If there’s one thing we know it’s that dance studio owners, directors, and managers are some of the busiest people around. Between programming, choreographing, scheduling, teaching, and dealing with parents, even the thought of researching new studio software can be daunting. Not to mention, once you select one, will you have to change the way you do everything? It can definitely get pushed down the priority list.
The problem with putting the decision off is that choosing the right studio management software can make your life easier, give you time back, and save money for your studio. We’re here to help take some of the pressure off and give you a guide to evaluating studio management solutions.
- Make a list of what you need your software to do
Think about all of the things that you do around the studio that take up your time. Do you spend hours taking or correcting registrations? Does it take you the better part of a week to set up your class schedule?
Then consider all of the things that stand between you and making money. Do your customers keep asking for online registrations? Have you been wanting to charge registration fees, but don’t really know how to set it up?
- Make a list of must-haves and would-be-nice features
Once you know what you want your software to do, make a list of features that it absolutely must have. Items on this list MUST be included in any software solution that you buy. If it doesn’t have these, it’s a deal breaker.
Make another list of things that you wish your studio management software would do. These are things that you would like to spend less time on or organization you wish you had.
- Determine all costs, including any additional fees
Once you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can start comparing different products. Obviously, you will want to immediately remove any software that does have your must-have features included.
At this point, determine how much each software solution will cost. Make sure to include set up fees, monthly charges, and credit card fees in your calculations.
- Research security features
The software that you select will have access to all your customer information including their addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers. You want to be absolutely sure that this information is kept secure. Any security breaches can damage your studio’s reputation.
- Find out what it would take to implement
Before selecting dance studio management software, you want to know what it’s going to take to get it set up and working in your studio. Do you have to load all your data in yourself? How will online registration work? How much support will you have while you’re trying to get things up and going?
It is important for you to really understand what is involved in the setup process. You want to be able to start using your software right away, so you want to make sure you have the support you need.
- Evaluate the level of customer support available
You know better than anyone how much customer support you will need to use this software in your studio. Make sure that the company you’re choosing offers the right level of customer support to allow you to use the software that you’re paying for to its fullest.
- Request a personalized demo of the software
Often this is the first thing that studio owners do when they are trying to find dance studio management software. But, it should be one of the last steps. You are busy and don’t want to waste your time evaluating software that doesn’t meet the needs of your studio.
Ideally, you can set up a personalized demo of the software so that you can see how it would work for the specific needs of your studio. This way you can ask direct questions and see exactly how the software will solve your problems.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the features you need and how things work. You are the one who will be relying on this to run your business, so you want to be confident in your decision.