Dubsado provides TONS of free tools to get started, but it is so difficult to comprehend how everything fits together in the beginning. I work with so many clients who get completely overwhelmed by how to get started, so I wanted to share my perspective/thought process on how to get all the pieces and put them together!
Step 1: PLANNING!
You’re not going to want to do step number one. BUT YOU *HAVE* TO DO STEP NUMBER 1!!!
WRITE. OUT. YOUR. PROCESS.
This means that you need to write out your client experience (as you WANT it to be, not as it is now!). You can do this in whatever way you think best. Some of you may want to just grab a notebook and start writing. Others may want to write each step on its own post-it and map it out on the wall.
Me? I like using LucidChart. It’s an online process charting software. They have a FREE plan that should be enough for most businesses to chart out at least one process. If you have multiple large processes, you can EXPORT what you create as a PDF or image and then start over to keep the free version! PLUS it has all kinds of fun integrations to apps like Google Drive!
If you’re digging the electronic flowchart idea, I’ve also recently learned about Draw.io which is a FREE Google Drive plugin! Get started here.
When I’m working through full setups with clients, I pull this program up during our screen-sharing call and we build out an in-depth workflow TOGETHER. Here’s an example:
Step 2: Start creating!
Now that you have done step number 1, you now have a list of ALL the elements you need to build in Dubsado before you can even look at the workflow tab! I recommend doing things in the following order:
- Project Statuses & Project Tags: This is a visual overview of where all the clients are in your process. Every business is different, but here are some of my basic recommended statuses:
- New Inquiry
- Proposal Sent
- Follow Up
- Waiting for Payment (this is for if someone accepts your proposal/signs your contract but hasn’t paid you yet. You may not want them to be a job yet!)
- Cold Lead
- Onboarding / Not Scheduled (this is for someone who has paid you and are officially booked, but may need some additional details sorted out)
- Booked or Upcoming
- Project Tags-
- One for each type of service you offer! Example: if you’re a photographer, this would include wedding, maternity, engagement, etc.
- Packages: These are all the services you offer! In the beginning, you can keep it simple, a package name, 1 line item, and the amount that service costs will do! You can always update this later, but you’ll need the basics as a building block for forms!
- Forms: Booking forms [proposals], questionnaires, contracts, etc.!
- HINT: A lead capture should be on this list!!!
- Double hint, make sure you set up project sources so you can add project tracking to your lead capture!
- Remember, Dubsado will input up to 10 forms for you for free! Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- HINT: A lead capture should be on this list!!!
- Canned Emails (these will be emails you need to send on their own, like appointment reminders, but also the emails needed to send each of the forms above!).
- To put these together effectively, you HAVE to understand how Dubsado’s smart fields work. Read about them here.
- HINT: Make sure to include basic/generic emails like invoice reminders and appointment reminders!
- You’ll want invoice reminders for BEFORE the due date, ON the due date, and AFTER the due date!
- Scheduler: You can attach an email and/or a form to these, so that’s why I listed them here after those are complete!
- HINT: Try to keep these limited! I recommend making that appointments based on the length of time. So “1 Hour Appointment” “30 Minute Appointment”, etc. The fewer schedulers you have, the better!
- Payment Schedules: Put in when you want to get paid! You’ll attach emails to this for reminders to the client!
Step 3: Let’s workflow!
To quote Dubsado’s own getting started series:
Goal: Combine the written process (step 1) and the created content (step 2) to develop a structured, streamlined process so you’re ready for any client who comes your way!
Refer back to that awesome process map that I KNOW YOU DID in step 1! Start with your simplest process and take it ONE ACTION at a time! Here’s a helpful hint:
Step number 1 in your workflow is actually invisible- it’s NOT something you’ll put in the workflow, and that’s that the client fills out the lead capture form on the website. That’s what kicks off the workflow. So you can look at the “after workflow started” trigger as being equivalent to “after the client fills out my lead capture.”
So the first ACTUAL STEP in your workflow should probably be a PROJECT STATUS CHANGE to “New Inquiry”. Then your next step should be ADD TAG apply any applicable job tags!
After these “gimmee” steps, then it gets real. Next, you’ll likely either SEND EMAIL or SEND FORM.
With every step you do, you’ll get more familiar with all the options. Just KEEP AT IT!
Step 4: TESTING!
Once you’ve finished one workflow, make sure you add yourself as a client with a project and TEST the workflow! See if you get emails when you expect them and whether things are happening on the back end as you want them to. This step CAN NOT be over done!!
If you’re still totally overwhelmed…
If you’ve read through all of these steps and you still feel completely lost on getting started in Dubsado, you may want some professional help! Set up a FREE discovery call with me to see how I can help!
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