This is a special guest post from our friend and longtime HoneyBook member Jenna Kutcher. Here, she shares the one thing creative entrepreneurs need before the calendar changes. Because now is the time to get in final business write-offs for this calendar year.
Why? To put it plainly, business write-offs (aka tax deductions) reduce your taxable income. For example, if you’re in the 25% tax bracket, a $100 deduction effectively saves you $25 on taxes. By buying the tools your business needs before the year’s over, you can reap all the benefits now and pay less taxes later—it’s a win-win.
(A version of this article originally appeared on the Jenna Kutcher blog. It has been republished here for our audience.)
It was December 31, 3 years ago… and I knew something needed to change. I had just wrapped up another busy season as a wedding photographer and I was just plain burnt out. I was crafting personalized responses to each and every email that hit my inbox (often staying up way too late to get to them all done). I was mailing out invoices and following up again and again. I was filing contracts in an archaic filing cabinet. My to-do list was a mile long and I lived in constant fear that I was forgetting a step and everything would soon come crashing down.
The busy season for most creative entrepreneurs is coming to a close and with the turn of the calendar, I have an important question for you: How did it go? No really, let’s be honest – this isn’t a time for you to put on a brave face. It’s me, and I’ve been there and I really want to know how this last year went for you.
As the clock was ticking down on the final hours of the year (and I realized, “Crap, I have a few more hours to get in final business write-offs for this calendar year!”) I had an honest moment with myself, when I finally admitted that while my “system” wasn’t broken, it certainly wasn’t streamlined or helping me manage my business with ease and efficiency. I wasn’t in a place where I could hire an assistant to come on board to help me manage my clients but I also knew that my process of mailing invoices, running deposits to the bank, and collecting contracts was far from perfect.
Since I couldn’t hire someone to help me, maybe I could purchase a client management system that was built to help me serve my clients better while removing so many of the confusing/cumbersome/time wasting steps. I did research, I called my friends in the industry, I put out an SOS post on Facebook and I heard a resounding answer: HoneyBook. I signed up with just a few hours left in the year and excitedly started organizing my brand new system.
HoneyBook is my platform of choice for workflow systems, client management, invoicing, collecting payments, and sending contracts! If you want to check out their FREE trial and save 50% on an annual subscription, I have a video on how I use it along with 5 free email templates to use in your account.
Here’s the thing, we’re creatives and often we don’t excel at running streamlined businesses. Our creativity is a gift but not when it comes to things like inbox management, client invoicing, contracts, and more. HoneyBook helped free me up to focus on my art and I know it can do the same for you! It’s a place to keep your business pipeline up, running, and organized.
It’s basically a personal assistant for your clients and it streamlines your business, your communication in the most beautifully branded, intentionally designed way. Instead of mailed contracts and collecting checks from clients, everything is online. Each client has their own folder, their own pipeline that tracks the progress from initial inquiry to final delivery. Proposals, contracts, invoices, and questionnaires are all formatted into your account so with the click of a button, your clients are getting their questions answered (before they even have the chance to ask them!).
I have said it was the best investment I made back in 2015 and it’s still something we are using daily within my business. Check out HoneyBook and use this offseason to set yourself up for your best year yet. Because your dreams are so worth it and I want you to have a profitable, sustainable business that is systemized, streamlined, and successful. You deserve it, friend.