Running a business isn’t easy. You can be overwhelmed by the many projects, appointments, emails, invoices, leads, and taxes that are required as your business grows.
You keep getting busier, and at some point, you need a host of apps to help you keep up with income, to-do lists, and productivity levels and still stay sane.
While apps are good, they’re not necessarily everything you need to help you manage your business effectively because some are standalone and don’t necessarily offer everything in one place.
What you need is an all-in-one platform that can handle and automate all your responsibilities and tasks, simplify your business workflow, save you money, and allow you to do more work.
One such platform is HoneyBook. The platform was established by a group of friends who struggled with painful paperwork, emails, vendors, calls, and countless contacts.
HoneyBook is designed to help business owners with booking clients and appointments fast, getting paid faster, and simplifying or improving their business workflow.
What Is HoneyBook
Before talking about the best HoneyBook alternatives, let’s understand what Honeybook is and why we need to explore alternatives.
HoneyBook is a client management tool that helps small businesses simplify and improve their workflows. It offers contract and proposal preparation features, meeting scheduling, invoicing, document management, online payment, and client communication tools.
The software is easy to set up, has big communities and support, simple workflows, and a clean aesthetic that allows you to do everything you want for your small business. Plus, HoneyBook is reasonably priced at $34 per month (annual) and $40 for the monthly subscription.
However, HoneyBook has some major drawbacks. It lacks customization in some areas such as the forms, though there are some recent changes to certain custom options for forms.
Plus, HoneyBook doesn’t process payments using PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, and other payment processors. If you need to accept payments via cash, check, or other methods made outside of HoneyBook, you’d have to mark them as paid within the platform.
That said, HoneyBook still pales when compared to other similar tools in the same category with more payment options, extra features, and customization.
This is precisely why we chose to explore the best HoneyBook alternatives today.
Best HoneyBook Alternatives
1. Hello Bonsai
Hello Bonsai is a full-featured product suite trusted by more than 200,000 freelancers and agencies.
The software helps newbies and other professionals with booming businesses to tackle all the different tasks that help them run their businesses.
Plus, it’s built for all trades backing people that run marketing, design, writing, development, photography, and many other businesses.
Global support is available with coverage across the US, UK, Australia, and Canada among other countries, and support for 180 currencies.
Hello Bonsai is a great HoneyBook alternative as it offers several features already in HoneyBook like contracts, proposals, and management of client relations.
You also get to see your projects in a dashboard, track time, manage all your tasks, and handle your taxes and accounting data using the freelance rate calculators and tax guides.
Hello Bonsai is much more affordable than HoneyBook. The Workflow plan starts at $19 per month, giving you access to a host of features like unlimited clients and projects, proposals, contracts, task and time tracking, invoicing and payments, client CRM, and project management. It also has a mobile app for iOS and Android, and apps for Chrome and Mac.
The other major difference is that Hello Bonsai integrates with PayPal and with Stripe for ACH and credit card payments.
The benefit is that these two payment methods can be automated within Hello Bonsai such that the payments are automatically marked as paid once the payment comes through.
Plus, you can get paid outside of Hello Bonsai but you won’t benefit from the automation. Freelancers like Hello Bonsai as it delivers three times fewer late payments and helps them get paid 13 days faster on average.
Bonsai offers three pricing plans in Starter, Professional, & Business. These are priced at $24, $39, & $79/month. You also have the option to opt for yearly payment plans which are naturally a little cheaper.
Plus, Hello Bonsai offers a 14-day free trial for the plan you want, while HoneyBook only offers a 7-day free trial. Both platforms allow you access to all the features during the free trial, depending on the plan you sign up for.
From proposals, projects, invoices & expenses to time-tracking, accounting, taxes & more, Bonsai seamlessly integrates all your business functions. Get Bonsai to be on top of your business.
Dubsado is another full-featured business management solution built for solopreneurs to track their financial goals, handle client relationships, invoicing, contracts, and workflows.
The software offers reports like dashboards showing sales, income, expenses, and net profits over time. This way, solopreneurs can prioritize their tasks and actions and work on what impacts their bottom lines.
Dubsado boasts some powerful features that help you draft contracts or proposals, simplify business workflows and processes, and make reporting and business decision-making easier.
Among Dubsado’s features include client management in one place, creation of contracts and forms custom branded to your business, and workflow automation to help you get more done in less time.
Plus, you can send invoices easily, use payment schedules for tracking clients, book appointments with the scheduling feature, and stay updated on your finances and lead generation metrics.
The benefits of using Dubsado include customizable options for a presentable overall client-facing experience. You can tweak the colors, fonts, forms, contracts, reports, and invoices to reflect your brand identity.
Dubsado also offers integrated time-tracking, unlike HoneyBook that allows for manual entries for time-tracking.
Dubsado’s time-tracker is built into the software so you won’t have to pay for a third-party time tracking app or software beyond the money you pay for your subscription.
Plus, you can manage multiple brands with Dubsado and still present them as separate entries, though this costs an extra $10 per month for each brand added.
