Monthly Archives: September 2014

Will the studio business management software I choose generate new business?

You might be surprised by this question – “Will the studio business management software I choose generate new business?” But the answer is, Quite possibly yes! That is, if you choose the right software with the right features.

When you initially consider investing in a desktop or cloud-based studio management software solution, top priorities for most school/studio owners or managers are usually related to the backend benefits – being able to run reports, managing customer records, email billing capabilities, etc. But there are certain features you should think about that can actually boost your business. For instance:

  • Customer self-signup for classes – if the software product includes features that you can install on your website that make it possible for students or their parents to sign up for scheduled classes, this not only saves you a lot of time (the backend benefit), but allows the customer to feel “in control” of the experience. It lets them browse and choose classes in their own time, from the comfort of their home or office, and when they want to do it – even if that’s 1 o’clock in the morning! This kind of customer empowerment can boost business.
  • Online customer self-pay and profile management. Some business management software programs (like ClassJuggler’s suite of business solutions for dance studios, gymnastics/cheer schools, dojos, tennis camps, K-12 and acting signinschools) make it possible for your customers to go to your website and log into their own account to add a new phone number, and address change, or even to pay for classes. such services not only save you lots of time (the backend benefit) but makes it easier for your customers to do business with you. Advertising these features in brochures, on your website, and on your social media sites can make your school look – and be! – more professional, which will make you more competitive in your market.
  • Merchant processing. Some software programs designed to help you run your studio will partner with merchant processing service companies – companies that make it possible for you to accept credit cards and debit cards for payment from your customers. If your business software service provider has such a relationship, accepting online payments from your customers can be a seamless, affordable process. Since most people do business using credit cards or electronic payments these days (rather than just cash or checks) you will be removing a “barrier to entry” – that is, getting rid of something that might block a potential customer from signing on. Merchant processing services can also help you retain your current customers, thanks to the ease of doing business with you that electronic payments allow.

This is why I recommend that you consider these three features – credit card processing, customer self service, and online class signup – as critical to the selection criteria for your studio’s business software provider.  Such features can actually grow your business!

The question “Will the studio business management software I choose generate new business?” is just one of five critical questions to ask when you’re trying to decide if and when to invest in business software for your school.  Learn about the other questions here.

Sincerely,

Jon Koerber, President, ClassJuggler

 


PS: If you are ready to get started with a business software program that can give your studio the above capabilities, we can help! Check out our family of products:

  • ClassJuggler Dance – online dance school software that will save you tons of time and money on the business of running your business, so you can focus on your students
  • CheerClassJuggler – online gymnastics and cheer management software designed to streamline your gymnastics school or cheer camp operations
  • ClassJuggler Dojo – a martial arts school management platform designed to support the operational challenges of a dojo
  • SwimClassJuggler – cloud-based swim school management software designed to support the  needs of those who own and operate swimming schools, water rescue classes, life guard schools, and diver training schools
  • MusicClassJuggler – all-in-one online business management tools for music centers, including customer, academics, and music class management
  • K12ClassJuggler – a management platform for easing the busy schedules of owners and operators or preschools, K-12 education, adult education programs, evening learning schools, night classes, and after-school programs
  • ClassJugglerFitness – Business software for athletics schools, fitness centers, spin classes, yoga sessions, and tennis camps
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Why ClassJuggler Dojo Is the Best Way to Get the Upper Hand at Your Martial Arts School

If you own a growing martial arts studio, you are likely already experiencing growth pains, such as:

  • Class scheduling/instructor scheduling overlaps to be managed dojo
  • More time required to keep on top of billing/invoicing
  • Keeping track of students’ progress
  • Staying on top of student or parent information
  • Trying to be responsive to schedule changes and notifying parents
  • Managing martial arts build paths
  • Student skills level management taking more time
  • Keeping track of the growing number of martial arts belt systems/groups and belt ranks
  • Handling payment options

Most successful martial arts school owner-operators find that, kickas their business grows, they have less and less time to work with students, spending more and more time with the business of managing the business.

It’s for this very reason that we created ClassJuggler Dojo — to help martial arts studio owners get back to the very thing that got them excited about doing business in the first place – helping their students increase their skills and confidence.

The features in www.ClassJugglerDojo.com will help you gain the upper hand on your business, empowering you to:

  • Easily manage hundreds or even thousands of student records and customer records.
  • Manage and schedule instructors, staff, and trainers.
  • Easily perform in-depth reporting such as class reports, student reports, customer/parent reports, instructor reports, financial reports, and more.
  • Create unlimited martial arts belt systems/groups and belt ranks and manage online.
  • Create “skills” and “martial arts build paths” for flexible class styles
  • Easily manage recurring bills and membership fees with no double-entry—no entry at all, since ClassJuggler integrates your customers’ payment history and class records with the billing features, so you can bill all of your customers with just a few clicks.
  • Track primary and secondary customer contact information.
  • No startup costs. Don’t underestimate this one. Some of the available online dojo management software programs have enormous upfront fees. We have none.
  • Spend less time managing customer information by letting customers manage it themselves with our Customer Self-Service Center
  • Accept credit card payment for classes. ma twosome

Here are just some of the features that will make it easy for you to get started and work with ClassJuggler:

  • Low monthly fees. Unlike our competitors, you get gradual, fairly-tiered pricing. It’s just a $5/mo. increase for each additional 150 students—and as your database grows, so does your discount.
  • No tech skills needed. It’s an easy-to-use online environment, designed for those who aren’t computer-savvy.
  • Easy help! ClassJuggler has robust and fully searchable help tools, plus free email or phone support with fast response times.
  • Fast search tools. Locate your customer data fast!
  • FREE upgrades. You’ll never pay for “the latest version” – our online software updates you instantly, and at no cost.
  • No software to install. With ClassJuggler in “the cloud,” all online, you get easy access from anywhere on any PC, Mac, or mobile device.
  • Easy student assessment. Our assessment tools make tracking progress a breeze, no matter how many students you have.
  • Speedy ground mail.  Snail mail takes no time at all with our mailing label generator, which can create labels based on your customer/student records.
  • Advanced security features. Gain control over which of your employees can or cannot see certain kinds of information, defined by you.

ClassJuggler’s dojo and martial arts school management platform supports the unique business needs you face as an owner or operator of a karate school, kung fu school, self-defense courses, mixed martial arts center, taekwondo training, fencing school, kickboxing studio, Jeet Kune Do or Jiu-Jitsu schools, or any other martial arts business that must gracefully and efficiently manage classes, customers, and students.

To learn more, go to http://www.classjugglerdojo.com/ or contact us.

How to Promote Your Business With YouTube

In our previous article, Why You Should Be Using YouTube to Promote Your School, we looked at how video can help you keep customers and generate new business at your studio.  If you’re now persuaded, but not sure where to start or how, here’s a brief primer to getting a YouTube channel, uploading your school’s videos, and more.

A few easy steps will get your videos online

To get your video content onto YouTube, follow these 5 steps.

Step 1: Shoot the video

When creating the content for your YouTube channel, It’s best to not use an “old school” camcorder – one that uses tape. It’s a lot more work to get your media into a form that you can upload to YouTube if it’s not shot “digitally” – recording directly to electronic data. Instead, use a mobile phone’s video recording or a digital camcorder, so that your media is already digital.

Here are ideas on what to record:

  • Class sessions
    • Recitals
    • Meets/Competitions
    • Special events, such as holiday performances or open house events
    • Instructor introduction videos
    • School tours/walk-throughs

Step 2: Prep the video

After you shoot the video, it’s possible that your video is good enough that it’s ready to transfer to YouTube.  In most cases though, you may want to “clean up” the video, or improve it, by using a video editing tool to remove extraneous footage, to tighten it up, or to add transitions between shots (fade in from black, fade out, dissolve between shots, or add titles or branding).

There are many products for this optional editing stage, from free to thousands of dollars.  For a school’s marketing purposes, low-cost or free options are likely sufficient – and may already be included with your computer’s system software. Or, do an online search for “free video editing software” for Mac or for PC, and you’ll find many user-friendly tools to choose from.

Step 3: Create a YouTube channel

To upload your video onto YouTube, you must first create a Google account (because Google owns YouTube), and then you can use your Google account profile to create your YouTube channel.

  1. Create a YouTube profile, so YouTube knows who you are. Do a search for how to create a YouTube account, and you’ll find a few video walk-throughs, or view this step-by-step guide.
  2. Assuming you’ll want to post more than one video, it’s a good idea to create a YouTube channel. Go to YouTube’s Create a Channel screen, or check out this video that shows you visually how to set one up.
  3. Once you have your own YouTube channel, you can either go ahead and start uploading videos to your channel, or you can first customize your channel by add images and info to “brand” your channel so that it is clearly about your school and links back to your school’s web page.

Using channel customization features, you can optionally add:

  • Your school’s logoClassJuggler-YouTube -asthead
  • A custom “banner” to showcase your school’s theme or look and feel
  • Links to your school’s web page
  • Links to your school’s social media pages

See the ClassJuggler YouTube channel for an example of this customization.

Step 4: Upload your video to YouTube

Uploading your video to YouTube is super easy.  Once you’re logged in to your channel, you’ll ClassJuggler-YouTube -astheadsee an Upload button.  Click on it, locate the video file on your computer, and upload.

While your video is uploading, you can add file-specific information, such as a title, description, tags (which can help someone searching YouTube to find the video), and “visibility” settings – who can or cannot see it.  For marketing purposes, you’ll want to set visibility to “Public,” which means that anyone can find it.

Step 5: Notify your customers!

Once the video has completed its upload, YouTube provides you with a unique web address for the video, which you can now use to promote your video to your current and prospective customers.

  • Use ClassJuggler’s built-in e-mail tools to tell your students/parents about the fresh upload. You can choose to send it to just those in a particular class, or send it to your whole customer base.
  • Advertise your YouTube channel on your website. Not only can you add it to your list of social media sites (see the top of our pages for an example of this), but you can advertise a class-specific video link with your class description, or add a “See our facilities” video link on your Contact Us page.
  • Use your social media sites (such as Twitter, Facebook, or Google+) to announce each new video you upload.

Also, regularly encourage others to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Subscribers are notified by YouTube any time you upload a new video.  You can encourage subscription on your site, in social media posts, in your newsletter, and in your e-mail signature line.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a motion picture – video – magnifies that by a few million words.  Why preach with words about what your school is like when a video can show them?