• Gym owner having a great time with her young student after choosing the right dance studio management software

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 associated costs

Step 4: Evaluate technical and architectural issues

Step 5: Evaluate the implementation possibilities

Step 6: Evaluate software support

Step 7: Request a demo/trial of the software

Step 8: Review the guarantee

Additional resources 11


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

Students who enrolled in a dance class through a dance studio management softwareBegin 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 reports and reporting capabilities do you consider most important to keep?
  • You’ll also need to consider the following questions, whether or not you’re currently using any management software.
  • 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?
  • What will you do if another dance studio opens up near you or starts to “take” business away from you?
  • Are your customer statements and class rolls acceptable in their current form?
  • Is scalability important?


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. We’ve highlighted 10 of the most important below and given examples of how Jackrabbit Dance provides these features to its users.

  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 via a sophisticated portal and attract new dancers through integrated online registration tools.

The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

Gym owner on her laptop and mobile phone evaluating a dance studio management softwareJackrabbit Dance has a fast and easy en­rollment process for new parents, including the ability to embed real-time class infor­mation in 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. 

  1. 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. Owners and administrators can also export the data to QuickBooks® or Express Payroll. Be sure to ask about this functionality, as many software providers have limited time clock functionality – if they have the feature at all.

  1. 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 version of QuickBooks, ensuring that no matter where you are, you have the power to manage your revenue. Another question to ask as other providers may only offer one or the other, but not both versions.

  1. Financial Reporting

You’ll want 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

We offer 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.

  1. Robust Executive Dashboard

Dance studio management software optimized appearance on different devices

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.

 

  1. Customizable Class Schedule

    It’s all about customization and functional­ity – especially when it comes to viewing your class schedules. Th

    e 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.

    1. 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.

    The Jackrabbit Dance Difference

    While gateway/merchant account fees do apply, there are no additional fees from Jackrabbit. In addition to quickly processing credit card and bank draft payments, Jackrabbit allows for automated and customized email receipts for approvals, automated declines, refunds, and voided transactions. In fact, Jackrabbit will match existing pricing if you currently have a merchant account outside of Jackrabbit.

    1. Support Options

    You need dance studio management software that’s there for you when you need it – that means after-hours support, thorough onboarding, and support docu­mentation you can count on.

    The Jackrabbit Dance DifferenceMake it easy to take a class using a dance studio management software

    In addition to offering phone, chat, and email support (8 am to 8 pm ET), we also maintain a robust video library and in-depth Help Center 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 doesn’t stop there. Every year, we offer regional training and two User Conferences in North American (one in the East and one in the West). This all leads to a comprehensive onboarding process no competitor can match.

    1. Powerful Communication Features

    Email functionality alone isn’t enough – you should also be able to customize your emai

    ls 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 a bounce report that the competitors don’t offer. Email creation options and professionally-designed templates available in Jackrabbit can be customized to your studio’s unique needs and even schedule to send them at a later date. Jackrabbit also has a mobile text delivery partner feature with the lowest fee of all class management software.

    1. 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 no-obligation demo of our product or a free trial of our software.


    Step 3: Determine all costs

    Dance students in the studio after enrolling through a dance studio management softwareYou should carefully evaluate upfront and ongoing costs, as these can vary greatly among software vendors. Here are a few examples of the questions you need to ask.

    • Are there monthly and yearly fees?
    • How is the software licensed – will you be charged extra per workstation (i.e. a device), named user (e.g. susan@studioname.com versus staff@studioname.com), server (assuming you want to download the software onto your own server versus using a “cloud” based version), and/or concurrent user (more than one user using the software at the same time)?
    • How much does technical support cost?
    • If they offer data migration services, how much does it cost? (This is about moving your data from one software system into another. Some software uses unique formats to store data and may store it on their hardware versus your hardware. So if you switch software providers, what will it take in money, time, and labor to move your historical data from one system to the other?)
    • Are there any hidden service fees in the fine print?
    • Do costs increase per student?
    • Does it cost extra to update your software to the newest version?
    • How much will it cost to customize the software to meet your studio’s needs? (In case you have had customizations done for you in the past, you want to be sure the new software either does that already or know what it will take to do it with this software.)

    In addition to these costs, you’ll also need to identify and verify the e-commerce process and any associated costs for your software.

    Some questions to consider here include:

    • How much is the server hardware? (Assuming you don’t go with the cloud version if they have one.)
    • Is additional software required or recommended to process payments?
    • Will there be a need for ongoing IT services? (If you’re using your own server, you may need someone to install updates and upgrades to your server, its operating system, and the studio manage­ment software. This might be needed whenever either the server or your studio management software has some sort of update or upgrade, requiring the other to do so as well.)
    • What fees are charged for processing payments?
    • Do these fees increase or decrease based on the number of payments processed?
    • How do refunds work?
    • Once you have your list of questions, contact the vendor. If you know another studio is using their software, verify the information the vendor gives you with them. Be sure to document current price schedules as well.


