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Using invoicing and proposal tool Hello Bonsai for your web design business

Since starting my own Webflow & Web Design business I’ve been using Hello Bonsai daily for all my client management  Hello Bonsai is an online project management tool for freelancers and self-employed creatives. Bonsai’s founder points out that the tool was built to “handle the things that freelancers don’t like doing or don’t know how to do, so they can focus on the work they love and still get paid” and further explains “we streamline proposals, contracts, time tracking, invoices, expenses, and accounting designed specifically for digital freelancers.” 

The tool basically allows you to:

  • Send quotes and proposals
  • Send contracts
  • Send invoices
  • Track and bill your hours
  • Organize your clients and projects
  • Accounting

And this is how I use Hello Bonsai in my workflow: I first enter the (potential) client as a new client in Bonsai and amend my existing proposal template to fit the new job. After the proposal is approved, I send out a contract (if applicable for this particular project), get it signed electronically and can then instigate an invoice for the 50% upfront payment. However not all projects need a formal quote. Oftentimes a fixed price or hourly rate as already been agreed upon by a new client and myself, so I can simply enter the new client and his contact details into bonsai and setup an invoice as soon as soon as the work has been completed.

I really quite like Bonsai’s dashboard which shows me quickly via a graph how my business is going in terms of earnings and expenses. I also enjoy how I can adjust the look of my invoice and add my own logo and header. After an invoice has been sent Bonsai will inform me when the client has viewed the invoice, as well as when the invoice has been paid via PayPal or credit card. However when an invoice was paid via other means (such as TransferWise), I will have to manually change the invoice to “paid” inside Bonsai. But that's absolutely fine and a task that's done in just a second.

Hello Bonsai has also released a free phone app which lets you access a more limited version of the Bonsai website. It still gives you a quick overview of how your business is going, let's you write invoices on the go and gives you a timeline of what's recently been happening (e.g. client A viewed your invoice, invoice B has been paid etc.). It also includes a time tracker and you can view all your business expenses (+ add new ones on the fly).

What I've recently discovered as well is that you can now connected your PayPal account to Helo Bonsai so it records all your PayPal fees as business expenses! Very handy for tax time!

For me, Bonsai works quite well! I use the tool for sending out invoices, quotes and contracts, track hours and to keep an overview over the financial health of my venture. Highly recommended! To try out Hello Bonsai for yourself, go to: https://www.hellobonsai.com/

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