Top 10 features of 17hats for balloon businesses
Updated: Aug 29
One CRM that is growing in popularity across the balloon industry is 17hats, and I’ve had the pleasure of setting up dozens of systems for balloon business owners all around the United States.
Whether you’re here to learn more about the platform before purchasing, or to learn more about how to optimize your current subscription, I’m so happy to share with you what I think are 10 of the best features of 17hats for balloon businesses:
Here's a preview of what we'll cover:
#1 Send a quote, contract & invoice together
Hands down, my favorite feature. It streamlines things in your process so much!
The 3-in-1 documents let your customers approve a quote (more on those later), sign a contract and pay an invoice all from one email. It can all happen in a matter of seconds, rather than days.
And it doesn’t always have to include all three documents, either. However, any combination of documents does need to start with a quote, meaning you can send:
all three documents
a quote + contract
a quote + invoice
Access this by starting a new quote template and connecting (or creating) the corresponding contract template. Whatever they select in the quote will automatically get filled in the invoice!
#2 Quote options
You can create up to three different sections within your quotes:
Using the standard quote items section, quote out exactly what your customers asked for
Using the “choose one” section, let them choose from different options (such as free pickup or delivery)
Using the “choose any” section, recommend and upsell some additional options that pair well with their standard items. They may choose some or none of what you include here. Ideas include:
Greenery weaved throughout their balloon garland
Takedown / striking services
You can build your quote using any combination of these sections, or with only one type of section. And as we’ve already seen, if you send the quote along with an invoice, anything they select from these choices will transfer into their invoice!
Rather listen? I talk about several of these features as a
guest on The Bright Balloon Podcast!
#3 Start a workflow from a certain product or service
Now that we’ve seen how you can build your quotes in creative ways, let’s talk about another thing that can happen from a well-built quote…
You also have the option of automatically starting a workflow for a particular item when the invoice is paid. This is especially helpful if you have products or services with special fulfillment processes.
Let’s think back to the greenery weaved through balloon garlands… if your customer selects that in the “choose any” section and pays their invoice, you could have a workflow start that reminds you to fulfill this item.
For example, this workflow might include two to-do items:
Place greenery order for pickup one day before the base date
Pick up greenery one day before the base date
#4 Start a workflow from a drop-down list
Similar to starting a workflow from a product or service, you can start a workflow specific to a drop-down selection your customers choose in your lead capture form.
For example, maybe you have a different auto-reply email template and process for wedding clients than you do for birthday clients… or for repeat customers versus new customers.
Make this workflow magic happen when you add questions to your lead capture form such as “what type of event are you celebrating” and “how did you hear about us” (being sure to create them as a drop-down selection). In that process, you’ll be able to direct certain answers to start your different workflows.
#5 Stay on top of all your to-dos
Certainly your balloon decor workflows have to-dos, etc. that lead you through your projects.
But there are also plenty of other recurring to-dos for your balloon business, such as:
Paying quarterly taxes
Checking on the wear and tear of your frames
Updating your website for prices, new products, etc… the list goes on!
To keep up with these tasks, you can create to-do lists, such as “inventory to-dos”, “financial to-dos” and “marketing to-dos”, for example. Add one-off items, or (more likely) recurring items here.
#6 Custom fields
Custom fields for your contacts or projects will become tokens that can really add a nice personal touch to your emails and documents.
Now, it’s easy to get carried away with these custom fields (I’ve been guilty myself!), so I’d recommend taking these steps before creating any new custom fields:
Know the default fields that already exist
Ask yourself whether this custom field will add really useful personalization
Ask yourself whether this custom field will save you any copy/pasting throughout your process
A few great custom fields for balloon businesses are:
Setup time (a great token for email reminders/confirmations & in your quote)
Colors/theme (in the description of your various decor products)
Personalization (if you have this add-on, use this token in the line item description for your quote)
Custom project fields will also populate nicely along the right side of your screen while viewing your project. To get started with custom fields, head to Account Settings > Custom Fields (under Account Templates).
#7 Connecting to Zapier
Zapier is another awesome tool for streamlining your business. It connects many common business platforms together with automation.
Its integration with 17hats will copy new contacts to and from other sources automatically. Helpful uses include:
Sending new 17hats contacts to a Google Sheet
Sending new 17hats contacts to your email service provider
Creating new 17hats contacts based on entries from another web form you have
This will mean you no longer have to manually copy and paste your new contacts back and forth across all your tech!
#8 Questionnaire options & if/then logic
Questionnaires have slowly become my favorite type of document within 17hats! They’re similar to lead capture forms in the way they collect information from your customers (and map that info to your tokens), but they offer even more capability.
Questionnaires can also allow for file uploads, inputting related contacts, displaying images and asking follow-up questions depending on the answers you get in previous questions.
Good uses for those features would be things like:
asking your customers for inspiration pictures / pictures of their space
if they indicated that their delivery address is different than their billing address, have follow-up questions for that additional address
#9 Multiple online scheduling availabilities
Having different sets of availability in your online scheduling setup is nice for things like Grab & Go Garlands and decor consultation phone calls.
This can really help you organize and plan your days.
Say, for example, you only offer your Grab & Go Garland pickups on Thursday and Friday afternoons. That would be a separate availability schedule from your decor consultation availability which might be from 9am-11am every weekday (for example).
Then there are many other options regarding the timing and approval process for these online bookings, too.
#10 Automatically move a project to another calendar
If you appreciate a color-coded calendar as much as me, this one is great! It will allow you to know at a glance what your project schedule is like on any given day.
It starts by sending new contacts to your “inquired clients” calendar (or some other name like “pending” or “potential”). This is done in the settings of your lead capture form or online scheduling.
Then, as you can see how in the image above, this workflow prompts me to send a quote, and once it's paid, an email is automatically sent… and after both of those things are done, clients automatically move to my "booked clients" calendar.
(This is actually a sneak peek inside my course, 17hats for Balloon Businesses!)
Now, when someone else asks for my availability on that same day I will quickly know that I’m already booked and will need to find another time to work with the new customer.
The availability of these features will depend on your subscription level. But I whole-heartedly recommend their premier package if you’re serious about streamlining your balloon business with 17hats. Two major reasons are:
way more workflow capabilities
being able to take payments through online scheduling
Wanna learn more? Surprise! I’ve actually got seven more of my favorite features of 17hats included in this free download. If you find that you’re ready to give the platform a try, feel free to grab my referral link to get up to 50% off your annual subscription!