How to choose the right dance studio management software.

How to Choose the Right Dance Studio Management Software

You’ve opened your new dance studio-finally! We’ve got a lot to cover to get your business set up with the correct studio management software, so let’s get right down to it.

Opening a new dance studio means investing in class management software to help grow your new business

Here’s everything you need to know about finding the dance studio management software that’s right for your business.

How to Choose the Right Dance Studio Management Software

Step 1: Evaluate your current processes and determine ideal software requirements

Step 2: Identify and evaluate the essential features

Step 3: Determine all costs

Step 4: Evaluate security features

Step 5: Evaluate the implementation possibilities

Step 6: Evaluate software support

Step 7: Request a demo and trial of the software

Step 8: Review the guarantee

Step 1: Evaluate your current processes and determine ideal software requirement 

Begin by identifying, defining, and prioritizing the functional requirements your studio expects from class management software. If you’re currently using one or more software applications to manage your studio, you’ll need to answer the following questions:

  • What features do you like the most and want to keep?
  • What are some of the features you’re missing that you feel are important?
  • What features or options are less important to your studio or that you don’t need?
  • How do you see your needs changing in the future?
  • What features and services are your customers asking for?
  • What services and features are your competitors offering?
  • What reporting features would save you time and enable you to make better strategic decisions?
  • Do you want software that will grow with your dance studio?

Step 2: Identify and evaluate the essential features

In addition to the requirements you outlined above, there are key features every dance studio management software should include. Here are 10 we find most essential:

1. Sophisticated Parent Portal and Integrated Online Registration

If the dance studio management software you’re considering is only geared towards studio owners and their instructors, you’re not getting the biggest bang for your buck. The software should also provide added value to your dancers’ parents and attract new dancers through integrated online registration tools.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance has a fast and easy en­rollment process for new parents, including the ability to embed real-time class infor­mation on your website. Additionally, Jackrabbit’s Parent Portal lets parents easily enroll in classes, access fees, and make payments. They can also view their children’s absences, skills, and sub-skills directly in the portal. 

See it now!

2. Employee Time Tracking

One of the major benefits a dance studio management software should offer is the ability to track your employees’ time. Additionally, the software you’re evaluating should also integrate this data with applications capable of processing payroll.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Staff members can enter their time directly, and all you have to do is review and approve the entered hours. Be sure to ask about this functionality, as many software providers have limited time clock functionality – if they have the feature at all.

3. QuickBooks Integration

If you want to significantly reduce the hours you’re spending behind the computer, it’s probably time to ditch the spreadsheets. Your studio needs to upgrade to a software solution that integrates with the world’s leading accounting system – QuickBooks.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance integrates fully with both the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks, ensuring that no matter where you are, you have the power to manage your revenue.

4. Financial Reporting

Dance studio owners and directors need studio management software that offers comprehensive financial reporting. When evaluating solutions, be sure the software allows you to compare revenue totals with past years’ performance.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance offers consistent and accurate report­ing that lets you create advanced reports. You can compare revenue totals by cate­gory and view 30, 60, and 90-days aged accounts. You can then export this data to Excel. Or use Jackrabbit reporting, communication, and ePayments to help reduce your accounts receivables.

5. Robust Executive Dashboard

You need studio management software that’s as proactive as you are. This includes real-time, important business alerts at a glance. Additionally, the software should allow you to communicate with other members easily and efficiently.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

With Jackrabbit Dance, alerts are displayed so you can quickly keep up with waitlists, aged accounts, incomplete time entries, absences, and birthdays. You can compare the current month’s revenue to years prior, view key metrics, and use tasks to inter­nally communicate with other users.

6. Customizable Class Schedule

It’s all about customization and functional­ity – especially when it comes to viewing your class schedules. The software you select should allow you to easily filter, sort, and view schedules.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

See upcoming classes at a glance with built-in color coding. Create new classes with only two clicks, and view monthly, weekly, daily, and room schedules in the blink of an eye.

