payment reminder examples that incorporate professional yet polite language. Be sure to also incorporate your personality to make sure they sound like your voice. 

7. Refer to your contract details

If your clients aren’t responding or aren’t working with you to make their payment, it’s time to refer to your contract details. 

Your late payment policy should include a timeline of late payment fees, interest applied to overdue payments, suspension of services, and cancellation. 

For instance, your late fees might apply after an invoice is 7 days overdue. From there, you may suspend services and apply interest to the late payment for 30 days. After 30 days, you can reserve the right to cancel your client’s contract. You can adjust this timeline as needed, but these terms can help you protect your business. 

As you remind your clients to pay, remind them about these late payment terms as well. Once you hit certain milestones, you’re well within your rights to withhold services, as long as it’s in your online contract

At this point, you still want to keep your communications professional, and simply stick to the terms of your contract.

Use attorney-reviewed online contracts

Protect yourself against late payments with HoneyBook’s online contract templates.

Examples of kind reminders for payment

As mentioned above, it’s best to send your client a series of payment reminder messages encouraging them to pay on time rather than waiting until the payment is already late.

For example, you could send payment reminders:

  • One week before payment is due
  • On the payment due date
  • Two days after payment is due
  • One week after payment is due

Here are a few payment reminder message templates you can send to your clients:

Upcoming payment reminder

Here’s an example email sent one week in advance:

Copy/paste template:

Upcoming payment reminder

Hi [Name],

I hope you’re doing well! This is a friendly reminder that invoice [number], totaling [amount due], is due for payment on [Date]—one week from today.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the invoice or payment details.

Thank you,

[Name]

Tired of reminding clients to pay? Use automatic reminders.

HoneyBook’s payment reminders automatically remind clients about upcoming payments, due dates, and past-due invoices.
So you don’t have to.

Due date payment reminder

If you need to send a payment reminder on the due date, you’ll want to include more details to make it easier for the client to pay you:

Copy/paste template:

Due date reminder

Subject: Payment Reminder: Invoice [number] – Due Today

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re doing well. This is a reminder that invoice [number] is due for payment today, [Date].

To remind you of the details:

Project name: [Project name]

Due date: [Date]

Amount: [amount due]

I’ve reattached the invoice for your convenience. Payment can be made by direct deposit, bank transfer, or check.

Best wishes,

[Name]

Late payment reminder

If the payment is late, you can use a more stern tone while still staying neutral and friendly. If applicable, you may want to include any consequences of late payments.

Copy/paste template:

Late payment reminder

Subject: Payment Reminder: Invoice [number] – One Week Overdue

Hi [Name],

As per my email reminders, payment for invoice [number], totaling [amount due], is one week overdue. I’ve reattached the invoice for your convenience. Payment can be made by direct deposit, bank transfer, or check.

Please note that a [percentage or amount] late fee will be applied if the payment is not made within the next 2 business days.

As always, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

Best wishes,

[Name]

Use the right tools to avoid late payments

Instead of remembering how to remind someone to pay you, it’s better to avoid it altogether. Luckily, it’s entirely possible when you have the right tools. 

Usually, clients forget to pay you because they forget the due date, it isn’t easy to pay, or they simply aren’t a great fit anymore. 

Using HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform, you can always ensure you get paid. Use file templates that help you evaluate your leads and ensure they’re a good fit for your services. From there, send online contracts and invoices in the same file so clients always have to agree to your payment terms before signing and paying upfront. 

With branded invoice templates, you can always include your project’s payment schedule and apply automated payment reminders for recurring payments

Get paid faster

Use HoneyBook’s clientflow platform to send invoices, collect payments, and automate reminders.

20 creative tax deductions for your independent business 

Make sure this tax season and stress-free and give you the best return possible this year. These 20 creative tax deductions can lower your tax bill, but you might not realize they’re write-offs for your business!

When the time comes each year to do your taxes, managing all the tax deductions and write-offs that apply to your business can be overwhelming. The good news is that there are many deductions available to independent business owners. 

Deductions can help you increase your tax savings each year by lowering your tax liability. To help make tax time easier for you this year, we’ve put together a list of creative tax deductions for small businesses that you might be missing.

Jump to:

How do I report my tax deductions?

Whether you’re self-employed and a sole proprietor or a single-member LLC, you’ll use the tax form 1040 and Schedule C attachment to file your taxes and report deductions. Don’t worry about tracking down the form – if you use any type of tax-filing service like TurboTax or H&R Block (which we recommend), they’ll automatically fill out the form for you as you enter all your tax information.

If you’re not sure where to start first, use our tax filing checklist to gather all the documents and numbers you’ll need to file your taxes.

Should I itemize deductions?

When you claim deductions as a sole proprietor, you can choose to take standard deductions or itemized deductions. Standard deductions apply to your adjustable gross income (AGI) while itemized deductions require reporting every deduction. Both lower your taxable income. 

