Why Free Dance Software Might Be Costing Your Dance Studio More Than You Think
No one wants to pay good money for something they could get for free, right? You wouldn’t be a responsible dance studio manager or a smart business owner if you didn’t care about keeping costs down. And there’s no denying that there’s plenty of free web-based software that can help you with your dance studio management needs. But that’s assuming something: that the freeware available is equivalent to premium dance studio management software. If you’re limping along with free software options, you might not know what you’re missing — or how the hidden costs can add up. So let’s take the time to compare Jackrabbit Dance software with some popular free options.
All Software Is Not Created Equal
Spreadsheet programs such as OpenOffice, Google Sheets, or Microsoft Excel can certainly help you manage basic operations of a start-up dance studio. (Yes, we know Excel isn’t technically free, but if your computer came with Microsoft Office Suite or you’d already purchased it, it may be essentially free to you, because it’s not an added software program which you need to purchase.) When you had just a handful of students, entering their registration information along with your studio’s financial information wasn’t all that hard. But we’re guessing that managing multiple spreadsheets led to inconsistencies. And the time it took you to investigate and reconcile those discrepancies will be multiplied exponentially as your dance studio continues to grow.
Once you’re managing multiple spreadsheets, ranging from family contact information to class lists and employee schedules, studio expenses and payments received, it all becomes a bit much to juggle. Eventually, your studio will outgrow the limitations of these free tools. And they are limited: they can’t offer automated reporting features or real-time updates along with appropriate levels of online access to both parents and staff members. A professional dance studio management package will offer you those benefits and much more.
Professional Dance Studio Management Software Saves Time
Let’s discuss just one important task of dance studio management software: registration. If you’re using free software right now, have you ever stopped to consider how many hours are spent between collecting and maintaining registration information, as well as processing and monitoring payments manually? Never mind the frustration which staff members experience when they have to hound parents about late payments. Or the potential students lost because parents would rather not be inconvenienced by having to register dancers in person.
But it’s not just about the way these tasks directly impact your studio’s bottom line: there are indirect results as well. The kinds of administrative functions that can be automated are simply not the best use of your expertise. If you’re spending your time doing the things which a software program could be doing, you’re either really close to burnout or you are missing out on doing the kinds of creative tasks that reflect your vision for your dance studio. Quality dance studio management software will free you up to perform high-value tasks which only you can do — tasks like networking, mentoring, and choreographing.
You’re welcome to continue using free dance studio software, but as you do so, realize that it may actually be costing you more than you think.