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Bonsai vs 17hats – Comparison

Last updated on February 6, 2024

Starting out in life coaching, your focus is mainly on clients and delivering mind-blowing content. But then the tedious admin tasks start piling up. You need to organize client information, send personalized messages, keep track of conversations, onboard clients, schedule sessions, collect payments, and so much more. This is the biggest challenge for most life coaches.

A good business management platform can save the day, but choosing the right one is the first step toward freedom. In this Bonsai vs 17hats comparison, we’ll look at two popular solutions for life coaches. By delving into their features, pricing, and advantages, you can pick a platform that is best suited for your coaching practice and management needs.

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Bonsai vs 17hats: An Overview

Bonsai is comprehensive management software designed to “take your coaching practice to the next level.” It covers scheduling, course creation, client CRM, client portal, collaboration, collecting payments, and more. The platform is perfect for centralizing all business management tasks, including expense tracking, accounting, and tax-related responsibilities. To learn more about Bonsai, check out our detailed Bonsai review.

17hats provides a unified system of automation and organization tools for small business management. This software was created for freelancers and entrepreneurs across all industries. Its set of features delivers solutions for booking sessions, automating activities, lead management, bookkeeping, time management, and payments. 

Pricing & Free Trial

Let’s take a closer look at the pricing and free trial options provided by Bonsai and 17hats.

Pricing Plan

Bonsai’s Starter plan begins at $21/month and covers a lot of essential features, like unlimited clients and projects, scheduling, templates, payments, client CRM, time tracking, and more. The Professional plan, priced at $32/month, includes additional features such as custom branding, workflow automation, a branded client portal, more integrations, and unlimited scheduling events. The Business plan ($66/month) unlocks even more advanced functionalities.

Bonsai also provides three optional add-ons for an extra cost:

  • Collaborators ($10/month) – allows you to invite team members to collaborate on tasks and record their time for specific projects
  • Partners ($10/month) – allows you to invite team members for full account and management access
  • Tax Assistant ($10/month) – allows you to track expenses, identify tax write-offs, and estimate quarterly taxes

17hats is somewhat more affordable, with the basic plan priced at $15/month. It comes with features like scheduling, CRM, invoicing, payments, and one lead-capturing form. More advanced features are available in the Standard ($30/month) and Premier ($60/month) plans.

Free Trial

You can create a free account in Bonsai to get complete, unrestricted access to your chosen plan for 7 days. 

17hats has the same trial period. Choose the plan you want, and you can use it for 7 days without paying any fees.


Bonsai and 17hats have a comprehensive list of features, so let’s see what they are and which of them stand out. 

Bonsai Features

  • Scheduling
  • Client management 
  • Automation
  • Client portal
  • Communication
  • Contracts
  • Invoicing
  • Payments
  • Client intake forms
  • Session notes
  • Time tracking
  • Collaboration tools
  • Financial management
  • Prebuilt and customizable templates
  • Mobile app
  • Integrations with Gmail, Google Calendar, Zapier, QuickBooks, etc.

With financial management features, you can eliminate the need for additional tools for accounting, bookkeeping, banking, and taxing. You can track expenses and profits, identify tax write-offs, get quarterly and annual tax reminders, automate budgeting, and more.

Bonsai lets you design coaching packages tailored to your unique coaching style. Whether you prefer invoicing per session, upfront payments, or setting up coaching retainers, Bonsai has the flexibility you need.

As a platform tailored to coaching businesses, Bonsai has ready-made templates specific to the coaching industry. In the templates library, you can choose a coaching category and take advantage of numerous coaching templates such as the life coaching session template, assessment forms, life coach bio, and so on. 

17hats Features

  • Scheduling
  • Client management
  • Automation
  • Client portal
  • Communication
  • Contracts
  • Invoicing
  • Payments
  • Reporting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Time tracking
  • Email and document templates
  • Mobile app
  • Integrations with Zoom, email providers, calendar apps, Quickbooks, Zapier, and over 20,000 financial institutions

17hats can aid your sales efforts with lead generation and management. You can create automated workflows for new leads, gather lead details through website forms and social media, and set auto-replies to leads. 

Juggling multiple projects is super easy with 17hats. You can run multiple projects with a clear view of each project’s status. The project dashboard enables you to filter leads, active projects, and archived ones so that you can stay organized.

Your communication with clients can be simplified with email templates. While they are not created for coaching purposes, you can modify their structure with a few tweaks and save yourself some time. 

Bonsai vs 17hats – How Are They Different?

Bonsai is a coaching software, while 17hats is created for project-based businesses; therefore, they are bound to have different features. Here are some functionalities that set them apart.

Coaching Templates

Bonsai’s coaching templates can be a huge time-saver, especially since they’re tailored for life coaching and even some life coaching niches like executive coaching and business coaching. 17hats has email, invoice, and contract templates, but it falls short in providing coach-specific ready-made documents. 

Financial Management

17hats does include bookkeeping features, but Bonsai provides a more extensive financial management solution. It comes with integrated banking, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax capabilities, and it reduces the need (and expense) for additional financial software.


Bonsai is more suited for growing businesses, as it comes with features that support collaboration with other coaches or team members. This collaboration includes assigning tasks, tracking time, and managing access. 

3-in-1 Proposal

17hats has streamlined the proposal and payment processes within one document. It is a combined document that includes a quote, contract, and invoice, presented in a professional and unified format. It simplifies the process for clients to choose a service, sign the proposal, and make payments. Bonsai doesn’t have this feature.

Customer Support

Bonsai has a 4.5 rating for customer service on Capterra. Most users find the support to be exceptional, although a few have reported not getting responses. You can reach out to their representatives via email or in-app chat, and they are available 7 days a week.

17hats has a 4.3 rating for customer service on Capterra. Reviewers mainly praise the service, but some complain about not being able to speak to a representative. Their support is available from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you can contact them through email, live chat, or Facebook DM.

Conclusion – Bonsai or 17hats?

After this thorough analysis, Bonsai is clearly the superior solution. As one of the most robust management software, it can streamline every aspect of your coaching business. Then there’s also the fact that Bonsai is specifically made for coaches, while 17hats is designed for small business owners across all industries. 

Even though selecting the ideal solution depends on your specific business processes and client workload, when it comes to meeting the needs of life coaches, Bonsai definitely has more to offer to coaches than 17hats. 

Alternatives to Bonsai and 17hats

If Bonsai and 17hats don’t quite meet your requirements, we recommend looking into other software options, such as our top selections, Paperbell, Honeybook, Simplero, Practice, and CoachVantage.

To expand your choices, check out our list of the top-rated life coaching platforms that offer comprehensive solutions for all coaching needs. You can also find out how these well-regarded platforms compare to Bonsai and 17hats in articles that delve into Bonsai’s and 17hats’ alternatives.

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