Though it’s more work, itemized deductions can help lower your tax bill if you’ve spent more than the standard deduction for your tax bracket. To decide, look at the standard deduction rate for the tax year, compare your final itemized deduction value with the standard deduction, and determine which would make more sense for you and your business.

Online-related tax deductions

Here are common tax deductions you may come across related to online or digital expenses. It’s important to distinguish that if any of these digital services you use are for personal reasons only they can’t be claimed on your tax return.

1. Advertising, marketing, and websites

For small business owners, it’s a give-in that you’ll spend money on your website and advertising your business.

Luckily for you, there are a number of expenses you can claim when marketing yourself. Some of these include:

  • Social media ads
  • Traditional print ads
  • Sponsorships
  • Domain costs
  • Monthly or yearly subscriptions to sites like Squarespace, WordPress, or Shopify

Tools like these help you build your business and the expenses can be written off, so don’t forgo them if you’re afraid of spending money!

2. Digital downloads

Another expense you’ll come across as a creative is digital downloads. If you download and purchase content for creating graphics or populating your website, you can lump these together under project costs.

Examples of these include:

  • Fonts
  • Stock photos
  • B-roll
  • Other digital images for business use

3. Software

Whether it’s software suites or online subscriptions, this category can include any software for which you pay a monthly or annual fee.

Some examples could be:

  • Cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive
  • Other Google apps for your business
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office
  • Digital or premium subscriptions like Canva or LinkedIn
  • Business management software like HoneyBook

These are all examples of items that are tax deductible. Save your receipts!

Tax deductions for bills and utilities

From connecting with clients to just keeping the lights on, there are several bills and utilities you can claim as a creative for your small business.

4. Cell phone

If you use your cell phone to do your work, this can be claimed too.

Most small business owners have one cell phone they use for both business and personal purposes. The cost of your phone and the monthly charges can be split up based on an estimate of how much you use your phone for business purposes.

5. Home office utilities

Have a dedicated space in your home for conducting business? This is something you can claim to reduce the ultimate cost of your electricity and heating/cooling.

These costs will depend on the size of your office or workspace. You’ll need to calculate the square footage of your space, then claim that percentage of the total square footage of your home. For example, if your office space takes up 10% of your home, then 10% of your total utility costs for the year are tax-deductible.

6. Internet

Just like with home office utilities, you can claim the internet service you use for your small business, which may be deductible as either a utility or office expense.

However, just like if you have a cell phone only partially for work, if you also use your internet service for personal use, you should only deduct the estimated portion used for business.

Fees and payments

There are lots of costs small and large that can add up for Independent businesses related to regular payments that aren’t related to utilities. Here are some examples you may be able to claim.

7. Commissions and fees

If you have affiliate payments, this is where you can claim them on your taxes.

Some examples of these may include:

  • Commissions
  • Merchant processing fees
  • Service fees

8. Insurance

If you’re self-employed and pay for your or your family’s health insurance, you may be able to deduct your premiums to ease the burden of these payments. These can be claimed as a deduction against your personal income.

On top of that, if you pay liability insurance or any other insurance to protect your business, this can also be deducted.

9. Loan interest

If you’re trying to get your small business running and have a bank loan or accrued credit card interest, this might qualify as a business expense tax deduction.

Once again, only the business portion of your loan’s interest can be deducted if a loan is for both personal and business purposes. So, unfortunately, your personal credit card debt can’t be claimed. You also won’t be able to deduct student loans, since you can only deduct interest on student loans for your personal taxes.

10. Retirement contributions

Independent business owners often don’t have the luxury of a company retirement plan like a 401k. However, preparing for retirement should be on your mind if you have a 401k or not!

Luckily, there are still plenty of options to financially plan for your future. You may be able to set up a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or solo 401k as a self-employed worker or small business owner to save for retirement. Any contributions you make to a SEP IRA can be deducted from your tax return for a nice return at tax time!

However, it’s important to be mindful of your annual contribution limit, which can vary by plan.

11. Other expenses

In this category, if you have any business-related expenses that can’t be placed in any other category or mentioned in this article, you can make up your own sub-categories of expenses.

These might be miscellaneous expenses including employee and client gifts, employee benefits, etc.

Tax deductions for goods and services

As a business owner, you could buy many different things for your business, whether it’s an asset like a laptop, or something as small as pens and paper. On top of that, you may need the services of other professionals like you to keep your business afloat.

Here are some examples of tax deductions that may apply to you based on various goods and services you may require over the course of the year.

12. Clothing

While it seems logical that you should be able to deduct an outfit you only wear for shooting weddings or speaking at events, unfortunately, most clothing won’t qualify as a business expense.

