Can Dance Studio Software Really Save Me Time?
By Jon Koerber, President of ClassJuggler Dance.
Will the software I select to help me run my dance studio really deliver on needed efficiencies? Will it actually save me time?
I hear this question occasionally, and it’s an important one for you to consider when you are a dance studio owner or manager. Time is money, so saving time is good. But, money is money, so the cost of the software must be justified by its ability to actually save you time: to make your school more efficient.
To help answer this question, consider these factors:
- Determine your must-haves (non-negotiables) – Things the software must be able to deliver to be a good fit for your business.
- Get independent product opinions – Learn from other dance studios who are already using the software you are considering.
Matching a Product to Your Must-Haves List
Every dance school software vendor is going to claim that their solution is best. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you know for certain which solution is the right and best solution for your business – especially when each dance studio business management software solution differs so dramatically in price, features, ease of use, and customer support?
First, decide what operational efficiencies you need. Is it better bookkeeping? The ability to let customers pay for their classes online? The ability to run status reports, like attendance records and payment records? Mobile device compatibility?How about the availability of fast telephone support, for when you have a short break to ask questions between classes? Making a list is important, because not all products will deliver what you need. So make your list; Identify your top business needs by answering this question – What business problems do I have that a software solution must be able to help me with?
Second, create a “nice-to-have’s” list. What dance school software features could be handy, even if those features are not deal-breakers for you. Dividing your list like this into needs vs. wants will help you choose one product over another.
I recommend that you check out independent software review and comparison sites, such as dance studio software comparison site Capterra. Presently, there are over 50 products on that list. You will see that some of the software solutions offer only one or two business management features, such as just bookkeeping, or just class scheduling, but not both.
With the Capterra product comparison site, check off all of the features listed in the right Features column that you are looking for:
Let’s say that you need all these features, so you select them all. Capterra suddenly filters your view of that 50-plus dance software products to just the 7 competing products that include all these features:
Get Independent Product Opinions
Seeking out the opinions of others who are using or have used the products that interest you is another excellent way to compare dance studio management software.
For instance, notice how Capterra keeps a list of dance school software reviews, written by those who use the products. Of the more-than-50 dance software providers listed, only 10 businesses have customers reviews.
Things to look for in customer reviews: How positive are the reviews? How many are there? For example, some products have no reviews, one has only three reviews. A handful have more than 40 customer reviews. The words of the users are a good way to learn about a product from the perspective of those who use the product.
Saving Time by Getting It Right in the First Place
It’s important that you make a smart choice on your software decision. Yes, you can always switch products later if your first choice isn’t working out, but the work involved in doing so can be daunting and time consuming. For example, moving all your customer data from one software solution to another will take a lot of effort, unless a product offers convenient data import/export features.