Running a small business can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially in the youth activity space, but it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. From day-to-day operations and financial management to marketing and parent engagement, there are a lot of elements that go into running your own small business. Luckily you don’t have to manually address each area on your own! There are plenty of tools that can help you run your youth activity center and make your life easier. Take a look at these small business tools and how they can help you reach your goals!
Business Management Tools
Financial software for small businesses can help in a multitude of ways – from tracking expenses, generating invoices, to managing payroll, and even simplifying tax preparation. QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks are just some examples of financial software that pack a punch. These systems often come with an intuitive and user-friendly interface – so they’re easy to use, no finance degree necessary!
If you’re looking for software that provides financial features and beyond, Jackrabbit Class has you covered. You can run payroll and pull in-depth reports on your financial health with real-time revenue summaries, invoice and statement management and more all from Jackrabbit. Not to mention the host of other useful features included to help run your business. For an even deeper look, check out Jackrabbit’s Business Intelligence Dashboard. With it, you can track and predict enrollment, follow your financial health and measure over 30 key performance indicators across multiple locations to make data-driven decisions for the better of your youth activity center.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools can help small business owners manage and execute daily tasks and beyond! They assist in planning, collaboration, task assignment, progress tracking, and even document sharing. Tools like Asana or Trello are popular for their ease of use, versatility, and how well they can streamline your operations. Finding the right project management tool for your youth activity center can save you time, improve productivity and keep your whole team on the same page!
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Running a small business is really about the people, isn’t it? It’s about your team, your partners, and most importantly, your customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are designed to help you manage your customer database, track sales, facilitate marketing activities, and bolster overall customer service. Systems such as HubSpot and Zoho are designed to support small businesses, offering a suite of features including tracking interactions, monitoring sales pipelines, and running marketing campaigns.
You can also use tools like Zapier to automate parts of the process of using a CRM. Say you’ve got a new batch of parents who are interested in signing their child up for classes at your youth activity center. You can use Zapier to automate the process of inputting their information into your CRM and add them to prospect lists without the need to manually input any data. You can also take advantage of Jackrabbit’s Zapier integration for even more seamless communication between the two!
As a small business owner, communication is key. Whether it’s between your team members or your customers, effective communication can help keep everything running smoothly. For internal communication, Slack is a strong contender. It’s user-friendly, allows for instant messaging and file sharing, and even has video-calling capabilities. In a similar vein, Microsoft Teams is another great option for keeping everyone in your company on the same page.
For employee communications that are built into your youth activity management software, look no further than Jackrabbit Class. Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal offers you the ability to communicate with your team, view and print their schedules, manage scheduling and hours for payroll, and control the information that each individual staff member can view. Staff members can also utilize the portal to take attendance in their classes, check lesson plans, share resources, track skill progression and send emails to parents!
Customer communication tools are specifically designed to enhance interaction with your customers and make it easier to communicate with them. Take email for example. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp let you send out curated promotions, newsletters, and more to keep your customers engaged. They may also offer detailed analytics that your CRM doesn’t since they specialize in one area of communication.
Already a Jackrabbit user? You’ve got email features built-in with our Parent Portal! Build off of templates, schedule and send mass emails, view analytics and more, all from Jackrabbit Class.
You can also use live streaming tools like Spot TV to stand out from the crowd and help your activity center shine! Spot TV, also fully integrated with Jackrabbit, offers parents the opportunity to watch their children from anywhere using cameras you may already have installed at your center, which can be a huge boost for transparency and communication, and act as another selling point for enrollment in your classes.
It’s all about meeting your customers where they are, in a personalized, efficient manner. You can take your customer communications further with custom mobile apps, covered in the next section.
Custom Mobile Apps
It’s no secret that mobile device usage has skyrocketed over the years. A custom mobile app for your small business might just be the game-changer you need to succeed. Having a mobile app can not only increase your business visibility but also enhance your customer engagement, by making communication convenient for them.
Though building a mobile app can be a complex project, you don’t need to be an engineer to make one. With “no-code” app-building platforms like Adalo, Appy Pie, and Glide, creating a mobile app becomes as easy as dragging and dropping. You can customize your app to truly reflect your brand and values, offering your customers a unique and personalized user experience that they can access from anywhere they have internet service.
If you want an even smoother experience, Jackrabbit’s bundled subscription Jackrabbit Plus gives you a custom-branded app that provides the easiest way to fully integrate your brand into the same platform that manages your center’s classes, tuition, billing, enrollment, performance, apparel, events and communication with staff and families. When it comes to the benefits of having your own mobile app – the increased customer loyalty, improved visibility, and direct marketing opportunities make it worth the investment.
Running a small business today involves a lot more than just offering a product or service. You’ll need to provide content via social media and your website to communicate with your audience and tell a story. This can be accomplished through a variety of mediums such as visuals, designs, motion graphics, videos, and more. But how does a small business owner like you produce all of this content? This is where content creation tools come in!
Canva is a fantastic place to start when it comes to content creation. You can create all kinds of static and video content in a wide variety of sizes. They even offer free, editable templates to give you the boost you need to get started or inspire you. Adobe Spark is another great choice for content, offering similar features and templates to Canva, but with a few more video creation options. Both of these tools are user-friendly and make it easier than ever to create stand-out content.
If you’re looking to take your content to the next level, then consider an Adobe Creative Suite subscription to access some of the standards in the multimedia industry like Adobe Photoshop, Premier, and Premier Rush.
Social Media and Schedulers
This digital era has seen the rise of social media as a powerful marketing channel. As a small business owner, you’re in an excellent position to engage with your customers personally via social media. But it can be overwhelming to juggle between creating content, engaging with customers, and running your business. That’s why utilizing the right social media platforms and the right scheduler to pair them with is imperative.
First, let’s talk about social media platforms. Social media is a must for any business, but it’s important to determine which platforms resonate with your audience. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook under the Meta umbrella are almost required but what about X(Twitter) or TikTok? There’s no harm in trying something new, but try to narrow down a list of social media platforms to focus on and put effort into these for better results overall. If you’re struggling to gain traction when starting out, don’t forget that most platforms also offer the opportunity for paid advertising to help get even more eyes on your center.
So you have your content ready for your selected channels, but what’s the best way to plan ahead and schedule it? Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and even Hubspot can automate your posting process, ensuring you are consistently engaging your customers even when you are busy. They also provide analytics on how your content is performing, to help optimize your marketing strategy and direct your efforts more precisely.
Social media can be fickle with its ever-changing algorithms and trends, but utilizing it with regular posting and attention can pay off in a major way for you.
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. When it comes to marketing, knowing where visitors to your website are coming from, what they’re interacting with, and where they’re dropping off, is crucial. All this data will help you refine your strategies and make informed decisions about your website and business. Enter web analytics tools.
Google Analytics is often the go-to tool, giving you insights about your website traffic, page views, engagement rates, and a lot more. However, there are other tools like Crazy Egg, that can show you heatmaps, scrolls, and clicks of your users to help you see how your audience interacts with every part of your website.
Web analytics can often be overlooked but don’t be fooled, the information that these tools provide can be wildly beneficial to your business.
Running a small business can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming undertaking, especially in the youth activity space. Thankfully, a wide range of digital tools, including class management software can help alleviate that stress and confusion for you. Each business is unique, so remember that what works for one may not work for another. Be sure to do your research and choose the right tools for your needs and your small business can not only survive but thrive.
If you want to explore the Jackrabbit features mentioned here and beyond for yourself, try us out with a 30-day free trial, absolutely free!