However, if your clothing purchase is deemed ordinary and necessary via publication 535, then it may be deducted. Typically, this is for clothing like protective gear, uniforms, and costumes, so it typically wouldn’t apply to an independent business owner. Usually, you can consider it a personal purchase. Some of the requirements say the clothing:

  • Must be specifically required by your employer
  • Must not be suitable for taking the place of your regular clothing

13. Contract labor

If you pay any other creatives like yourself or contractors to conduct your business, the total amount paid to them goes under the Contract Labor category.

Some of these could be:

  • Second shooters
  • Virtual assistants
  • Subcontractors

14. Education and conference expenses

Have you incurred expenses to educate yourself and improve your business? These can be deducted as a business expense.

This includes:

  • Books, whether e-books or physical books
  • Online courses
  • In-person conferences
  • Coaches
  • Any other educational expenses

Note that education received from an accredited university will count towards a tax credit rather than a deduction. Talk to a licensed tax professional about whether to take the credit or deduct the educational expense. 

15. Home office equipment and supplies

Any home office equipment or supplies you purchase for business purposes should be claimed on your taxes.

You’ll usually want to classify any equipment that will be used for a year or more as assets on your tax return. These are substantial expenses that will usually last you quite a few years. A few examples of assets are:

  • Computers
  • Cameras or lenses
  • Printers

For these items, you can report the asset’s depreciation as a deductible expense.

You may also be able to deduct the cost of smaller office supplies bought for business use, like paper, pens, printer cartridges, and so on.

16. Legal accounting and services

If making sense of legalese or tax deductions beyond the basics is too much for you and you hire a lawyer or accountant for business, any fees that you may have paid in the last year can go into this category.

This includes fees for tax advice or the preparation of the business portion of your taxes.

17. Meals and entertainment

Within reason, food or drink expenses incurred while having a business meeting are deductible business expenses. You should record the expenses at their full cost in your bookkeeping, and on your tax return, report them at 50% of the total cost. (In 2022, these expenses are 100% deductible!)

However, if you’re just going to a coffee shop to get out of the house and get work done, those expenses aren’t deductible.

18. Repairs and maintenance

Any expenses related to repairing or maintaining your equipment or office space would go into this category of your tax return.

For example, if you’re a photographer and you send your camera to the shop to get calibrated and cleaned, you can claim the maintenance cost under this category.

Transportation tax deductions

If it’s driving from client to client or traveling for business, these are all deductions you can claim on your tax return.

19. Car or truck expenses

If you use a vehicle for work, it’s important to be meticulous about the use of your vehicle, especially if you use it partly for personal use as well.

This category is where you’d report either your total mileage on the vehicle for business purposes for the year or the business percentage of all your auto expenses.

20. Travel

In addition to business miles traveled or auto expenses, you can also deduct business travel expenses.

These include things like:

  • Taxi fare
  • Airline or train tickets
  • Hotel costs
  • Luggage fees

Maximize your tax deductions—you deserve it!

Still feeling a little unsure about when/how to claim your expenses as tax deductions? Try not to get too hung up on what category to choose for each expense.

The IRS is most concerned with making sure that you’re reporting all of your income and you aren’t over-reporting your expenses. So as long as you stay within those bounds, your tax return shouldn’t be too tricky.

However, while these are the deductions most commonly asked about, there are many more deductions available to independent business owners. So, when trying to decide whether or not something is a business expense, think about whether it helped you to run your business or make your business better.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from an expert when needed or invest in the right software to improve your tax process. With a clientflow platform like HoneyBook, you can track all your transaction and expense data in one place to make it easier to prepare for tax season. 

Centralize your client management

Capture leads, sell services, manage projects, and nurture client relationships from one platform.  All that and more with HoneyBook.

How to handle a situation where a customer wants to cancel a contract

Business owner with a client that wants to cancel a contract

Dealing with a canceled contract from your client isn’t ideal for any business owner. Luckily, it’s a much easier situation to handle when there are clear contracts and processes in place for moving forward when a customer wants to cancel a contract. Learn how you can protect yourself against cancellations and handle them with ease.

It’s every independent business owner’s dream: to have a roster of clients who you love to work with and hopefully, who love working with you, too. Working with your ideal clients makes your job so much easier and more enjoyable.

No matter how great your clients are, the reality is, you’ll have to cut ties with some of them in your business lifetime. Maybe something huge and unexpected comes up (lookin’ at you, COVID-19). Maybe they have cash flow issues, or you realize you’re both looking for different things.

Whatever the reason, at some point you’ll likely be faced with a situation where a customer wants to cancel a contract with you. It helps to be prepared for that situation before it happens. Here are some tips on how to handle client contract cancellations.

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What role do contracts play in cancellation?

What happens if you don’t have a contract and a client wants to cancel? Not to be a Debbie Downer, but you may be SOL (simply outta luck), my friend. I can’t say often enough how important it is to protect you and your clients with business contracts.

Contracts protect both you and your clients, set boundaries, and lay out all your ground rules for your working relationship. Without a contract in place, you can be terminated instantly or even miss out on pay.