    Step 4: Evaluate technical and architectural specificationsDance studio management software appearance comparison on different devices

    Identify the database the software uses and confirm that it is an industry standard. This will ensure your studio’s data can be extracted if problems arise. This will also ensure that all future data will be compatible with other industry standard software.

    If you are hosting your own server, verify that sensitive fields are encrypted, e.g. credit card numbers and bank account data. Encryption is incredibly important in the event that your server is stolen or hacked. With data breaches on the rise, this is a critical feature for all studios – regardless of size.


    Step 5:  Evaluate the implementation possibilities

    Find out how the vendor supports you in your implementation effort. Make sure they provide detailed documentation, offer a robust implementation guide, onboarding support, web integration support and training. You’ll also need to determine if there is a data migration service, set-up requirements, and any costs that may be associated with it. Discuss the best way to train your people and establish ways they can practice with the new system.  If the software you’re evaluating doesn’t have a proven implementation process, you’ll want to consider another option. You shouldn’t have to do the vendor’s work for them.


    Step 6: Evaluate software support

    In evaluating a vendor’s support services, including documentation and enhancement offerings, it’s very important to talk to several existing customers.

    First, find out what the vendor’s on-going support and service offerings are. Determine how the company provides support – email, phone, chat, etc. – and how much it costs. Additionally, you’ll want to find out WHEN support is offered. If you have technical difficulties after 5 pm, will there be someone to answer your call/email? If you don’t get your issue resolved, what’s the escalation path for getting it resolved? What’s the average amount of time it takes for them to respond and resolve a tech support request?

    Identify how often the vendors update their software, how they charge for implementa­tions, and how they handle customers’ unique software enhancement requests.


    Step 7: Request a demo/trial of the softwareCloseup of a ballerina's feet who is enrolled in a dance studio that uses a dance studio management 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 studio management software should let you schedule a no-obligation demo of their product.

    This is a critical step in the process. Even though everything looks 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.

    This isn’t the case at Jackrabbit. In fact, Jackrabbit is so confident in its dance studio management software, we offer a 90-day money back guarantee to everyone who works with Jackrabbit’s Jumpstart coaches and completes one or more billing cycles. And that’s not all! If you think a competitor offers a better product, Jackrabbit will reimburse for up to two months of subscription fees from the other guys.

    You don’t have to fill out a mountain of paperwork jump through hoops, or even pull a rabbit out of your hat.  Just call Jackrabbit at (704) 895-4034 x114, and share your experience.  A helpful team member will handle the rest for you. Yes, it’s really that easy.


    Additional resources

    Thank you for reading Jackrabbit’s guide, How to Choose Dance Studio Management Software as you seek out a software solution that’s right for your studio. If you need further assistance, please refer to the list of resources below

    Jackrabbit Dance Blog

    Visit the official Jackrabbit Dance blog. The blog is updated frequently to include tips on running your studio, important product announcements, trends in the dance community, and everything else you need to know to run your studio as effectively as possible.

    Jackrabbit Dance Features

    If you’d like to learn more about the powerful features Jackrabbit Dance provides studios – including point-of-sale functionalities, skill tracking, costume management, and options for a mobile app – please visit our Software Features page. If you’re ready for a custom­ized software demo, schedule it here.

    Jackrabbit Dance Support

    Ballet students enrolled in a dance class using through a dance studio management software

    We take support seriously at Jackrabbit Dance. If you’d like to learn how seriously, you can visit the Support/Education web page. To ensure your experience with Jackrabbit Dance is a superior one, each studio is provided with:

    • A personal coach
    • One-on-one phone calls
    • Step-by-step instructions
    • Detailed guidance
    • Import assistance
    • ePayments help
    • Web Integration help
    • Phone, email, and chat support

    Jackrabbit Dance Customer Testimonials

    Curious as to what users think about Jackrabbit’s dance studio management software? You can visit Jackrabbit’s Testimonials & Reviews page to hear from actual clients across the nation.

    Jackrabbit Dance Pricing

    Unlike competitors, Jackrabbit doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to pricing. You can see exact figures by visiting Jackrabbit’s Software Pricing page.

    Jackrabbit Dance Live Demo

    Would you like to see the Jackrabbit Dance difference for yourself?

    Sign up for a customized demo today so Jackrabbit’s product specialists can answer all questions and help you take the next steps to using Jackrabbit Dance.

    Questions?

    Call and talk to a product coach at (704) 895-4034 ext. 2, or schedule a call here.

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