Early on in my photography business, I struggled to easily manage my leads via email, expenses and pricing in excel and my deliverable workflow. As soon as I stumbled upon Tave, I knew it was the answer to my first time business owner problems. It ticked off so many checkboxes that were patiently waiting for a black check to be placed perfectly in the center (thank you iphone reminders!). The best part of Tave is not the software itself, but the developers behind it. The developers, Jason and Adrian, are quick to respond to any of my questions, crazy enhancement ideas, issues or hello's. Pairing those two with the functionality in Tave is a creative business owner's dream come true. The screenshots below will show you some of my favorite features and how user friendly the user interface is. My favorite features of the Tave homepage:
- The Support drop down. From here, I can view the latest release notes (what is new, what has been updated and what has been fixed) in plain english. I can also navigate to the chat room during business hours to chat with Jason and Adrian. I am also able to view blog tutorials or screencasts to help with the setup or answer my questions visually.
- Snapshot of my calendar, outstanding invoices and upcoming tasks/deliverables in a widget view.
- Quick entry widget allows me to quickly enter leads and expenses. In two clicks, I can enter and save lead and expense data.
My favorite features of the Tave settings:
- Client facing screens (proposals, contracts, questionnaires, invoices) can be customized to look like the rest of my brand.
- Integration with PayPal. When my clients approve a quote or go to pay an invoice, they have the option to pay via PayPal or send a check in the mail.
- I can set up quick responses for pretty much anything. I have them setup for invoices, receipts and pre-wedding questionnaires.
- Custom workflow! While workflow boards are pretty, nothing beats having an electronic version of my photography workflow in front of my while I am editing, backing up, answering emails, scheduling meetings, etc. I have two workflows. One for portraits (engagements, love sessions) and one for weddings.
- Products and collection management. I can enter all the products I offer and combine them to make collections. It is much easier than trying to figure this out in excel.
My favorite features about the Tave New Lead Worksheet:
- As mentioned above, in one click from the homepage, I can access a New Lead Worksheet.
- As soon as I enter the job date, I can see what other jobs I have on my calendar around that date. No double booking for me!
- I am capture the source of the lead for reporting purposes and see where most of my bookings are coming from.
- Notes! I am able to add notes that may be important for the wedding (wedding size, location ideas, common interests, etc).
Tave makes it very easy to send out wedding collection proposals. I can have a couple approve a quote, sign a contract and pay the retainer from a site that is cohesive with the rest of my brand. On a side note, Mathias just asked if we were getting married again after he saw my screenshot. Dream on boy, dream on.
Now on to my accountant's favorite part of Tave. Expense tracking! Once every couple of months, I enter all my expenses from my Credit and Debit Card accounts and my miles traveled. I can add it as a general expense or to a specific job to show what my profit was for that job. At the end of the year, I send a financial extract out of Tave to my accountant.
If you are new to Tave, give it a try with a free trial! Once you have it customized for your business, you won't be able to run your business without it.