Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: The Easy Client and Money Manager

If you've been out there on the web trying to find information on how to better your photography business, you've probably come across The Modern Tog, created by Jamie Swanson.

Like the team here on PhotoLoveCat, Jamie has a passion for helping photographers do what we do best by helping us get our other 'stuff' squared away, letting us focus on photography.


She's just launched an awesomely easy way to track your clients AND your money called-get ready for it- The Easy Client and Money Manager. Click here to learn more 


Over the last week I've had the privilege to check out The Modern Tog's newest offering before it went on sale. With my advance copy, I dug in-looking under the hood and putting it through its paces!



Who is the Easy Client and Money Manager for?

  • Photographers who have NO form of client or money tracking in place
  • Photographers who keep track of things on scraps of paper or random documents
  • Any photographer that is only tracking 1/2 of this-whether it's money OR clients
  • The photographer who wants everything in ONE place

The Easy Client and Money Manager is ideal for photographers in their first or second year of business but can be used by anyone who needs to get on top of their client workflow and financial information. 


What's nice about the Easy Client and Money Manager is that it's built as an excel document so you don't need any fancy software. There's really not much to learn and what you do need to know, they cover in the workbook which takes you step-by-step through everything.

Seriously-if you have excel and know how to click and type, you can use this!  It's really that easy. 

There's a place to put your entire workflow so you know exactly where you are with every client. Even more awesome is that it's not some 'standard' workflow-you put in what YOUR workflow is so it matches perfectly!

I was pleasantly surprised to see they'd worked a way to include an invoice that you can customize with your logo so you can present clients with a professional image while you're asking for their money (which you'll then track in the manager!).

Built right in is the ability to keep track of your bank accounts as well as client payments so you know EXACTLY where your money is going and know how much you owe in sales taxes or use tax. 

Now, who is the Easy Client and Money manager NOT for?

  • Photographers who use professional accounting software in conjunction with professional client tracking (Think QuickBooks and DayLite or ShootQ, etc)
  • Photographers who have a bookkeeper-the power is in the numbers side of this product so if you have someone professionally managing your money, you have plenty of other workflow tracking options
  • Established photographers with a 500+ clients per year. While the excel would handle it, it is my personal opinion that it would be tedious to manage that many via this system. YMMV. 
  • This is not for photographers who like to run various financial reports unless they also happen to be excel experts and know how to work with the data



Overall, I found the Easy Client and Money Manager to be just that: Easy! 

While I personally like a more robust solution (hey, I'm one of those people that loves running business numbers and ratios), I think that this is a great solution for a ton of photographers.   The Easy Client and Money Manager is simple with simple instructions, giving you what you need to get out from under overwhelm and into the freedom that comes with knowing what's going on in your business.


One thing to note: if you're a Mac user and you rely on numbers to read excel spreadsheets OR happen to be a google docs user: This will NOT work for you. The functions used in the spreadsheet are too complex for numbers or google docs and will load up broken and unusable.  You MUST have excel to use it. I know because I tried. Don't worry though-I also loaded it in Excel and it works exactly as promised. :-) 

On a scale of 1 to I GOTTA HAVE IT, this is a 7.5 for me

There's room for improvement but the bottom line is it does what it claims to do with a minimum amount of learning. Nearly everyone has excel so it works on all platforms which is a bonus.  

What I'd like to see: a prettier look. Yes, it's an excel spreadsheet but is there any reason for it to not look stylish?  Things that are lovely to look at get used more.  Seriously, there are books written about it. Like Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

I'd also like to see a few more charts for seeing what the health of the business is (snapshots if you will) as well as a more integrated client tracking so that you aren't having to try to remember to be consistant. (I.E. Did I log John Smith as J. Smith or John S. or ???)



The bottom line is if you have NO clue what the health of your business is, if you have no idea whether you're making or losing money, if you're always worried about what you owe in taxes, if you always seem to be short on cash and have no idea where it all went, this is a great affordable option for you.



Normally $129, now through April 18th you can get the Easy Client and Money Manager for $89.  So if you're in need of way to keep track of your clients and money, now is the time! Click here to learn more Don't wait for next year when tax season rolls around-get on top of that now! 



Click to learn more about The Easy Client and Money Manager

But wait! We're giving one lucky reader a copy, compliments of The Modern Tog. Pretty sweet, right? We don't want anyone to miss out on the launch price though so the drawing ends April 14th.  To enter, simply leave a comment! Woohoo! That was easy, right? We'd love to hear how getting The Easy Client and Money Manager would make your life easier so leave a comment (please make sure your email is included in the space provided as we will be notifying the winner via email.)
You have until April 14th to leave a comment for your chance to win!

// Official Rules // NO PURCHASE NECESSARY // Open to US Residents 18 and up // Entries will be accepted April 9-April 14th, 2013 // Enter by leaving a comment (make sure your email address is entered on the comment form where it says "email address". This is how we will notify the winner  //  Winner will receive a copy of The Easy Client and Money Manager valued at $89  //  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning  //  Winner will be selected by random drawing on April 15th and have 48 hours to claim their prize via email  //  If potential Grand Prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded  //  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW



//Disclaimer//
I was provided an advance copy for review, however, my review is about my own experience with the product.  Thanks for helping support this blog and its content creators by using the affiliate link contained in this post. 



Jennifer Grant is a editorial and lifestyle photographer from Metro Detroit, MI. She started her creative journey with web design and a passion for music when she fell in love with photography during her pursuit of learning business.  Her passion for business is fueled by her desire to see people in the business of being creative succeed and thrive and she loves helping other businesses find a solid foundation. 
Follow her on Twitter to get doses of inspiration and peeks at her daily adventures.

6 comments:

  1. Ooh! I'd love to win a copy. I'm a major Excel nerd!

    -Amanda Collicker
    amandacollicker@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG! I would love to win a copy! I not only keep client notes on different post it pads/notebooks/and memo-ed in my phone but have no real system of accounting/client database set up. Plus I LOVE excel!!

    info@marianamaya.com / Mariana

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oooo me pick me! I definitely need help keeping track of the health of my business.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would love to have this - it looks so easy to use!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Jen, you're our winner!
      Send me an email hello {at} jennifergrantphoto.com to get your copy! (Don't forget to replace the {at} with an @ ;-)

      Delete
  5. Oh my! Thank you so much for the giveaway :D I am a total mess when it comes to keeping track of all the information... Easy manager seems like a perfect solution for me, and curing the headache I am getting around the tax time..
    jjodko@netscape.net

    ReplyDelete

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