Whether you’re a creative freelancer or the CEO of an advertising agency, one thing holds true:
A CRM is an essential tool that can take your business from wildly inefficient to sailing through smooth waters. Since you’re here, you probably already know that though.
So today, we’ll be talking about three excellent CRM choices on the market right now, 17Hats, Honeybook, and ManyRequests.
But before we dive into each specific tool, let’s talk about what to look for in a CRM so you can make the best choice for your business.
How to choose the right CRM tool
In many cases, the wrong CRM for your operation is just as bad as no CRM at all. Choosing one that’s tailored for your business’ needs is paramount to a return on your investment.
At ManyRequests, we recommend taking three main factors into consideration: budget, size, and niche.
On the budget end of things, you’ll want to strike a balance between “too-good-to-be-true” and “breaking-the-bank.” Any craftsman knows that skimping out on your tool budget will cost you more in the long run, but at the same time—there’s no point buying tools that take forever to see any returns on.
Size is generally simpler to factor in. Each CRM has an ideal company size that it’s made for. Zendesk, for instance, is a CRM that’s excellent for a company working with hundreds, even thousands, of employees—but for a small local business, it’s not so ideal.
And last (but not least) is the niche any given CRM is tailored for.
ManyRequests, for example, is one of the few CRMs on the market specifically tailored for agencies, which is great if you run an agency—if you run a large-scale healthcare organization? Maybe not so much.
Finding a CRM that fits your company’s niche and industry is one of the most important things you can do to ensure successful implementation.
So with all of that said, let’s look into exactly what each of these CRMs do well, what they don’t do well, and whether each one is a good fit for you.
17Hats: All Round CRM Solution
17Hats is a CRM built as an all-round tool that’s built to help small businesses take control of their client management.
It features plenty of features that can streamline the day-to-day operations of business and increase productivity significantly.
The Pros of 17Hats
It’s a good all-rounder
17Hats has features that can help plenty of businesses in various niches, which makes it fit well into the “jack-of-all-trades” box.
While specialized businesses might consider this to be a con, we’ll consider it a strength for this particular matchup.
Build-In lead gen
17Hats does well to position itself as an all-in-one solution with features like its out-of-box lead gen. From contact forms and autoresponders to scheduling, it might not be the most extensive lead gen suite, but it’s definitely useful.
17Hats’ time tracking feature makes it a great tool for solo operations or small teams that work closely with a few clients at a time.
The Cons of 17Hats
Can be difficult to learn
While its strengths aren’t something to ignore, 17Hats flaws could be deal breakers for many. One of its biggest flaws is that all of the features included can make it a difficult platform for users to learn—especially for anyone who isn’t already used to a CRM platform.
This, paired with its next flaw, makes 17Hats a CRM that you might want to reconsider if you aren’t tech-savvy. And speaking of the next flaw…
Heavily lacking in the customer service department
17Hats doesn’t offer any live chat or phone support, and many previous customers have complained that the chat they do offer can take a few hours to get a response from during open hours.
With a lack of hands-on support, training, or demos, it can really feel like you’re out on your own with 17Hats.
For this reason, while we think it’s a decent contender in the CRM ring, we only recommend it to those tech-savvy enough to self diagnose issues and deal with them on their own.
Honeybook: A Simple, Creative-Centric CRM
HoneyBook is a CRM designed with creatives in mind.
From the built-in contracts to the simplistic design, you’ll find that HoneyBook is purpose-built to remove the bog of administrative tasks and the business side of things so you can focus on the creative work at hand.
Pros of Honeybook
Helps avoid the bog of admin tasks
Honeybook comes with built-in contracts for client work and a few other features to help you avoid the day-to-day admin tasks.
This is especially useful for solopreneurs in creative fields that would prefer not to spend the majority of their time writing up legal documents and other similar tasks.
Another big plus of HoneyBook is that it’s simple to use and the company offers live, on-demand training sessions.
This means users don’t have to waste any time learning the tool completely on their own.
HoneyBook also implements quite a few features that allow users to automate at each step of the client journey. Autoresponder emails, payment requests, tasks reminders, there’s a bit of everything here.
Doesn’t serve too well as an all-rounder
There aren’t too many standout flaws that come with HoneyBook, but the one that comes to mind is that it’s not exactly an all-rounder.
If you’re in a creative field, especially as a solopreneur, HoneyBooks is great. But if your business falls into another category, you’ll want to strongly consider if HoneyBooks fits well.
ManyRequests: CRM of Choice for Agencies & Consultants
ManyRequests is a CRM purpose-built for agencies, freelancers, and consultants.
Each feature is designed to make ManyRequests a tailored experience that’s good at what it does.
Makes it simple to sell branded services
One of the best parts of ManyRequests is that it streamlines branding your services and selling them to clients as products.
Through features like its customized checkout forms. The forms allow you to turn each service into a product that can be sent as a one-time purchase or even a recurring subscription.
Plenty of integrations
ManyRequests comes stock with a whole list of integrations that make it easy to supplement the platform for your specific purposes. These integrations include things like Quickbooks, Intercom, and more.
Provides a top-down view of all client projects
ManyRequests also provides a great way to get a top-down view for all of your clients and projects through its dashboard.
The dashboard includes client requests, project tracking, and even a quick filter system to make navigating it a simple task.
It’s not the right fit for every kind of business
The biggest con of ManyRequests is that it’s made for a few specific types of business—those types of business being the previously mentioned agencies and consultants.
This means that if you run an ecommerce store or healthcare organization, ManyRequests probably won’t have the tools you’re looking for.
Why ManyRequests might be the right choice for you
If you run an agency or your own solo business, ManyRequests might just have the exact tools you need.
And the great thing is, you don’t have to pay to find out. (You don’t even need to give credit card details!)
Sign up today for a 14-day free trial of ManyRequests here. No payment info needed, and no obligations if it’s not a good fit.
Have we helped you choose between 17Hats, Honeybook, or ManyRequests? Let us know in the comments below!