One of the facets of owning a business in today’s world is understanding how to leverage technology to make your business more successful.
Many software platforms and companies have been born as a result of the boutique fitness boom, and quite a few have survived to make our lives easier. But is your life really easier? Are you really allowing your technology to work for your business and generate a strong ROI?
What has become an unfortunate trend is that many studios don’t understand what each platform can really do to save time and generate more revenue for the business. It is challenging to spend the time to get to know each program and all it can offer. And even more challenging to ensure your staff does, too. Let’s look at a few ways to make the most of the software you’re paying for – and find out if it’s time to dump it.
Step One: Do a software audit.
The first step is to categorize your software providers into categories of support for your business. Are they used for operations? Sales? Marketing? Accounting? Communication?
Once you bucket your software, notice if you have many options under one category. Start to compare what each does and if they are duplicating each other. Often times we aren’t aware of recent features that have been added, or some of the options available in each software tier. Hop on the support pages for each of the software companies and check out the latest features, and double check you aren’t paying for something you don’t use.
Maybe even schedule a call with the company’s account manager assigned to you and ask how you can leverage the software in the best way possible for you. In this process, notice if something has been added to one provider that can replace another provider – ie. simplify down to one platform.
Step Two: Review the data.
If your software doesn’t give you easy to understand dashboards about client behavior, or how the software is providing an ROI, it might not be the one for you.
Over a month period, notice and document exactly how the software supports your business. Does it bring you more clients? Save you time managing clients? Does it increase retention or the lifetime value of the client? And does it measure how well it’s doing? These are all questions you should ask yourself monthly, and if you find that one provider isn’t supporting the business in the way you hoped, it’s time to move on.
Step Three: How easy is it to use?
Can you train staff easily on the program? Some of us have got used to “bad” software. By bad I mean old. Software has changed a lot. In this day and age, it should be simple to use and easy to train.
If you find yourself calling tech support weekly, or spending weeks training a new employee on how to use it, it might be time to look at a new option.
Does your software provider have an easy-to-navigate support center with videos to solve problems? Does it have an online community to talk to other users about their experience? Software should be intuitive and built for the user it’s supporting. That means you. If it doesn’t feel like it was built for your business, there might be something better out there.
Ultimately, we are all hoping to use software to make our lives easier, not more challenging. We need software to grow our businesses and to make our business more efficient. Schedule yourself a software audit twice a year, and don’t be scared to ask around. It takes time, but the right software is priceless. There are many studios using many different platforms; you might learn something new.