I’m by no means new to photography, but I’m definitely new to it as a business. For those looking to turn photography as a hobby into an income-generating gig–whether part time or full time–I highly suggest taking a business crash course, hiring a CPA, and reaching out to successful small business owners for help. There aren’t any programs that replace the fundamentals, but there is one program that qualifies as a fundamental in its own right when it comes to managing a photography business. By now I’m guessing you’ve already figured out which program I’m raving about. Keep reading for my 17Hats review!
17Hats is an absolutely ridiculous name.
Let’s just acknowledge that so we can move forward with the review. It’s kind of like the “Cloverfield” of app names. Perhaps there’s a good story behind it, perhaps not. But weird name aside, this is a very reputable program and it seems to just be expanding with more and more useful options and integrations by the day. I have a lot of faith that 17hats will still be standing in 10, 15, 30 years, and their customer service is prompt and helpful. I complained that I hadn’t finished getting to know my way around the program at the end of my free trial period (yes, I’m a complainer sometimes–I know, I know, I suck), and someone from 17hats messaged back that they would extend my trial no questions asked. Well I’m a fan of customer service and that really earned a solid brownie point with me.
As far as the actual software goes, the interface is flawless. The dashboard (labeled as Overview) area alerts you of any upcoming scheduled events, tasks on your to-do list, emails to respond to, and more. At a glance, the dashboard tells you anything you need to know right away. I love how you can even view your emails right on the dashboard and respond, without having to open a separate window in your browser and locating your email. Time is money.
Here are a few of my favorite features so far:
- Tracking expenses
- I hate taxes, I hate receipts, I hate organizing finances, and I hate reminders of the money I spent. But damn does my expense list look beautiful and professional after logging it into 17hats’s bookkeeping section. I love how easy it is to go back through and select a particular timeline to track profit and expenses either separately or altogether. I know it will save some time and energy when tax season rolls around.
- Creating Invoices
- A few months ago I was googling what an invoice was and when to use it. Now I’m popping into my invoice tab and dropping it into client documents in 17hats. If I can manage invoices, anyone can. I love how easy it is to apply a predetermined tax rate, itemize print products with description and add quantities, and load products from my inventory (a session fee is a “non-taxable” product, and a product or package is a “taxable” one). I just have to load the products in and check a few boxes, and 17hats does all the calculations (tax, discounts…) and prepared the inventory with my logo and address, and the clients information as well. Not only that, but when you send it to the client they have the option to pay online immediately.
- I’ll be honest. I haven’t used the workflow tool because the word “workflow” stresses me out. Totally bizarre and amateurish of me, but hey, I’m working on that one. I do know I’ve seen some amazing automated processes go down from the workflow option for other photographers. Do you have a protocol you follow for all of your clients? Workflow makes it so you don’t have to manually kick off every part of that protocol. One day I’ll put on a real pair of pants and use it. It seems really useful.
- Access client information/contracts/email templates/expense records ANYWHERE.
- Because it’s online, obviously. It’s super easy to log in from any device and see the status of your projects or follow up on a lead. I 17hats from my phone in bed. I 17hats from my laptop on the couch. And if I actually got outside a little more, I’d 17hats the shit out of a sunny day.
- It works with square
- I don’t know much about business. I’m still learning by the boatload every day. But one thing I do know for sure is that small business owners love the simplicity of square for processing payments. And 17hats is fully integrated with square in their unlimited plan. That alone makes it worth the subscription. Square takes a smaller percentage for processing fees than any others I’ve seen, and they send you the prettiest card reader in the mail so you can swipe payments from your phone. You know that trendy white iPad stand that very coffee shop anywhere uses as a cash register now? Square.
Your 17Hats Promo Code
So there you have it. I love 17hats, and I really really really think you will too. So here’s a referral code (the classic “tell them I sent ya”) to get you started. They’re running a promotion now where you get HUGE SAVINGS by signing up for the annual unlimited plan versus the month to month. These prices won’t last, friends! This particular code gets you 10% Off starting now and forever afterward. You’re welcome.
First go here and enter this code when prompted: Carrie
That’s my 17Hats review! Do you love 17Hats.com for your business, or do you prefer another method? Tell me in the comments below!