The hardest part (for me) in creating my blogging agency has been setting the framework for success.
Creating SOPs, training the team, finding clients and everything else means little if I don't have a good system to manage everything.
This means a place that is (1) user friendly for the clients to see and manage their orders (2) user friendly for my team to communicate with clients and each other (3) user friendly for marketing and sales.
Service Provider Pro (which I will abbreviate as SPP for the rest of this article) advertised itself as meeting all of these needs.
In this article, I'll dive a little bit deeper into my experience and how well each need was served.
What Does Service Provider Pro Do?
A lot. Which is part of why I was apprehensive when signing up.
I've found that "more" isn't always more in the world of SAAS. It often means below average solutions to many things so you end up with a bunch of money saved but at the cost of some quality.
Here are the key things that SSP does and the tools it can replace.
#1 Sell service packages with order forms. It replaces invoicing softwares like Freshbooks which costs me about $400 per year (unfortunately I can't cancel because I use it for many other things not service related).
You can sell services in many different ways.
- One time services
- Subscription services
- Custom projects with special quotes
You can also add upgrades to purchases such as faster turnaround so you can increase the average value of each customer.
Another great feature is that if you have multiple offers, you can show them inside of the client portal. They can upgrade or purchase form this "shop" at any time.
#2 Communicate with customers and deliver work in their own client portal. Clients will have their own unique login and dashboard area where you communicate with them. They can also order additional offers from you at any time.
You can still fit in things like DropBox or Google Drive to the process if you'd like, but the work will be completed in a messenger style format.
You can also increase retention with customized client onboarding and email integrations to let them know what you need from them to get started.
#3 Manage your team and assignments. You can add your team into SSP and assign them to tasks as needed. You can do this manually or create custom rules to assign tasks however you'd like.
#4 Manage an affiliate program. Affiliate programs are one of the greatest growth hacks in the world of business and SSP has a decent one built directly into it. You can set commission rates and decide who can promote your services. I recommend allowing all clients to promote on your behalf and making the affiliate area appear by default for them.
Another awesome feature is the reseller program. This allows other companies to white label your services. You sell them to them at the same price as usual and then fulfill the orders and they sell the services to their clients at whatever price they want and net the difference. Unfortunately only available on the Pro plan and higher though.
Service Provider Pro Pricing
Pricing for all of the plans listed below are shown if you pay annually. If you pay monthly, expect to pay about 30% more on average.
All plans include the following.
- A Client Portal with your agency's branding
- Unlimited orders, clients, affiliates, services, and forms
- Unlimited file storage
- All integrations, including Zapier and Webhooks
- Customizable Client Portal colors, menus & language
- Unlimited order messaging via portal and email
- Drag & drop builder for order forms, contact, and intake forms
- Priority email support
Not highlighted on main sales page but it is available if you look closely.
For small shops
For established agencies
If your agency is operating at scale, these costs shouldn't be a problem and they are more than fair (in my opinion).
Service Provider Pro Alternatives
There are a couple of other options if you aren't a fan of SSP (although I do suggest giving them a test first).
SuiteDash - The purest direct alternative to Service Provider Pro in terms of client management. Its actually just as feature rich and costs about half as much. The interface is a bit rough around the edges but they provide onboarding sessions for new clients (starting with their mid tier plans).
Accelo - More expensive solution that is perhaps more polished but far more complex (not a benefit to me frankly).
MavenLink - Built for larger companies with 50-5,000 employees.
Monday - Very popular collaboration software but not as "out of the box ready" as SSP.
Service Provider Pro is an all in one platform for managing your agency. If you have clients and deliver them some sort of services (typically virtually although in person services like landscaping would also work) this if for you.
It allows you charge for and deliver your services to clients and replaces the need for many other 3rd party tools like Freshbooks (or any invoicing software), Slack (or any messaging software), First Promoter (or any affiliate management software), WooCommerce (or any checkout software) and Trello (or any project management tool).