Free Dance Studio Software – Bargain or Burden?

Every new dance studio owner is looking for ways to keep operating costs down as they open their doors. The plethora of free online studio software options out there can seem like a blessing. After all, free tools to manage your studio help you avoid one more expense.

But does it actually save you money? Or are you paying for a variety of hidden expenses when you rely on “freeware” to manage your studio?

Free software that’s not specifically designed to manage a dance studio not only lacks industry-specific functionality but also requires a lot of time and manual input. Both carry price tags (monetary and non-monetary) that add up quickly and can create additional challenges as you juggle all of the responsibilities that come with opening your dance studio.

Let’s look at a few things to consider when you are weighing the cost of free software systems vs. dance studio management software.

Limitations of free applications

When you’re getting started, it’s easy to just throw information into Excel or Google Sheets. Your operations are small and manually entering registration and financial data into a spreadsheet feels quicker and like a better use of your time. After all, you’re using software instead of pen and paper, right?

While you aren’t completely wrong, spreadsheets are basically the 2022 version of paper. Before you know it, you’re managing multiple spreadsheets – from payroll and expenses to revenue and family information. With information in multiple places, you either end up with inconsistent data or you’ll spend extra time doing manual updates that could be avoided. Jumping from tab to tab or program to program will have you feeling dizzy in no time. Sound familiar?

Moments like this should have you considering ‘is the free price tag worth the time, money, and sanity spent to save money on dance studio management software?’

Weigh the cost savings

As we’ve mentioned, there are plenty of hidden costs that come with free tools and software. When you compare that to the time and effort saved with the features of dance studio management software, the outcome is hard to deny.

As a business owner, your time is valuable. Keeping the weight of manual tasks on your shoulders costs you in terms of time and energy that could be spent on the creative aspects of your studio. You do need to manage your dance studio, however, you’ll get the highest return on your time when you spend it on tasks like choreography, networking in the community, and mentoring staff and students.

Partnering with comprehensive management software designed specifically for dance studios helps you automate the many non-creative management tasks, including

  • Setting up a parent portal or custom mobile app for families to manage student and parent information, pay fees, enroll in classes, schedule future absences and makeups, etc.
  • Implementing an automated billing process to minimize late payments while maximizing monthly revenue collected on time.
  • Reporting made easy with an at-a-glance dashboard and full reporting suite that includes must-have enrollment and financial reports.
  • Creating new revenue streams like selling gift cards for studio merch, live-streaming classes, or hosting special events like master classes, guest teachers, and parents’ night out.

The 2022 Industry Benchmark Report showed that new revenue streams were essential to dance studios over the last 3 years and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Download your free copy of the report to see what other trends are on the rise!

Crunch the numbers

The results from TutuTix’s 2021 Dance Studio Management Software Survey reveal interesting data regarding the cost of management software in comparison to the revenue generated by student fees and tuition.

According to the survey’s responses, over half of dance studios charge monthly fees in the range of $61-100 per student while almost half of dance studios pay less than $80 per month for their studio management software. This data shows that a large number of students isn’t required to justify the value and return from using software to manage your business.

Teach more, manage less

The robust functionality of dance studio management software not only improves your financial health by reducing admin costs for manual labor but it also provides unlimited options for revenue generation and management.

Studio management software automates your efforts so you can achieve more in less time on the management side while being able to devote more time and energy to your real passion – dancing and teaching your students.

Not sure what your studio’s ROI would be with the right software?

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