If you own your own yoga or fitness studio, you might be looking into some software to better help you run your business. One such software is Zen Planner, a software suite that is built to help you run your business more efficiently and is user-friendly for everyone. It not only has key features that help you run your business but also has both a member and staff app, for easy access for everyone. When looking for software for your business, you want to make sure that it will be the right fit for you. This article will go into detail of all that Zen Planner has to offer and how it can be easily customized to fit your business’ needs.
What is Zen Planner?
Zen Planner is a yoga studio management software that allows you, the owner, to be able to focus less on administrative tasks and more on what you love, your business and the people you are helping through yoga. The software has capabilities that take the guesswork out of administrative duties and puts it all in one place for you. It has member management software, marketing software, retention capabilities, as well as member self-service capabilities, which allows you and your staff to focus more on your yoga business than on trying to do administrative work yourself. Why send out individual emails or figure out which members have paid and which members haven’t when the Zen Planner software can figure it all out for you. It not only sends you an alert so that you can follow up with members, but it sends the alert to the members as well.
Quick Setup and Support
When you purchase a Zen Planner, you will get three 45 minute training sessions with a Zen Planner onboarding coach. Your coach will help you set up the software and provide you with training on how to use the software. Zen Planner has integrated many options within the software that will better help your business. The onboarding coach will help you decide what options will work best for your business and help you add those options to the software. After the initial training sessions, you will receive free unlimited access to the Zen Planners support team if anything occurs or if you have questions.
This software works well with any phone, tablet, or computer. The recommended browsers are the most current versions of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. They even provide links to upload the current versions of these browsers on their website. There is a Zen Planner staff app and a member app in the app store for phones and tablets using iOS or Android. The member and staff app work well to allow for easy check-in and purchase retail, but each has separate functions geared towards the users. For the staff, they can easily track their hours using a time clock, see the class schedule and who has signed up for their class, so they can better plan out their day, and they can switch to a self-service model so that members can check themselves into the class or purchase retail. The member app has the ability to check class schedules, see which of their friends have signed up for class, check if they have any balances due, and sign up for classes. The apps are very user-friendly and make it easier than ever for members to see the class schedule and sign up for class and for staff to see how many people have signed up for their class and more. Below is what the member app looks like.
The Zen Planner software has many options to help your business send out automatic texts and emails to your members and potential members. Some options you can set up are automatic texts and emails for:
- Payment reminders
- Members with expiring credit cards
- Failed payments
- Appointment confirmations and reminders
- Birthday cards
- Come back we miss you emails
- Refer a friend
- And other marketing-related tools
From the Automations screen, you can choose from a variety of automation that will automatically send things out for you. For example, when a member attends 100 classes or if a member has an unpaid bill. You can opt-in or out to any of this automation, depending on what you need for your business.
Emails & Text Options
With Zen Planner, you will also have the ability to send out manual emails or texts. In the address book, you will have an option to put people into different categories. You can have people categorized into staff, students, or prospects. You can also make sub-categories and create groups based on the programs the students attend. When you want to send out an email or text to a group, like a specific class, you will click on that group, click choose a template, and you have the option to send an email or text, as shown in the image below.
There are many features that the Zen Planner Software has. All features include functions that allow the business owner, staff, and members to take away the guesswork and get straight to the yoga. On the main screen, the dashboard shows you everything you need in one place. It can be customized to fit your business’ needs and is where you can keep track of your memberships, calendar, statistics, and more. You can easily create and showcase charts on this screen, like a chart that shows your daily member average. With Zen Planner, the statistics are already calculated for you, so you don’t have to do the data entry or guesswork. That makes things simpler for you and your business.
Within the customization field of the dashboard, as seen in the images above, you can customize each of your dashboard pages, like memberships or attendance, so it shows what you want to be shown when you go onto the main screen.
On the dashboard, it will automatically create reports and charts for what you want. You can easily create a report or chart if you need one that isn’t already there. To do this you will just click on the new report, a pop-up screen will appear, and you will select the new report you want to create, as seen in the images below.
In the membership field, you can organize your members into groups — similar to how it’s done when emailing. In the image below, you can see how the groups are sorted.
You are also able to track attendance records. You can see who attended class today and who hasn’t been showing up. This is good if you would like to send reminder emails to members who haven’t been as active as they usually are. You could send out promotions to try to get them back in or something else intriguing to make them want to come to class.
Prospective members are people who have not purchased a membership package but have participated in a free trial or dropped into a class. You will probably want to track these prospects to see how long it takes them to sign up for a membership and how you received these prospects, so you can try to get more. Zen Planner puts these prospects into what they call a prospect funnel. In the funnel, you can keep track of if you’ve contacted them to join, how many times, if they’re interested, and if they’ve set up an intro session. This is good for marketing purposes, to know what works best for getting new members and is also good for revenue. You always want to attract more members to keep your business active. Zen Planner provides some strategies and helpful tips on their websites on how other studios are able to retain members and continue to grow their business. I thought that was a nice touch and is a helpful tool.
The calendar is pretty straight forward. You can add events that are happening at the studio, as well as member birthdays, and class schedules. All members and staff will be able to see the calendar.
In the financial section, you can access reports on how you are gaining income. It can sort it into income per student, retail, and more. It also tallies up payments that are past due, pending, failed, and payments in the last 30 days. You will also have access to member accounts who suspended their auto pay and have expiring credit cards, so you can make sure they pay on time. The member will also receive a notification in their app that their credit card on file is expiring. The financial aspect really takes the guesswork out of how your income is coming through and helps to put everything into one place.