Use these online contract templates to protect your business

HoneyBook offers free contract templates that you can customize to protect against cancellations and set client expectations.

A contract for services will establish the boundaries, expectations, and obligations between two or more people (parties). Anyone who works with clients needs a contract. In a business relationship, your contract:

Removes fear from the equation 

Your clients are not afraid of a contract; they understand that it’s a basic part of a working relationship. In fact, they’ll probably be more afraid if you don’t have a contract, and they might think they’re taking a huge risk by working with you without any protections in place. Remember a contract is to protect both parties. 

Establishes expectations for your relationship 

This might be your client’s first time working with a business like yours. Clients often have no experience with a service provider’s work or process, and they might feel left in the dark without a contract that explicitly states what to expect of you and how they can get the most out of their investment.

Sets clear boundaries when it comes to numbers

This includes the time you put into each project, the number of sessions or meetings included, money owed, when deliverables and payment are due, etc. Get clear on all of it in your online contract

Safeguards your resources as a business owner

Contracts help you prevent scope creep (also known as clients who try to get more from you than you may be willing to give). They want increased access to your time, which puts you at risk of spending more of your money on team support, product, etc. that you hadn’t initially factored into the price of the project. 

Establishes liability ahead of time

Think about the pandemic. Events were canceled and it was nobody’s fault. Luckily, our contracts had clauses like force majeure to protect against cancellation and refunds, which helped both parties be released from the agreement without a huge fight or legal drama. It removed emotion from the equation and made it very clear-cut. With a contract in place, no one can claim they didn’t know what would happen. 

Acts as a legally enforceable “scapegoat”

Have you ever had to fight with a client or customer over deliverables or payment? With a contract, it’s not a ‘he-said-she-said’ thing. It’s what the contract said: it protects both you and the other party.

Pro tip

Make sure you follow a set process for contract signing so you can avoid disputes or challenges before they happen. If your clients understand your cancelation policy, they may be less likely to cancel.

Understand where your expectation and the client’s expectations misaligned

When your client tells you why they’re leaving, there’s a good chance it has something to do with their expectations. It could be that they had unrealistic expectations of what you could do for them or what your service was like. 

When such a discrepancy exists, it’s important to get to the bottom of it. If unrealistic expectations drive customers away after they’ve signed, then there could be an issue with the way you sell. 

Understanding communication issues with clients

Perhaps you’re making promises you can’t deliver on to close the sale. It could also be that your original pitch was unintentionally misleading. When you start seeing similar expectations arise from other canceling clients, you need to figure out what’s happening. 

If it’s a misunderstanding regarding your marketing or pitch, then you’ll need to clarify for clients going forward.

If it’s an issue with communication or coordination, you might create a shared Google Calendar to give clients access to your schedule.

Pro tip

If you use a clientflow management system with project management capabilities like HoneyBook, you can keep all communications and documents in one place so your client always has what they need.

By giving clients access to documents, easy communication, and your calendar, you can make it easier for them to get in touch and avoid scheduling issues that could lead to cancellations. 

One way to do this is through explainer videos that can be shared with potential clients before they sign. 

These short videos explain a product, service, or process. They make it possible to provide information to clients in a way that’s concise, easily understood, and visually appealing. This should limit misunderstandings and keep your client churn rate down in the future. 

Check the terms of your contract

Let’s say a client wants to cancel on you. If you do have an attorney-reviewed contract, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Why? Because you’ve clearly laid out terms on things like:

  • Giving notice: Does your client want to bail two days before a deadline? Or are they giving you the required two weeks’ notice for canceling?
  • Pay: Is there a contract clause that says they have to pay up for any work you’ve already provided?
  • Final deliverables: What does your client receive in the event of cancellation?

Instead of panicking because a cancellation means you lose out on money or have to deliver assets on a ridiculously tight deadline, you can calmly point to the contract and say, “You’ll still owe $XYZ, and I’ll have ABC deliverables to you by X date.” 

Of course, we always hope it doesn’t come to a fight over the details of a contract. Instead, if a client wishes to cancel, there are a few other things you can do before sending the final cancellation notice or deliverables. 

Try to fix the issue before canceling

Ending a professional relationship is no fun, especially if a customer wants to cancel a contract and the request seems to come out of nowhere. However, it may help to think of it as an opportunity to work with your client rather than butting heads against them. 

Try to understand your client’s reasons for wanting to cancel. Who knows, maybe you can come up with a plan together for resolving a conflict instead of canceling outright. You may be able to reschedule your services to a different date, change up payment terms, or restructure your agreement so you can continue to work together.

Conduct an exit interview

When a client decides to cancel, typically, they must give notice. Whether that’s a week or 30 days, you have an opportunity here to continue proving your value, and there’s no better place to do so than an exit interview. 

Simply ask the client if they’d be willing to have a brief ten-minute interview with you where they can offer feedback. If you have any media you’ve created for them, this is a good opportunity to return those assets and pick their brains a bit. 