Dubsado offers a completely free plan with no time limit but only for 3 clients, unlike HoneyBook whose only plan is $40 per month or $34 for the annual plan ($400 per year) with a 14-day free trial. Dubsado’s annual plan is also cheaper at $350, which is $50 less than HoneyBook’s annual plan.
Dubsado’s monthly plan costs $35 for unlimited clients and projects, while the yearly plan offers unlimited clients and projects and all the features are included in both plans.
However, Dubsado has a steep learning curve with all its features, so you may find it difficult and time-consuming to set up compared to HoneyBook. Plus, you may not even use all its advanced functions and features, which means you may not get as much value for your money.
Dubsado pays you in any currency, with tips included, and you can set up recurring invoices for clients that pay you a fixed amount per week or month. You can also automate invoices for easier planning.
Also Read: Hello Bonsai Vs Dubsado
17hats was built to streamline administrative tasks and make business simple and easier for solopreneurs and budding entrepreneurs. The software now has more than 20,000 businesses signed up and using it to find easier ways to work.
As a no-frills, premier business platform, 17hats offers an all-in-one suite of business tools to help you make your projects and tasks easier to do.
These features include a dashboard that displays all your highlights in one place so you can know the pulse of your business at a glance.
Also included is a Contacts section to help you keep track of clients and projects so you know where they stand at any time, know what’s pending, what has been done, and what’s coming up.
The Projects section allows you to manage multiple projects simultaneously and know where your projects stand while toggling to see your leads and your active and archived jobs.
A Leads section helps you create lead inquiry forms so you can generate business passively. There’s a linked or embedded lead generation form on your site that helps you collect information, automatically respond to prospects, and get alerts when leads come in.
Other features are the online Questionnaires that help find out if prospects are a good fit, Quotes that are customized to your brand, Contracts that can be e-signed, Invoices, Online Payments, and bookkeeping.
A Calendar is available for streamlining bookings and appointments that syncs with Google Calendar and iCal.
The workflows in 17hats help you stay on task and in sync so you know what you need to do every day, complete with action items that are prompted automatically each time a task is completed. To-do items and lists are included to help you stay organized and aware.
Unlike HoneyBook, 17hats allows you to pay online via Stripe for e-checks or credit cards. It also supports PayPal, Square, and Authorize.net payment processors.
Anyone from photographers and designers to developers, freelancers, caterers, coaches, event planners, musicians, and other people in business can use 17hats to make their business easier to run.
A client portal is included to help your clients check the status of their jobs online, receive and accept quotes, get contracts signed, and pay invoices.
17hats has three pricing plans, unlike HoneyBook that has only one for $34 (per month annually) or $40 per month.
17hats is actually costlier than HoneyBook, as it starts at $45 per month, but the annual plan that costs $295 and a two-year plan for $395, which are still cheaper than HoneyBook by $105 and $5 respectively so you get value for money.
Both 17hats and HoneyBook have a 7-day free trial, but 17hats has a 30-day money-back guarantee, while HoneyBook offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Also Read: Hello Bonsai Alternatives
Bitrix24 is a CRM and collaboration platform designed for solopreneurs. It’s a dedicated solution that offers a host of features categorized into communication, tasks, CRM, Contact Center, and websites.
For communications, Bitrix24 offers chat and video, calendars, social intranet, email, document management, and user groups.
This way, you and your teams can have real-time communication, share calendars with scheduler and invitations, and have unlimited workgroups and user groups for the whole organization depending on the size of your business.
Bitrix24 also organizes your documents by offering file storage and file sharing. Plus, in one click, Bitrix24 can turn your emails to tasks, discussions, and calendar events.
To organize your tasks, Bitrix24 offers Gantt charts that you can print, workload management to show you who in your team is busy, what they’re doing, when they’re working, and who is free.
A customizable Kanban board is available for your projects and tracks, and you can use the time tracker to manually or automatically track your time with reports on how your time was spent.
You can also use the native CRM, which like HoneyBook, offers pipeline management, lead generation, capture, and qualification tools, quotes and invoices, and online payments.
However, Bitrix24 offers PayPal, Stripe, Skrill, Braintree, and other payment processors that HoneyBook doesn’t provide for.
A Contact center is also available complete with live chat, email, mobile messengers, contact forms, and social networks. You can also use the inbound and outbound cloud call center to communicate.
One other feature that’s more comprehensive in Bitrix24 than it is in HoneyBook is the websites. Here, Bitrix24 offers free hosting for websites you create in Bitrix24, a visual editor, website templates specific to your industry, landing pages with capture forms, free eCommerce stores, a free domain name, and responsive mobile/tablet-friendly websites.
In terms of pricing, Bitrix24 has a free plan with an unlimited number of users (special for COVID season as at the time of writing) but it’s usually limited to 12 users. HoneyBook doesn’t offer a free plan.
The other plans Bitrix24 offers are also cheaper than HoneyBook’s plan, with the Start+ plan costing $15.36 and the highest Professional plan costs $127.36 per month.
Plutio is a business management tool dedicated specifically to freelancers and solo professionals to help them handle the ins and outs of their work and business.
The tool helps you manage your projects, helps you create stunning proposals, and tracks your time. Plutio also provides professional invoices that ensure you get paid faster through an all-in-one platform.
