Choosing a software company to work with can be a complicated task. It’s important to find one you understand and will take stress off your plate, rather than add it on.
Katy Cryer, the founder of Square One Yoga, with three locations in California, started with paper punch cards to keep track of her business when she first started. Making a huge step up from that system nine years ago, she started using MINDBODY, and credits the long-term partnership to the functionality of its software.
“I have tried a couple of times to switch to software companies that are less expensive, but found I am so deeply engrained in MINDBODY that it was very difficult to switch,” said Cryer. “The other software I looked into had some change in functionality that would effect revenue in such a way as to mitigate the monthly savings on the software bill. However, as other companies improve functionality and have more modern interfaces, the likelihood that I will switch to save money increases.”
On top of functionality, Taylor Cline, the owner of Rising Yoga Studio in Brentwood, Tennessee, explained her choice in software came down to a straightforward price.
“Many companies offer package options, where certain features are only available if you are willing to pay more,” said Cline. “I always start by checking how a monthly pricing structure works, if they charge per student, is there a cap when you expand the number, and if additional fees are added to features I definitely would be needing.”
Most studios remain loyal to the software company they choose from the start, but often it is easy to get a wandering eye and question if other software could benefit your business more. Others may have a unique feature that seems appealing, or a new company could join the field and offer a lower price.
However, Cryer advised to thoroughly evaluate your needs before you make the decision to switch software providers.
“Switching once you’re established is very difficult and feels incredibly risky,” said Cryer. “Your entire business and all your revenue streams will live on the software that you choose. MINDBODY offers high-quality education and networking opportunities that no one else is offering. Being a part of that community and getting that education have been invaluable to my business and me. But there is a trade off: older technology, long queues for tech help, and a very high price tag.”
The best way to avoid having to make a switch from one company to another is to chat with customer support for your current software company. Something you may be questioning or want fixed could be answered by a representative, and save you the stress of trying to figure it out yourself.
“The customer support team with Zen Planner is my saving grace,” said Cline. “I would advise anyone choosing a software provider to ask if they offer phone and email support from an in-house team, and make sure to check out the response time so you know your questions will be answered quickly. A lot of the time when I ask a question it’s because I need the answer right then and there. [Zen Planner is] great at getting back to me immediately so I can solve the issue when the problem arises, and not days later.”
Once you are established with your software company, there is still more to learn. Just as it is important for your instructors to continually be educating themselves and growing in their practice, you should be doing the same for your business. Cryer advised checking to see if your software company offers a continuing education track where you can dive deeper into your business to grow your passion.
“I have been to MINDBODY University twice and found it very useful,” said Cryer. “I also went to MINDBODY BOLD and enjoyed it a lot. MINDBODY University is all about business, business, business. If you are having difficulty turning a healthy profit and aren’t sure why, MINDBODY University is a must.”