Something I haven’t talked much about (or at all) on Morning Upgrade is that I have a whole other service-based company for small business marketing. I’ve had this business since 2011 and, over the years, I’ve run into challenges with using Paypal for the monthly subscriptions…mainly clients preferring that they don’t have to use PayPal for one reason or another.
As a result, I went on a search for an alternative for these situations and found Honeybook.
One challenge I ran into when doing my search is not all payment processors allow monthly subscriptions. I know that as subscription-based services have become more popular, more are offering this…but many still do not allow someone to sign up for recurring payments.
Another challenge I faced was, ideally, I needed a professional way to send contracts with the payment invoice. When I have clients pay via PayPal, I have to send the contract with one platform (HelloSign) and the payment information with another (PayPal).
In this article, I want to share how I’ve used Honeybook in my side business…and hopefully you’ll find this review helpful if you’re currently looking for a way to collect payments along with some additional features thrown in.
Honeybook Is a Powerful Tool
Honestly, Honeybook is more than just a tool…it’s essentially a platform. I’m only using it for a few select things, but if you really dig in, you will find it’s a very powerful business tool. The top features of the platform include:
- Online payments
- Online contracts
- Online invoices
- Automatic email replies
- An app for both iPhone and Android
Personally, I’m using the tool to accept online payments and manage contracts so that’s what I’ll be highlighting in this review of Honeybook.
Note: You can get a 20% discount off your first year of Honeybook. To claim this discount, visit this page.
What I Like About Honeybook
I’ve been using this platform for a few years now. I’m on the Unlimited Monthly plan that’s $39 per month. It gives you access to all features, no limit on transactions, unlimited concierge support, and the ability to add unlimited team members to the account.
Here are the top things I like about Honeybook:
1. Great Support
One thing that is very important to me is that a company I work with has great support…especially since I’m collecting payments from people. Their chat gets right back to you. And as part of my plan, I have unlimited access to their support staff.
2. Organize Clients
I use the platform to organize my clients and the projects I am doing for them. Within each project I create, their contract, payment information (not credit card details…just the number of payments they’ve made and when), and any messages we send back and forth to each other appear.
3. Keep Communication in One Place
As part of keeping my projects organized, I can chat back and forth with clients in their project “folders.” This makes it easy for me to pull up the terms of our agreement, payment questions, or anything else we have messaged about within Honeybook.
4. Secure Way to Collect Credit Card Information
One thing that is mission critical for a payment processor that allows you to automatically charge a client’s card is that it has a system for securely storing credit card information. Honeybook keeps that information highly encrypted…even I can’t see a client’s card number. If they need to update their card on file, they do it within the platform. I don’t have the ability to see their credit card number or charge their card at will.
5. Seamless Contract and Payment Integration
As I mentioned before, when I use PayPal as my payment processor, I have to send my client a contract via HelloSign AND a separate link to the PayPal subscription. But with Honeybook, it’s a seamless process. Once I send them the contract, they are prompted to sign it…and then it automatically takes them to a page to fill out their payment information. Honeybook stores their credit card information securely and then charges the card every 30 days.
Other Honeybook Features
As I said, I only use a few of the features that the platform offers, but there are other things you can do with the system that may be helpful to your business.
Track Time and Accounting
For one thing, you can track your time in Honeybook and apply it to an invoice. So, if you bill clients by the hour this makes it easy for you to keep track of your time. Also, you can track income and expenses. Personally, this part of Honeybook seems to be very manual, but to be fair, I only quickly glanced at it because I use GoDaddy Bookkeeping and thus don’t have a need for it.
Another thing they offer is email automation. You can build a form that has automatic follow-ups and tasks after someone fills out the form. For example, this information can be added to their project making it easy for you to see where they are in the process.
Honeybook offers customers working capital loans, similar to PayPal. If you’re trying to grow your business, a working capital loan might come in handy. The payments are made out of what you collect through your invoices, so it makes it easy to pay it back. But that said, it means you must first have a history with Honeybook before you can take advantage of this feature.
How Collecting Payments Works
Honeybook uses Stripe for the payment collection and there are credit card fees that are charged for each invoice that is paid. When you receive a payment from a client, it takes a few days to hit your bank. If you need it immediately, you can pay an additional fee to make the money available within an hour of the payment being made.
How Do Clients Update Their Payment Details?
One of the only things that I don’t like about the platform is that when a client’s credit card fails, they don’t try running the charge again 2-3 days later. At that point, the client has to log in to their Honeybook account to update their payment information. Here’s a help article that I usually send to my clients when they need to make an update. I will say that even my clients who are not very tech-savvy have been able to figure out how to make this update.
Once the client pays the invoice, it will reactivate their subscription and the system will save their new credit card information (or resave if it’s the same card details).
How to Sign Up for Honeybook
You can sign up for a free seven-day trial on their website to see if this is a platform that will work for you. If you go through my link here, you will receive a 20% discount off your first year.
I hope my Honeybook review will help you make a good decision for your business, and help you simplify your billing too!