What to learn in an exit interview

In an exit interview, you can find out why they’re leaving and work to overcome those obstacles, offering to fix those issues and retain their business. 

If the client still decides to leave, then there’s nothing you can do. You should leave on good terms because the window might still be open to get them back someday. You never want to burn a bridge. 

Lapsed contracts can also be useful in gathering lead scoring data. B2B businesses do lead scoring to indicate the factors affecting their sales. A lead score carries significant importance, as this data helps B2B and SaaS companies determine when their clients are happiest with results and keenest to renew contracts or subscriptions. 

Understanding what caused certain clients to leave could be valuable lead scoring information you’ll use to accurately predict future churn. 

Don’t burn any bridges

How you handle a cancellation is just as important as your cancellation terms. Be firm but still friendly when discussing your contract or negotiating a different agreement. Keep things professional and check your emotions at the door. Your client may want to come back to you in the future.

The only exception is if your client treated you with disrespect, tried to get out of paying you, or made unreasonable demands of your time or services. If that’s the case, you have no obligation to salvage the relationship. Sometimes you just have to walk away and move on.

Rely on your contracts and let go of the rest

Ending professional relationships on good terms takes work, but your contracts should do some of the heavy lifting for you. They should remind your client of their obligations, and you can also use them as a jumping-off point for restructuring or changing your agreement.

Remember not to take cancellations personally. When faced with a situation where  a customer wants to cancel a contract, it’s essential to remember that their decision may stem from various factors and may not necessarily be a reflection on you or your services. Sometimes the best thing is to just salvage what you can and then let it go. That way you and your business can continue to grow and thrive.  

Handling cancellations with a cool head is part of good client management, and it’s just one of the many hats you probably wear as an independent business owner. For more tips on managing your client relationships, particularly when business slows down, head over to The Contract Shop® blog, where we share even more resources on growing your client base, navigating sticky situations, and thriving as a business owner!

Create a more secure clientflow

HoneyBook offers an all-in-one system to help you manage contracts, get client signatures online, and move forward with projects.

What is a transaction fee, and why is it necessary?

Person paying an invoice on a phone with a transaction fee

Credit card transactions and other online payments always come with transaction fees, exactly what is a transaction fee and how do they affect you  as a service provider. Learn why they’re necessary and how to anticipate their impact on your payments.

Person paying an invoice on a phone with a transaction fee

What is a transaction fee, and is it really necessary? Everyone’s seen transaction fees apply to card transactions and purchases. But when it comes to running a business, you may worry about these fees eating into your profit. You might be wondering what they’re really for and if there’s a way to avoid them while accepting payments.

Regardless of what credit card processor you use to manage client payments, you will always incur transaction fees. These fees are for the service of facilitating the payment and often differ depending on the transaction type. It’s smart to be aware of how transaction fees work and how your processors’ fees affect your business and the services you offer. 

Learn more about how these fees are calculated and how you can prepare for them when accepting online payments. 

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Why payment processors collect fees

Transaction fees are part of the payment process because that’s how processors earn money. In exchange for the service of processing payments, the processor charges a fee. Just as you require payment for the delivery of your services, so does the payment processor to cover the costs of facilitating the payment. 

These costs include processing equipment and software, employee salaries, and other overhead expenses. By charging a fee for each transaction, the processors are able to stay in business and continue providing their services.

How payment processors calculate fees

Transaction fees are typically a percentage of the total transaction amount, plus a fixed fee. For example, a processor may charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. This means that for every $100 processed (paid or transferred from client to provider), the processor will collect $2.90 in fees plus an additional $0.30 per transaction. Other payment processors may charge a flat fee for each transaction. 

There may also be additional types of credit card processing fees, such as:

  • Interchange fees – Fee amounts that are encrypted and levied by payment processors, such as credit card issuers. They represent a percentage of the total transaction cost and are usually split among the merchant, issuing banks, and networks for covering their costs in processing transactions.
  • Authorization fees – Often charged by payment processors when a consumer authorizes their card to complete a transaction. This is usually a flat fee of between $0.10 and $1 per authorization depending on the processor being used. These charges are typically levied either directly by the issuing bank or by a credit card company such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
  • Gateway processing fees – Charged by payment gateway providers such as PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net for connecting a merchant’s online store to their payment system. These fees typically range from 1% to 4% of the transaction amount plus an additional $0.25 to $0.50 per successful checkout, depending upon the processor being used.
  • Foreign transaction fees – Charged by payment processors based on the currency being processed and sometimes also for international transactions between countries. Payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe, and Skrill typically levy fees for currency conversions. Many banks worldwide, however, do not charge additional conversion fees for international payments using their own networks/payment systems.
  • Chargeback settlement fees – More of a risk incurred than a regular fee, these fees are typically charged by payment processors or issuing banks when a consumer’s credit card is used to make fraudulent purchases, or a client issues a chargeback.

