If you really are looking for a one-stop-shop, all-in-one software, there are key questions you should be asking during the live demo or free trial process that will help you be sure your new tool will check all the boxes. I mean, you do want it to cover all of your operations, right?
Essential questions to ask when looking for class management software
Is this the software to grow my business?
No one wants to implement a new tool just to say they did it. Each new application or process you implement should help you become more efficient and thus more successful. If not, then you’re wasting precious time that could be better used growing your studio, gym or swim school.
Your small business can grow using new-to-you technologies that are developed specifically to help you streamline tasks related to family and student management, increase your revenue and enrollment, or improve communication within your team.
Beginning a search for a tool that’s right for you can lead you down more than one path. That’s what research is all about. If that research leaves you wondering what you actually needed in the first place, don’t stress!
Before you start the hunt for software that will grow your business, work with key members of your organization. Less is more in this exercise. Stick to administrative staff, instructors, and key families who can help compile a comprehensive list of solutions that your new business management software should come programmed with.
Does this technology offer me the benefits of ePayments?
One of the chief stressors we hear from clients on a day-to-day basis is enforcing their tuition policy–the process of auditing classes, posting tuition and collecting payments. By the time you assign fees to the right accounts, collect checks, or manually run credit cards, it’s time to do it all again the following week or month. Not to mention those uncomfortable collection calls.
The thought of it all is enough to make you cringe. Jackrabbit understands that and we’ve spent years developing a simple one-step process that can change the way you look at your billing cycles altogether.
When you’re considering a technology that can help you automate more processes, such as ePayments, there are some key features you’ll be looking for like secure credit card and ACH transactions and PCI-compliant processors.
Will this software help my business by paperless?
The only acceptable answer you’re looking for here is yes. If the software you’re exploring for your business still requires you to take attendance in a binder, track staff certification renewals on a desk calendar, or require you to use an entire box of erasers to master your recital line-up, it’s not the system for you.
So, here you are. You’ve answered these three questions and you know which class management software is the solution for your business needs. Now what should you do?
Now is the time to discover how to roll this new tool out to staff and customers in the most efficient way possible. Don’t worry. This part is easier than it sounds. Just follow these five steps and your implementation process will be a breeze.
5 Technology Tips for Business Owners Implementing a New Tool
1. Take advantage of the setup guides
The technology you’ve chosen to help automate and grow your business should be built with a number of tools to help you get off the ground. Tools like Getting Started documentation, Help Guides, and Quick Start Wizards will be your go-to resource to eliminate confusion and ensure a speedy set-up period.
A reliable software should be built with user ease in mind. Look for a company that covers all the bases with complete documentation, step-by-step guides, and video tutorials so that all of your team can interact with the tools in a way that makes sense to them.
2. Opt-in to their email communication
I know, I know… your email inbox is full already and overwhelming enough without subscribing to another company’s marketing materials. Hear me out. When you get started with a new system, it’s critical that you stay connected in the first 90 days.
Software companies like Jackrabbit have onboarded over 60,000 (yes, you heard right) owners, directors, administrators and teachers over the years and we’ve got great insight into where you’re going to nail your implementation and where you might need a little extra help.
With the insight we have, we’ve created helpful hints, tricks, and tips for success in your first few months of onboarding and we share it in quick, digestible emails so that you can read it at your convenience or keep it handy for down the road. If you unsubscribe or delete these emails too early in your implementation, you might just miss the tip that was hand-selected just for you.
3. Connect with your Personal Coach
I don’t mean the personal coach who will help you maintain your new year’s resolution to #NeverMissAMonday at the gym, either.
The first thing you should do when implementing a new software is connect with an expert from the company to ensure you’re setting your system up so that it matches your unique needs. At Jackrabbit, we refer to this as scheduling a Jumpstart Call with your personal Product Coach.
Your Jackrabbit Jumpstart Call is time that is wholly dedicated to you and your business. Let a product expert help you find your groove with a personalized agenda and action list. The best part is, these are totally free to you and included in your trial so take advantage as soon as you can!
“The first day, it was a little overwhelming. I could have talked myself out of it. But I went with my gut because I need this! The Jumpstart Calls helped me tremendously!“ – Melanie Ellis, Freestyle Dance Company
Not working with a software that offers a coach during implementation? Don’t take another step forward without considering a Jackrabbit free trial.
We’ve talked about that paper piling up, right? Chances are if you’ve got paper piling up, you might also have spreadsheets or even another couple of systems full of family, student, and class information that could help you get started even faster. Don’t let that go to waste! It is so much easier to get a new technology off the ground if you can start with some of your own data or contact records on day one.
Import assistance isn’t offered with every class management tool but you should still inquire and see if there are easy ways to get your current information imported into your new workspace. Don’t waste your time entering data manually – you’ll be new-system-fatigued before you even get through your first week.
5. Subscribe for future educational content
In the world of implementing software, educational content is your best friend.
Why? Because a great tech company will help you get started and keep showing up with the best tricks, tips, tools, and system hacks with educational content that’s tailored to you, your business and your stage of the game. Staying alert and receptive to this kind of content will only enhance the value of your subscription, I promise!
Great software providers utilize avenues like email, YouTube, Facebook, and other social platforms to reach out and keep you informed and excited about the tools you’re using every day.
With programs like Jackrabbit, it’s likely that new enhancements happen often and have a positive impact on the way you run your business, so you’ll want to stay ahead of the news. I know you’re at information overload already, but I promise you, you’ll get way more return out of this relationship if you stay invested and keep the lines of communication open.
All of that said, you are a successful youth activity center leader. You’ve done the hard part, adding a new technology or tool should only help you streamline your processes and get some time back in your day. Your digital solutions should work for you, not against you so keep a good pulse on what you’ve already got in place and make sure your team is getting what they need from it.
Ready for more tech tips for running your business? Save your seat for our next free webinar, 5 Tips for Hitting Your Growth Groove, and keep your business going in the right direction in 2021- up!
Emily Smith has been passionate about children and families for most of her life and has been uniquely involved in the education and business side of the child care and activities industries for over 10 years. She is currently leading the Marketing team at Jackrabbit Technologies, parent company of Jackrabbit Class, Dance, Cheer, Swim, Care and Dojo editions.
Emily has served as an Executive Director for three national child care organizations, been an active consultant and national speaker on child care sales and marketing and was actively involved with the marketing and enrollment of her centers for most of her career. She has extensive experience and a vast knowledge of successful sales & marketing systems, methods, strategies and techniques that she has brought to the development of programs, systems and to her consulting with child care and activities centers on best business practices.