Plutio offers features that help you manage your projects and tasks. These features include custom fields, recurring tasks, reusable templates, real-time collaboration, and custom fields to help you create tasks for whatever you need to do.
You can also track your time from anywhere and visualize time entries using a time-sheet with comprehensive timesheet views, invoice for billable time, and track time by manually entering the time or using the timer.
Like HoneyBook, you can send invoices (including recurring invoices) using Plutio’s professional invoices. One unique thing about Plutio is you can track when invoices are opened, and get payment swiftly via PayPal and Stripe.
HoneyBook doesn’t offer these two payment processors, which are used by many freelancers and solo professionals, making it a plus for Plutio.
Plutio is available in 25 different languages including Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Spanish among many others, and you can accept multiple currencies to create invoices and receive payment.
All these features make it great for freelancers, especially those who aren’t native English speakers and want to use Plutio in their native language and accept money in different currencies.
Plutio also lets you create eye-catching proposals and contracts thanks to its drag and drop editor. You can also track proposals and contracts like you would invoices so you know when they’re opened and signed.
Also included with the proposals and contracts are electronic signatures for easier signing, making it easier for clients to sign and send back contracts and proposals to you.
Other nifty but useful features include embeddable live chat, instant messaging, canned responses, and a shared inbox to communicate with anyone in your business via integrated emails and real-time messaging. Plus, there are interactive forms and surveys, a powerful CRM and client portal.
Plutio offers three pricing plans: Solo $15 per month, Studio $20 per month, and Team $30 per month. All three plans are still cheaper compared to HoneyBook’s, which costs $40 per month.
Plus, you can access all features from Plutio’s three plans, but the Solo plan doesn’t allow you a client portal or access to the feature that allows you to invite contributors. Either way, even with the $30 plan, you can still access all features, client portal, and the invite contributors feature.
Salesmate is a business CRM designed for a diverse range of business needs. The system assists large and small corporations to convert their leads and prospects into customers.
It’s a simple and easy-to-use platform that’s customizable, and that offers everything needed to enhance the sales process in your business. You can use Salesmate to win more deals and grow long-lasting customer relationships.
Salesmate is used by more than 4,000 companies globally, thanks to its powerful features such as sales pipeline, sales report, call and text, sales activities, and sales automation. These features allow you to eliminate the busywork and engage more leads and prospects.
Ultimately, Salesmate helps you get the right insights, save more time, and win more deals while delivering a tailored and personalized customer experience.
Salesmate sales pipeline is visual and intuitive, which eliminates the need to use chunky spreadsheets. Plus, you’re able to see insights clearly for better decision making.
The pipeline views allow you to track, filter, and progress all your deals, while the Quick Views show you everything about your contacts and deals in a single click.
Salesmate is also cheaper than HoneyBook. The software is available in three pricing plans: Starter $12, Growth $24, and Boost $40 per month.
The highest plan, Boost, costs the same as HoneyBook’s only package, though HoneyBook offers an annual plan that costs $34 per month.
However, Salesmate has a 15-day free trial, while HoneyBook offers only a 7-day free trial. The difference is that Salesmate is willing to extend your trial period if you need more time to evaluate the software.
Salesmate also accepts payments via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. For annual payments, Salesmate can issue invoices and accept purchase orders.
Like HoneyBook, Salesmate doesn’t integrate with PayPal, Stripe, or other payment processors, so you can only use a credit card.
Salesmate also accepts bank transfers, but it’s limited to only annual subscriptions exceeding $500. Any taxes, fees, or charges toward such transactions will be borne by the purchaser.
Salesmate also works on all major web browsers on Windows and Mac, but you can also get Salesmate for Android and iOS devices.
You can also use the Salesmate Chrome extension to sell directly from your Gmail inbox. HoneyBook doesn’t offer a web browser extension but has mobile apps for Android and iOS.
What To Look For In The Best HoneyBook Alternative
Freelancers or solopreneurs tend to do most, if not all the tasks in their businesses. From creating proposals and contracts to invoicing, marketing, and delivering products to their customers, these solo professionals find themselves juggling too many things at the same time, sometimes losing track of time and money.
With a good business management tool and CRM, you can get features that will help you track your time, organize and manage clients and projects, and ensure you get paid in good time.
In order to find the best tool for your needs, you need to look at several factors that will help you identify the best HoneyBook alternative. These factors include:
- Reasonable price
- Easy to use and simple interface
- Features specific to your freelance or solopreneur business
- Automation and workflow management tools
- Project and task management
- Payment processing with multiple currencies and payment gateways
- CRM functionality and customer support channels such as email, live chat, social platforms, and more
So these are some of the best alternatives to HoneyBook.
Out of these, if there’s one that really stands out, it’s Hello Bonsai. We recommend this tool as the best business management software and CRM for solopreneurs and freelancers.
Not only does it offer the core features that solo professionals need like workflows, automations, payment processors, and pipeline management, but it also allows you to manage your costs, track time, and handle tax issues with ease.
Hello Bonsai is also easy to use and more affordable than HoneyBook, making it a worthy contender to help you run your freelance or solopreneur business.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.