If you run a dance studio, getting the best dance studio management software is critical to managing your business. Read these tips for choosing the best dance studio management software for your business.
If you run a dance studio, answer this question:
how many software applications do you use to organize your business?
Perhaps you haven’t gotten around to getting any dance studio management software to manage your business and instead juggle a bunch of applications such as spreadsheets, Word documents, and other individual applications to manage your business.
A Dance Studio Has Many Software Needs
When you break it down, your dance studio has many software needs including:
- payment processing;
- managing staff and payroll;
- perhaps you sell products and services online (e-commerce – if not, you’re missing out on a great opportunity);
- client contact management;
- financial and sales reporting; and
There are certainly individual software applications that can serve all of the functions above, but in my view, you can make your administrative and marketing roles much easier if you use an integrated, all-in-one software package that performed all those tasks for you.
The trouble is there is a lot of small business software out there – even software that caters to dance studios. How do you start your search for the best dance studio software for your dance studio?
7 Key Features To Look for In Dance Studio Business Software
- 1. Web-based software (i.e. Cloud)
- 2. Opt for an all-in-one solution
- 3. Look for as many automation features as possible
- 4. Get powerful scheduling capabilities
- 5. Customer-service oriented software
- 6. Marketing integration
- 7. Book and pay for classes/memberships online
1. Web-based software (i.e. Cloud)
Web-based software is hosted by the service provider. You simply log-in to your account through the Internet. All your data and functionality is accessible through the Internet. This avoids the hassles of downloading, installing, and then configuring software (typical of desktop software).
The real advantage of web-based software is you can access it anywhere you have an Internet connection.
2. Opt for an all-in-one solution
Juggling a variety of applications to manage your dance studio is inefficient – even when well-integrated. These days there is dance software that integrates all your business’ needs in one platform. This results in a central database from which you can process sales, client management, scheduling, inventory, payroll, employee management, marketing, and more within one software platform.
3. Look for as many automation features as possible
Software is to make your life easier and save you time. Look for software that automates processes. Activities you can automate with software include:
- online class bookings;
- online class purchases (including packages, classes, workshops, memberships, gift cards – whatever your pricing models are)
- student self-check-in
- e-mail and text messaging class reminders
- automated wait-list generation with e-mail messages giving notice of openings; and
- report generation – sales, class attendance, no-shows, etc.
4. Get powerful scheduling capabilities
Your dance studio’s business model revolves around its schedule. Without great scheduling software, you spend more time than is necessary to manage your schedule. There 3 types of scheduling involved:
- centralized dance class schedule creation: how many locations do you presently have your dance class schedule posted? On your website (on several web pages), in your studio – possibly many places which if not centralized in one location, makes changing your schedule a hassle. Look for scheduling software where you need only make revisions in one online location which then feeds the changes to all electronically posted locations.
- booking appointments and class sign-ups: look for dance studio management software that lets students sign up online for classes. This takes you out of the booking process.
- staff/instructor scheduling: centralized staff scheduling makes it easy for you to manage all of your staff scheduling complexities – especially if you have several instructors.
5. Customer-service oriented software
Always think of ways you can serve your dance students better. One easy way to do this is to make it easy for them to access and buy your services. Methods to improve your customer service with software includes:
- online bookings;
- online purchases (classes, workshops, memberships, private instruction, packages, products, etc.);
- online self-check-in and in-studio self-check-in with swipe cards;
- automated class reminders sent via e-mail and phone; and
- easy credit card payment system.
6. Marketing integration
Unfortunately, so many dance studio owners get too busy to focus any real attention on marketing. One often missed opportunity is e-mail marketing. Actually, I don’t really like the term e-mail marketing. Instead, I prefer calling it client communication by e-mail.
Think about it – your dance studio’s business is based on your students. That’s a large database of contacts. Wouldn’t it be great if you could automate communicating to your students and interested students via e-mail? It’s effective and extremely inexpensive.
Moreover, with the right dance studio management software, you can get powerful e-mail software that attracts new members on your list and automates e-mail message sending to your existing students.
If you aren’t doing any e-mail marketing now, you’re missing out on a very easy and inexpensive way to build your dance studio business.
7. Book and pay for classes/memberships online
In order to sell online, whether booking classes or selling products or memberships, you need a website (which you probably have) and e-commerce software.
What types of goods and services can you sell as a dance studio?
- Dance Packages
- Gift Cards
- Dance clothing
- Digital Courses
But, you can’t sell any of this without an e-commerce website.
Did you know there are websites that only sell dance products (physical and digital) and they make a fortune?
If you aren’t selling online, you’re missing out.
The key is getting the right e-commerce software for you.
Key features you need to sell memberships and classes online
Ideally, dance studio e-commerce software will integrate with your entire dance studio software platform. This way you need only manage one database of customers and students. From this central database, you can leverage your sales, marketing, student management, and of course do precision marketing.
You’ll also want to integrate with your dance studio services by being able to sell dance classes, courses, workshops, gift cards, memberships, and more.
b. Credit Card Processing
The ideal dance studio e-commerce software will of course include credit card processing.
c. Easy Website Installation
Your e-commerce software must be very easy to incorporate into your website so you can have an online store up and running in no time.
d. Online Class Registration
This is e-commerce, especially when you collect payment online. Think about how convenient this is for your students, and it saves you time.
Suggested Software: MINDBODY