5 Things to Consider when buying Dance Studio Management Software
Buying Dance Studio Management software can be a daunting challenge. There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed with all the features and options. We recommend to clients to forget about the software and think about their businesses first.
When considering any software, not just Dance Studio Management Software, think about the things that are hard to do in your business. Here’s a couple of examples.
- Keeping parents and students up to date about dance class schedules, class changes, when fees are due…
- Reminding parents and students that their dance tuition is due
- Knowing how student numbers are trending with Drops and Adds.
That’s just a few of the many challenges dance studio owners face. We like to call these scenarios. You have a ton of them in your studio.
- How do I register a new student
- Who do we call if someone gets hurt during tumbling
- Has a student completed all of their ballet requirements to take pointe
- What do we do if there is a ceiling leak and we can’t have class
Now that you are thinking in business terms, let’s look of some of the things you should consider when buying dance studio management software.
1. You are mobile. Make sure your software is too
You’ve got to be able to access your information from your home, the studio lobby, in the car or even while waiting in line at the grocery store. If you need a laptop or PC to access your data, then you are in the dark 99% of the day. Be sure you have access to your information on your iPhone, iPad or any other smartphone. No mobile… No way!
2. Dance Studio ownership can be hard. Make sure your software isn’t
How many times have you heard “My 2 year old already can work the iPad?” This is a huge compliment to Apple. They know the importance of making software intuitive. Whatever software you pick should be comfortable and easy for you to use. There is no reason you should have to waste hours or days trying to figure out how something works. Also, who’s got time to go burn a couple of days going to some training class. From the first minute you see the software, you should have a really good idea of what to do next. If not, it’s always going to be a fight. And besides, parents already do a good enough job of adding complications to your life.
3. If you get stuck, there’s someone to call
Running a dance studio can be complicated. Just think about tuition calculations. Most dance studios have some form of dollars per hour calculation, however, they also have multi-student discounts, multi-class discounts. Some students have fixed fees, while others have a fixed tuition, but should still get billed for dance competition classes differently. Getting started can be a little challenging. Be sure that what ever software you pick, there is an active support system in place if you get stuck. Just imagine not being able to talk to someone during the week of registration if you have questions.
4. It’s gotta make your life easier
Why on Earth would you go out and pay for something that doesn’t make your life easier. The software has to be more than some online database. Its got to make your life easier. By easier, I mean the software needs to call students and parents automatically, it needs to remind teachers that they have class tomorrow, it needs to gently remind parents they need to pay, it needs to allow parents to register and manage their accounts online without you having to do everything for them. If it doesn’t make your life better, then you might as well be using an Excel spreadsheet.
5. Talk’s Cheap. Most software isn’t.
Before you commit yourself to a dance studio management software, make sure you can afford it. Your software will become an active member of the team and it must earn its way. Make sure that whatever system you pick, it will work on your budget. Also make sure that the software you buy is the software you get. There are plenty of solutions out there that have really low teaser rates just to get you through the door and then start nickle and diming you for every feature. Keep in mind that some dance studio software packages charge you for the number of users that access your information. If you are like most studios, you’ve got someone manning the front desk, 3 or 4 teachers running classes (Taking attendance, looking at lesson plans, playing music) and you would probably be checking in on absences and payments. That can quickly get you up to 5 or 6 users really fast. In some systems, that can be over $200 per month! Consider picking a dance software that doesn’t punish you for being successful. Ideally you shouldn’t have to pay more just because you have more students or more teachers accessing your information.
We wish you the best of luck in the selection process.