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!
In this article
Step 1: Basic account setup
🎯 Goal: Get all your necessary account settings in place.
We recommend setting up these areas right away!
Branding - add your logo, brand color, and contact info
International Settings - ensure these are correct
Receive Money - 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
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 - white label Dubsado for your clients by connecting your custom domain name
⚠️ Heads up! We recommend setting this up early in your setup journey if you have a custom domain. Setting it up later will break links to forms, invoices, and schedulers that you have already sent to your clients.
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 into 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
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.
Chart of Accounts (income and expense categories) - categorize your income and set up taxes
Packages - anything in your business with a price point (includes a la carte items & add-ons)
Custom Mapped Fields - allows you to capture custom data on forms
Contracts - legally binding agreements for your clients to sign
Sub-Agreements - also legally binding, great for releases and any documents besides the contract that requires a signature
Questionnaires - collect or share information with your clients
👋 Here's a tip... we can re-create up to 10 forms for you for free! Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
add your email signature
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. Our customer success and education teams 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!
👋 Here's a tip... we strongly 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.
Examples: Consultation Booked, Proposal Sent, Contract Sent, Deposit Paid, etc.
Create project tags based on what type of clients/projects you have
Examples: 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.
Add additional approvals/todo 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 us. We are here to help!