Depending on your merchant agreement and individual business needs, some of these fees may apply to you and some may not. Be sure to read all the fine print before committing to a payment processor so that you understand fully which fees they charge and how these will affect your bottom line.

Pro tip

HoneyBook’s payment processing offers some of the lowest transaction fees in the industry. There are no additional fees, which makes it a great option for independent businesses. 

Why fees vary for different transactions

There are a few reasons why different types of transactions command varying fees.

First, businesses have different fee structures with their payment processors. Some processors charge a flat rate per transaction, while others take a percentage of the total amount. Some providers offer tiered pricing, where lower fees are charged for transactions below a certain threshold (e.g., $100) and higher fees for those above it. Others also charge monthly fees for using their software. 

Second, the type of card you use can also affect fees—for example, American Express cards typically have higher fees than Visa or Mastercard. This is because payment processors usually consider them a riskier investment for businesses. Amex cards generally have higher interest rates and late fees, meaning that there is a greater chance the cardholder will default on their payments.

Finally, the total transaction amount also affects how much the fee will be. Generally speaking, larger transactions will have higher fees than smaller ones. As mentioned, payment processors make money on a percentage of the total transaction amount. So, the larger the transaction, the more money they make from fees. That said, there are usually minimum fee amounts assessed per transaction regardless of size—so even a small purchase might have at least a few cents added on.

Types of transactions that include fees

We may have answered the question, what is a transaction fee, but exactly which types of transactions are eligible for them? Today, people have a lot of payment options to choose from, which means that transaction fees can vary. Payments using ACH (Automated Clearing House), credit cards, and electronic money transfer services are the main types of transactions that include fees.

ACH payments

For ACH payments, money transfers directly from one bank account to another without involving a third party such as a credit card. These transactions tend to have lower transaction fees, but they usually take longer to process than credit card transactions.

Overall, ACH payments can be beneficial if you’re looking for a lower transaction fee. However, the time to transfer can affect your cash flow each month if you take on a majority of ACH payments. Furthermore, ACH transfers involve a bit more risk since you can face nonpayment due to a closed account or insufficient funds. 

Credit card payments

Credit card payments come with their own advantages compared to ACH options. Typically, they transfer faster than ACH payments. However, because there’s a bit more involved in credit card payments, their transaction fees are slightly higher. 

Payment processors commonly also charge separate fees for cardholder-entered and card-on-file transactions. That means that you’ll be charged differently for one-off transactions versus long-term payments over time that are easier to collect when your client’s card is on file. 

Credit card payments are usually easier on the client side, which makes them preferable. In fact, in a recent study, 80% of customers preferred paying via credit card, compared with 31% who preferred paying with ACH transfer. 

Pro tip

Among HoneyBook members, we found that card-on-file payments are 20% more likely to be paid on time. It takes the guesswork away from you and your clients, making it one of the most appealing types of transaction.

Industry-standard fees for common payment processors

Curious how the biggest players in the industry are applying transaction fees? See how Stripe, PayPal, Square, and HoneyBook compare. We’ve pulled each company’s cardholder entered fees so you can take a look below.

  • Stripe offers a pay-as-you-go setup, forgoing recurring fees with a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee per successful card charge 
  • PayPal, being one of the most mature platforms around, has a stratified transaction fee structure that also follows the percentage + fixed fee format. Fees depend on whether the transaction is domestic or international, and also in which country/territory it was made. For merchants, the amount they receive also changes the percentage PayPal takes off the top, although the fixed fee remains as is. For standard credit and debit card payments, they charge 2.99% + the fixed fee.
  • Square charges a standard processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for cardholder-entered payments..
  • HoneyBook charges 2.9% + $0.25 for cardholder-entered transactions, with no additional fees.

While transaction fees are one of the most important factors to consider as you’re choosing a payment processor, take a look at the additional tools each processor offers. Some might include invoicing, fraud monitoring, and other benefits, while others will stick with just payment processing

If you want to take your payments even further, consider an all-in-one clientflow management platform that allows you to capture leads, vet them, book them (and accept payment), then manage your projects. 

Accept payments and manage your entire clientflow with HoneyBook

As an independent service provider and business owner, you’ve got a lot on your mind, and issues like what is a transaction fee, should be the least of your concerns. But, like every other part of your business, it is something you think about and want to get right. 

The same goes for how you onboard clients, set up your workflows, issue an online invoice to a client, and complete projects. HoneyBook not only can help you run a cost-effective business by offering some of the most competitive transaction fees, but the online payment software also supports every step in your clientflow

From the first hello to final payment, HoneyBook empowers independents with the tools to automate, connect, and customize the processes and client experience that work best for their business. 

Collect payments with some of the lowest fees in the market

Start getting paid while leveraging more tools for your clientflow.

4 reasons why you shouldn’t use Venmo for business transactions

Two people on a phone screen laugh.

