The Dubsado setup checklist

Our best practices for getting set up in Dubsado broken down step-by-step!

Becca Berg avatar
Written by Becca Berg
Updated over a week ago

This checklist will lead you through the best way to set up your Dubsado account if you want to take full advantage of all our features. Every business is different, so you may not need to complete every step!

Step 1: Basic account setup

🎯 Goal: Get all your necessary account settings in place.

Recommended settings

We recommend setting up these areas right away!

  • Branding - add your logo, brand color, and contact info

  • International settings: Ensure these are correct

  • Payments and invoices: Connect your payment processor so clients can pay you on invoices

  • Emails: Connect your email account so any outgoing emails from Dubsado come from your email address and not Dubsado’s

  • Calendar settings (under Calendar in the main menu): Connect an external calendar to import and export appointments and events

Optional settings

There are some great additional features to explore, but don't get too stuck here.

  • Dashboard: Choose a color scheme in the settings and set a financial goal on your Dubsado Dashboard if you wish

  • Portal: Customize the branding for your client portals

  • Multi-users (paid plan only): If you have business team members who will need to use Dubsado with you, you can invite them here

  • Integrations: Connect with Zapier, video conferencing, accounting software, and more

  • Domain names: Brand your Dubsado links by connecting a custom domain name

  • General settings: Advanced date and appointment conflict settings

Step 2: Plan and build templates

🎯 Goal: Write out your business process and create all the necessary content (emails, forms, etc.) for that process.

Plan your process

  • Write out your business process: Include every step from the moment a new lead comes in until the job is completed (use Word Docs, sticky notes, pen & paper, etc.)

  • Circle every piece of content that needs to go out to the client: Any contracts, forms, attachments, emails, etc.

  • Decide how new clients will enter Dubsado: Will you enter them manually? Will they fill out a contact form (this would be a Dubsado lead capture) on your website?

Build your templates

Entry points

  • Lead capture: Bring new clients into Dubsado with this embeddable contact form. Building your lead capture early on will help give you direction for setting up everything your client will interact with in your account


  • Bookkeeping: Categorize your income and expense categories and set up taxes

  • Packages: Anything in your business with a price point (includes a la carte items or add-ons)


👋 Here's a tip... We can re-create up to 10 forms for you for free! Just send them to

Canned emails: Templates for emails you'll send throughout your process. These should include:

  • any email you’ve sent to more than three clients in the past

  • thank you, welcome, payment reminders, appointment reminders and confirmations, follow-ups, review/survey requests, available/not available inquiry responses

  • an email to accompany any form you plan to send

  • edit the system default emails if you’d like under Templates >> Canned Emails >> Edit Templates

Payment plans: Any payment breakdowns you offer

Scheduler templates: Your availability for different types of appointments

Step 3: Manual testing

🎯 Goal: Run through your process manually on a test project so that you can catch any errors or potential challenges before automating. You'll also get comfortable working inside of projects and experience everything as a client!

Tips for manual testing

  • Walk through your entire process outline step by step as both the business owner and the client

  • If you are still on a trial, fill out your lead capture form with the same email address when running multiple tests so that you do not use up your sample clients. Dubsado will recognize the existing client and not create a new one

  • Whenever you are interacting with a Dubsado form "as a client," open the form in an incognito/private browser window so that Dubsado does not recognize you as the business owner

  • No need to process a payment for real — payments can be manually applied to simulate a client making a payment

  • Carefully check over your forms and emails for typos or missing information

  • Write down any issues you run into. We are here to help!

Step 4: Workflow automation

🎯 Goal: Combine the written process and the templates you built to develop a structured, streamlined process so you’re ready for any client who comes your way!

We recommend following along with the workflow workshop series at this stage in your journey. But here is a brief overview:

Build your workflow

Build a draft of your workflow with the basic steps to get the structure in place. Don’t worry about perfection just yet!

Project statuses and tags

Create project statuses based on where the client is at in your process. For example, Consultation Booked, Proposal Sent, Contract Sent, Deposit Paid, etc.

Create project tags based on what type of clients/projects you have. For example, Portrait, Newborn, Wedding, Headshots, Logo Design, Website, etc.

Refine your workflow

Add project status changes and tags into your workflow, double-check your actions for accuracy and triggers for specificity, and add additional approval reminders where needed.

Test your workflow on a sample project

We cannot overstate the importance of testing your workflows! This critical step ensures that everything is set up to your liking and gives you a chance to catch any mistakes before your clients see them.

Repeat for additional processes

Make further revisions to your workflow as needed, then you can duplicate the workflow template and adjust it to fit similar processes for other services in your business!

Connect your workflows to your lead capture form

Once you've tested your workflow, you're ready to connect it to your lead capture form and go live by embedding the form on your website!

Still need some help? Email or chat with us. We are here to help!

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