A dashboard is really a helpful tool, as it keeps everything that you need on one screen so that you don’t have to go looking for it. It can be customized to how you want it and you can add things to it if it’s not already a part of the dashboard. You can think of the dashboard as your home screen, where everything is easily accessible and in one place.
The other features of the Zen Planner software are throughout the desktop software and mobile apps and include:
- Get paid on time with automated billing
- Easier payment processing
- Financial tools to track expenses and calculate taxes
- Data security features that makes sure customer information is secure and confidential
- Automatic bank deposits
- Able to use credit card capture instead of manually entering credit card numbers
- Retail sales
- Event registration
- Easily integrate software into websites
- Email automation
- Ability to track prospective members and identify successful marketing campaigns geared toward prospects
- Facebook integrations
Member mobile app
- Class calendar
- Reserve a class
- Instructor and class details
- Members can easily see which of their friends have registered to a class
- Digital signing option for contracts and waivers
- Pay bills
- Keeps track of attendance history
- Shows class attendance and capacity on the calendar so staff can easily plan their day
- Simplified check-in
- Ability to sell retail and memberships
- Member self-service which allows members to check themselves into class or purchase retail by switching to kiosk mode
- Staff time clock so staff members can easily track their hours and clock in and out
Websites and digital marketing
- Feature embedded calendars and forms to drive more prospective members
- Directory listings
- Managed ad campaigns
- Search engine optimization
- Superior support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Embedded forms and scheduling on website
- Members can easily check-in to classes, resolve alerts like unpaid bills, pay bills, and purchase retail
- Ability to track workouts and attendance history
- Quick check-in
- Send out emails to members who haven’t been in a while
- Detailed reports like member attendance and enrollment numbers
- Class reservations
- Ability to recognize milestones like attending 100 classes
- Member mobile app
- Embedded calendars
- Add appointments
- Customized payroll to easily pay staff
- Staff scheduling tools and auto-reminders to help eliminate scheduling conflicts
- Mobile reservations
- Time clock
Dashboard and reporting
- Create and save custom reports or choose predefined reports staying informed about your business
- Ability to export reports to your favorite spreadsheet program or email straight to your accountant
- Ability to immediately follow-up on failed payments, absent members, upcoming promotions, and more
- See reports for multiple locations to track progress across your business with all locations
- Share reports
- Quickly sell, process, and track retail purchases
- Process and manage across multiple devices
- Grow revenue
- Ability to track order history and inventory levels
- With kiosk mode on the staff app, members can select and pay on their own
- Quick and easy checkout
- Members can put extra money towards future purchases like if they pay for water and pay with a $10 bill, the change can be saved and put toward any future purchases
- Quick payments with credit card capture
- Simplified billing
- Ability to send emails to prospective members and members
- Financial alerts so you can know how well your business is doing
- Billing alerts
Pros & Cons
I looked at a few websites for customer reviews, not just on Zen Planner’s main website. What I found was that there were more pros and cons, and the cons were more suggestions than anything else. Many people enjoyed that it was convenient, organized, user-friendly, and the customer service team was always helpful and were quick to respond. They also stated the software was easy to use.
- It was easy to create and manage clients
- Easy to view past due and failed payments
- The software was easy to set up and was easily customizable
The reviews also loved that with the Zen Planner software, they didn’t have to spend as much time on data entry because the software did that for them, and they liked how the software continues to improve through client feedback.
Now for some cons, and like I said, they were mostly suggestions on how the software could be improved. Some thought the app looked and felt outdated and it could use improvements in the calendar functions and in the emailing functionality. One user suggested the software could be cheaper but still loved it. Again, not many cons on this product, mostly just suggestions on ways to improve it.
Above is what the front desk screen looks like for reference. I think it looks very clean and simple to read to easily be able to check people into class, but that’s just me.
The price appears to be comparable to other software platforms with similar functions. The pricing is based on how many members your yoga studio has. It starts out with $117 per month for memberships of 0 – 100 and goes up to $227 per month for memberships of 251 members. You have the option to get a website created by Zen Planner with your software. With that option, the cost starts at $414 and goes up from there, dependent on the members and what type of website suite you are looking for. Keep in mind, this software will work with a website you already have, but Zen Planner gives you the option of creating a website through them as well. I think that’s a nice and convenient touch, that allows everything with your business to be in one place.
Integrations the Software Works With
I was unable to get a lot of information on what software Zen Planner can work with. In the demo, it said that you can embed the software into your own website and it already has a way to send out emails or texts, so it must be capable of integrating with your email system, but I couldn’t confirm how it does that. The only software I could find that integrates to their software, and is on their site, is Infusion Soft, a sales and marketing software.
Customer Support and Options
Through the feedback from customer reviews, the customer support team at Zen Planner is top-notch. They are focused on the customer and their needs. They take customer feedback and will develop upgrades to the software and new features based on what the customer has asked for. They respond to all inquiries in a timely manner and have full knowledge based on whatever questions or assistance you may have. They provide articles on some frequently asked questions like how to customize or upgrade a membership and common payment errors and how to resolve them.
Overall Rating Out of 5
These ratings are based on customer review feedback and what I took away from the software. To me, I think this is a very top-rated software and will really help to boost any business, especially your yoga studio.
Value for Money
Related: MINDBODY yoga studio software review