Though Venmo was one of the first apps that allowed you to accept payments on your phone, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t use Venmo for business transactions. Learn why you should use a clientflow platform with payment processing instead. 

Two people on a phone screen laugh.

For many years, Venmo was many independents’ go-to for taking payment in exchange for services. This was because it was one of the only smartphone-based options, which is no longer true. Many apps exist that allow you to bill for your services. You might be wondering why the app you use to receive payment matters—getting paid is getting paid, right?

Not quite. How you are collecting payments can bolster your earnings or lose you money to high transaction fees, poor professionalism, and a complicated process. Not to mention using the wrong payment processing app can clog your cash flow, leaving you with less money to reinvest and grow your business.

There are a few reasons to be choosy about the platform you use for collecting payments. Here we dive into why using Venmo to process business payments can lose you money, clients, and growth opportunities. We also cover why an all-in-one clientflow solution can help you save money, keep clients, and set you up for growth.

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Smoother payments

Process client payments quickly and securely with some of the lowest fees in the industry.

What is payment processing software?

Payment processing software enables independent business owners to accept electronic payments from clients. With a good payment processing software, clients can pay an invoice from their desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, often at the click of a button.

The best payment processors safeguard personal information like your name and your client’s name with encryption. Some examples of payment processing platforms include HoneyBook, Clover, PayPal, and Venmo. HoneyBook is technically more than a payment processing platform, but more on that later.

Why you should stop using Venmo for business transactions

Whether you’re just starting or you’re operating an established independent business, it’s possible you’ve received or sent a payment through Venmo. Many of us have; I’ve taken payments for bartending catering services through Venmo myself way back in the day. 🤫 There are very, very good reasons why I no longer do, and one of them boils down to a story.

A caterer’s experience using Venmo for business

I was thrilled when a referral contacted me to use my bartending services at a wedding in a historic hotel. The day came and the event ran smoothly, up until payment was due. I emailed the invoice to my client and offered Venmo, check, or cash as payment options (I know, I know—I needed a more streamlined clientflow).

When payment day arrived, the client sent payment—to the wrong Venmo account. After many painstaking emails back and forth, several hours spent with Venmo’s support team, and talking to the account holder who received the money, he was able to send me the payment for my services. 

Lesson learned. Those are hours my client will never get back in their day, and I’m not just talking about hours spent with Venmo support. I’m talking about the hours we spent emailing back and forth, and on the phone, and on apps, to accomplish something that should be an error-free, simple process: Securely send an invoice and offer click to pay. Sounds much more professional, am I right?

Why using Venmo for business payments is unprofessional

If my story didn’t give you pause, that’s okay. There are a few more reasons why you should be wary of offering Venmo as a way to accept online payments for your professional services. Venmo for business requires so many steps to get paid, and we just can’t imagine you having to go through that.

1. Venmo invoices don’t—and can’t—represent your brand

If you’ve ever sent a friend money through Venmo, you’re familiar with the layout. The blue accents, the grey and white background, etc. That’s what your clients see when you request payment through Venmo, too. Instead of a professional file that represents your brand well, you’re promoting Venmo’s brand. Not a good look since you’ve worked hard to align your brand everywhere else!

2. Venmo for Business doesn’t offer flexible payment options

Point blank: Venmo for Business requires your client to use Venmo. You send an invoice with Venmo for Business, and the client has to sign up for Venmo (if you want to take advantage of low fees). If your client pays with a credit card instead of the app, the payment fees more than double from 1.9% + $0.10 to 3.49% + $0.49.

Consider your clients. Are all of them tech-savvy? To make your process as user-friendly as possible, you should offer tools that everyone can use.

If your client doesn’t use Venmo and you require it for payments, you may lose them before you get the chance to complete the booking process. Venmo simply isn’t a universally satisfactory option.

Pro tip

HoneyBook’s low payment fees and secure payment platform give you and your client the most versatile payment options while ensuring you have some of the lowest fees in the industry.

3. Inflexible transaction fee structure

Every online payment platform has transaction fees, but there are plenty that have less-than-desirable fee structures. 

At first, Venmo payment fees for business look appealing at 1.9% + $0.10 per transaction, but the hidden cost is in the types of payments. These low transaction fees only apply to purchases made within the Venmo app or using the QR code.

Your clients should be able to pay however they want without it coming back on you financially. HoneyBook’s payment processing fees are designed to compete with major credit card processing apps like PayPal

And they do: HoneyBook’s credit card processing for entered payments is 0.09% + $0.24 less than PayPal’s credit card processing fee. Here’s a breakdown of all HoneyBook’s transaction fees:

Cardholder
Entered
Card on FileACH Payments (received from clients)Instant Deposit (optional service for transfer of received funds)
2.9% + 25¢3.4% + 9¢1.5%Additional 1%

And then, there’s Venmo: while that 1.9% + $0.10 looks appealing, remember it’s only for Venmo to Venmo transactions, and Venmo isn’t a preferred payment method for clients. The fee for the preferred transaction method, credit cards, shoots up to 3.49% + $0.49—that’s 0.59% + $0.24 higher than a one-time credit card charge using HoneyBook’s payment platform and 0.09% + $0.40 more than HoneyBook’s card on file fee for autopay.