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7. ePayment Processing

Your studio management software should accept all major payment types without levying huge fees. You should also have the option to customize automatic notices for both successful and declined payments, as well as notification as to when stored credit cards are about to expire.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

While gateway and merchant account fees do apply, there are no additional fees from Jackrabbit to process payments electronically. In addition to quickly processing credit card and bank draft payments, Jackrabbit allows for automated and customized email receipts for approvals, declines, refunds, and voided transactions.

8. Support Options

There’s nothing better than dance studio management software that’s there for you when you need it! Whether through after-hours support, thorough set-up process and online training resources – you need a support team you can count on.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

In addition to offering phone, live chat, and email support, we also maintain a robust video library and in-depth Help Center and Training System users can access 24/7. To ensure your account is set up right the first time, we provide compli­mentary online integration and data import services.

Jackrabbit Support

9. Powerful Communication Features

Email functionality alone isn’t enough – you should also be able to customize your emails for maximum impact. Additionally, the ability to send texts should be a minimum requirement for any software you’re considering.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance provides critical email analytics, such as bounced emails and a sent email report. Email creation options and pre-populated email templates can be customized to your studio’s unique needs, with the option to send at a later date and time.

Jackrabbit also integrated with two texting providers that allow clients to text families directly from their application.

10. Easy to Use

What good is a comprehensive dance studio management software if it’s too complicated to use? The software solution you select should be as easy to use as it is functional.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance designed the most powerful and easy-to-use software on the market. You can see for yourself by signing up for a free trial of our software.

Start your free trial!

Step 3: Determine all costs

You should carefully evaluate upfront and ongoing costs, as these can vary greatly among software vendors. Here are some questions to help you determine costs:

  • Are there monthly and yearly fees?
  • How is the software licensed – will you be charged extra per user?
  • Is there an additional cost for support?
  • If you need to move data from one software application to another, how much will migration services cost?
  • Are there any hidden service fees in the fine print?
  • Do costs increase per student?

In addition to upfront costs, you’ll need to identify and verify the e-commerce process and any associated costs for your software by asking:

  • Is additional software required or recommended to process payments?
  • What fees are charged for processing payments?
  • Do these fees increase or decrease based on the number of payments processed?
  • How do refunds work?

Step 4: Evaluate security features

You can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting the personal information of your customers!

Depending on a user’s role, not all parts of your studio’s management software should be visible to all employees. Take into consideration how personal credit card information is stored and ensure it is PCI compliant.

Step 5:  Evaluate the implementation possibilities

Find out how the vendor supports you in your implementation efforts. Make sure they provide detailed documentation, a robust set-up guide, onboarding assistance, web integration support and training.

Discuss the best way to train your staff and establish ways they can practice with the new software platform. If the software you’re evaluating doesn’t have a proven implementation process, you may want to consider other options.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Jackrabbit Dance takes resources for getting started seriously. In addition to webinars, product coaches and in-person and digital training opportunities, Jackrabbit offers a Quick Start Wizard for clients who need to set-up their dance studio software on their time.

Step 6: Evaluate software support

In evaluating a vendor’s support services, it’s very important to listen to and read the reviews of their existing customers.

Discover what the software provider’s on-going support and service offerings are, then do your research to determine if their current clients find value in the ways they provide support. Important questions to ask are:

  • When is support offered?
  • If an issue cannot be resolved, what’s the escalation path for getting it settled?
  • What’s the average amount of time it takes for support to respond to a request?
  • Identify how often the vendors update their software and how they handle customers’ unique software enhancement requests.

Step 7: Request a demo and trial of the software

You wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it, would you? Then why would you commit to a software solution without fully vetting it? The good news is you don’t have to. Quality dance studio management software should let you schedule a no-obligation demo of their product.

While everything may look great on paper, you won’t really know for sure until you experience the system first-hand. When test driving your preferred solution, be sure to visit a customer site and see how the program actually works.

Step 8: Review the guarantee

If the dance studio management software vendor is committed to providing a superior product, they’ll have no problem offering a no-risk guarantee. If the software you’re considering doesn’t provide a solid one, you should walk away. It means that even they aren’t confident in the quality of their product.

Whether you’re opening the doors to your new dance studio or you’ve been in the business for years- these 8 steps are a must to complete when choosing the right dance studio management software.

Try Jackrabbit Dance today!

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