Mar
16
2013
SHOULD YOU USE A SCHOOL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
Written by Lori Shecter

School Management Software

Yes, and here's one that gives back! We are happy to announce our partnership with School Empower, the robust and flexible school management system that donates a portion of their proceeds to Covenant House.*  

In 2013 PAYPAL alone expects $10 BILLION in e-commerce revenue from Smart Phones or Tablets.  EVERYONE is going mobile, with even the internet becoming passe.  Is the way you are operating your studio CUTTING DOWN your enrollment and profit and eating into your valuable time? Some of you may already use school management systems, such as School Empower, Jack Rabbit or Studio Director. But our recent survey (thank you for entering) showed us that of about 3500 responses, under 60% used a school management system. Of the people that didn't use School Management Systems, more than 65% were UNSATISFIED or VERY UNSATISFIED with the way operated their business.

In this computer age, these statistics are surprising. But here's what we else we discovered:

  1. Many people found school management systems too hard to use. In fact, the time spent trying to learn them was overwhelming.
  2. Studio directors did not realize you can have a school management system and STILL have only IN STUDIO registration.
  3. Studios could not figure out how to set up discounts.
  4. Studios were afraid that somehow, people could steal revenue.
  5. Many studios felt they were not computer literate enough and still relied on excel spreadsheets.
  6. People thought you HAD to have a credit card processor if you wanted to have a studio management system.
  7. Studios felt that they wanted more control over who registered online and what classes parent enrolled their children for.

However, those schools that used and were happy with their school management systems, told us:

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  1. Decreased their time doing paperwork and bill collecting (especially those using School Empower.)
  2. Increased revenue by being able to easily offer discounts.
  3. Increased revenue because parents were able to pay by credit card.
  4. Would wake up in the morning with new enrollments and payments.
  5. Had easy record management which cut down greatly on bookkeeping overhead and time.
  6. Were able to easily see class rosters and which classes filled up and thus were easily able to cut out poor performing classes.  Wait lists were easy to go to and register students to class, keeping classes full.

We also conducted a survey among parents and here's what we found out:

  1. 35% of all parents would enroll their children if online registration was easier.
  2. 55% of parents said they would enroll their children in more classes if they could pay by credit card.
  3. 45% of parents wanted to be able to have recurring billing-- charged automatically on their credit cards.
  4. Parents and students wanted to be able to purchase classes on mobile devices.
  5. Parents found filling out PDF's and forms annoying and often found that schools did not answer or return phone calls, making registration frustrating and time consuming.

When you've been used to running your business a certain way for many years, it can be painful to make a switch. That's why we are happy to announce our partnership with School Empower.  We know that School Empower was built with the non-tech saavy user in mind because a studio owner helped to build it!  

School Empower has many features that will make your school run more smoothly, without all the headaches of a hard to learn system. PLUS, we are going to be adding more and more features.  School Empower is not for everyone (but we think it is for ALMOST everyone.)

The School Empower team has extensive knowledge of registration and software (coming from the $multi million online registration company of Weightwatchers.com) and we believe we are offering the right choice to the dance studio community.

So whether you choose School Empower or another school management system, don't get left out in the cold by keeping registration manual.  The message is clear. You could be losing $10,000's by not having a school management system that is web and, even more important, mobile ready. 

 

*Dance is a gift we are fortunate enough to be able to afford: dance classes, competitions and more. Kids at Covenant House are homeless and Covenant House helps to put these kids on track to living better lives, lives with love and hope. We would like to give those kids a chance by donating to this wonderful organization.