And remember that after you receive a payment through Venmo, you have to manually transfer it to your bank account in batches, too.

4. Your money doesn’t go directly into your bank account

Once you get paid on Venmo, the payments don’t go directly into your bank account. Strange, right? You have to go in and manually transfer money out of your account, making for a cash flow nightmare.

Pro tip

Cash flow is the total cash minus expenses flowing into and out of your account at any point in time. If you’re spending more money than you have on hand, you’ll have a negative cash flow.

If you have a business credit or debit card separate from your Venmo account that you use for business purchases, transferring cash from Venmo to your business bank account adds one more step when you need to access your money. 

Furthermore, instant transfers cost 1.75% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $0.25. Fee-less transfers can take one to three business days. 

Not only that but there’s a $5,000 cap per transfer. That means if your client paid you $6,000 for your services, you have to manually transfer $5,000, then manually transfer $1,000, then wait for up to three days to receive your hard-earned cash. Also, this is only if you’ve verified your identity. If you haven’t, you can only transfer $999.99.

Use an all-in-one clientflow management platform with payment processing instead

Instead of using Venmo for business transactions, we recommend using a clientflow management platform instead.

What is a clientflow management platform?

A clientflow management platform offers payment processing and much more. Instead of using Venmo, PDF invoices, scheduling apps, Gcal, and many more tools–you can finally have everything in one place to manage your business more efficiently. 

HoneyBook is a clientflow management platform that enables independent business owners to manage the complete process of selling and delivering their services to clients. From the moment an inquiry reaches out in your contact form, you can capture them as a lead and automate a follow-up email, helping you get back to them first and making them more likely to choose your business. 

Pro tip

86% of clients hire the business that responds first.

If your lead is a good fit, you can easily move forward with booking by sending an invoice that includes payment processing. As soon as your client is ready to move forward, they’ll be able to view the invoice and pay in one step. You can even customize your files to include contracts so the entire booking process is taken care of in one step. 

Less hassle on both the client and independent sides and quick and easy payment collection give you more time back in your day to focus on running your business. Fast, easy payments increase your cash flow so you have the resources you need to scale.

Fast, reliable payments

90% of HoneyBook invoices are paid on time or early.

HoneyBook makes it easy to send branded invoices and take payments

We’re not just talking about the ability to add your logo. We’re talking full-blown customization. Top graphic for a header, your name, logo, and custom services. You’ve worked hard on your branding and it’s one of the many ways your clients will never forget you.

A scrolling gif featuring an invoice template through HoneyBook.

With HoneyBook’s invoice templates, you can send customized invoices straight from the HoneyBook app. Additionally, our smart files allow you to link service selection, invoicing, and payment all in the same file, automating your entire booking process so you can get to work on the deliverables.

With HoneyBook you leverage every dollar you earn for business growth

At HoneyBook, we believe in empowering independent business owners to build a life of passion and purpose. That means we prioritize getting every dollar your clients pay you into your bank account stat. We also advocate for filing your taxes and leveraging every write-off that makes sense for your independent business.

Instead, if you earned over $20,000 and processed 200 payments in one year, we send you an electronic 1099-K. That’s it. You have all your cash so you can reinvest in your business and write off new tools, and we send you what you need to report properly.

If you transacted under $20,000 in a year or processed less than 200 payments, you don’t need to be on the lookout for any paperwork from us. You’ll work with your accountant to do your own reporting, and you can download your HoneyBook analytics reports for monthly or yearly overviews of your cash flow. 

Fortunately, whether you transact over $20k with 200 payments annually or not, HoneyBook’s QuickBooks integration makes tax time easy every year.

HoneyBook also offers a dedicated disputes team to assist with any and all chargebacks. We want you to get paid, and we mean that. Our disputes team is here to walk you through unethical refund requests so you keep your cash flow consistent.

Pro tip

Download the HoneyBook mobile app in the App Store or Google Play Store. You’ll also get to enjoy a delightful note every time a client pays an invoice. Cha-ching!

Get paid quickly with professional invoices and low transaction fees, every time.

HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform is specifically designed for independent business owners to manage every step of the clientflow, from onboarding to service delivery to referral. With HoneyBook, you get attorney-drafted contracts, customizable invoicing, top-notch payment processing, and project management tools all in one place. 

Venmo originated as a peer-to-peer payment platform. It’s primarily used for sending money between individuals—splitting bills, paying friends back, and other casual transactions—but we don’t recommend it for business transactions.

With HoneyBook, getting paid is easy.

Get paid faster

Use HoneyBook to simplify your payment process—no more chasing payments.