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Category: Uncategorized

Choosing Business Management Software – A Bundle Or a Bunch?

Posted on December 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

What do we really mean when we talk about business software systems? Even a fairly streamlined business needs to be able to do word processing, purchasing, billing and marketing, the list can go on… So several vendors have attempted to cover off all the major management software areas in a single, comprehensive software package. However, let’s be honest – is it really likely that a single management software suite can offer the strengths of the most widely-used targeted, single-task software solutions?

Attendance tracking software, for instance, may be great for the HR department, but can’t integrate into most project management systems. But despite its integration capabilities, comprehensive management software packages like ManageMore can’t give users the kind of upgrade options, and doesn’t have the support resources, that a company like Adobe can offer.

One major advantage of single-vendor systems is that they make it easier for staff to learn different portions of the software, since it should look and feel the same as what they’ve already been trained on. And often, single-vendor solutions can be customized to meet your needs, since they tend to be modular. But be careful: while training may be easier, it is likely going to be more expensive. The proprietary nature of these systems means that there are far fewer manuals out there about, say, the project-management module in the health-care industry version of ManageMore, than there are about Microsoft Excel!

It may even out for your organization, however: because single-task business software suites don’t often integrate well into other company’s software, your employees could actually be spending more time moving information from one place to another than you might like. Spending the money on a single business management software solution makes analysis, collaboration and sharing easier, since it can record and integrate data from each work-flow phase.

However, all-in-ones who customize by industry don’t necessarily offer the same user or competition base that drives companies to create add-ons and invest in incremental improvements. And can a single-solution vendor really invest the same amount of time and effort into the accounting portion of a huge suite as Quicken is able to put into their single, specialized product?

Then there’s cost. All-in-ones aren’t cheap. But when you actually put together all of the one-off medium-sized business solutions you need to buy, the licensing costs can approach the tens of thousands of dollars for even a relatively modest license package for your business – on top of a modest payroll, dealing with multiple vendors for purchasing, inventory control, marketing, and management represents a huge chunk of your operating costs.

One thing to watch out for is data compatibility. Once you commit to a single-solution business management software vendor, you’re pretty much irrevocably committed unless you hire a team of engineers to get your data back out for you, in a format that’s compatible with other software platforms.

So what now? Look very carefully at your business needs – if most of your data and operator work goes into one or two major software offerings like Microsoft Office or Crystal Reports, you’re probably better off sticking with them. If you have staff that spends as much time sending out invoices as they do analyzing product sales patterns, it’s worth giving an all-in-one a try.

Just be sure that it uses industry-standard compatible formats: all information should be exportable off-the-shelf into and out of Quicken, Microsoft Excel or Access, etc.

6 Yoga Business Management Software Must-Have Features

Posted on December 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

Did you become a yoga studio owner and teacher because you love administrating your business and being glued to the computer? I bet not. Most yoga business owners start a yoga studio and teach yoga because they love yoga and sharing it with other people.

The trouble is that running a yoga business can get in the way of doing what you love – teaching yoga. After all, a yoga studio is a business that has customers (students), employees (contracted teachers and/or staff), financial reporting, and of course you must attract students through marketing in order to grow and maintain your business.

One way to increase revenues and profits while reducing the amount of time you spend administrating your yoga business is getting 6 software features that integrate together. When you have these 6 features integrated, your time administrating will decrease, and you can very possibly increase your revenues (with less work and more time teaching).

Here are 6 Must-Have Yoga Business Management Software Features:

1. Robust Scheduling Capability

Your class and private session schedule is the heart of your yoga business. It makes sense then, to use great scheduling software. There’s all kinds of decent scheduling software you can use, but in my view, it’s best to get scheduling software that automates bookings and integrates with your email autoresponder software and credit card processing (to get paid up front automatically). Let me explain.

First, you need scheduling software that creates a central database. When updated, all your posted digital calendars update automatically. For example, you may have calendars posted throughout your website and of course on your computer. It’s much fast to make changes to one calendar than several.

Second, get scheduling software that enables students to log in and book private sessions or reserve class spots. Better yet, get this calendaring system to integrate with credit card processing so you can have students pay online when they book.

Third, get yoga scheduling software that integrates with your email autoresponder software (not sure what this is, then read on). This is a powerful feature if you require class reservation and/or book private sessions. For example, you can program the email software to automatically send out email messages to your students and/or a waiting list if someone cancels. This way you reduce no-shows and class spots.

2. Centralized Student Contact Database

If you’re like a lot of small business owners, you may be tracking your students with spreadsheets. I love Excel, but turning excel into a database is inefficient. Instead, get yoga business software that includes a properly programmed database for student contact information.

Once all your student contact information is in the database, you can integrate your contacts with your email software, and financial reporting (who attends and purchases what and when – which can be very helpful information).

3. Email Autoresponder Integration

An email autoresponder software program enables you to send out e-mails at pre-defined times. You can pre-load a bunch of e-mail messages that are sent on a date you specify. When a new student attends your studio and signs up to your list, that will trigger your series of email messages.

Of course you can also broadcast messages immediately giving notice of sales, class vacancies, events, etc.

The key with choosing the right email software is that it integrates seamlessly with your scheduling software. If someone cancels, it triggers an email message to your students and/or waiting list so that you can fill the vacancies quickly without your involvement.

4. Credit Card Processing and E-Commerce Capability

Setting up credit card processing is a hassle. The right “on-the-cloud” software gives you credit card processing without all the hardware (saves on the leasing costs). Instead, you simply process credit card payments in the computer.

Better yet is getting credit card processing that integrates with your scheduling software so students can automatically pay online when they book class packages. This gets you the money up front and you didn’t have to take the time to process payment.

Finally, a really robust yoga business software platform includes an e-commerce option so you can sell retail goods in your studio and online. I understand retail sales won’t be your biggest earner, but extra revenue never hurts.

Moreover, you can then get creative with offering class packages and memberships and sell them directly on your website.

Don’t forget about gift cards – this is great for revenue and referrals. Be sure the software you get can create, package, and process gift cards.

5. Payroll Management

If you have a few teachers who are independent contractors, do you struggle tracking how much they’re owed. Some of the remuneration arrangements are complicated such as flat fees plus a percent of the take. Also, simply tracking all the classes a particular teacher teaches can keep you busy.

Get software that integrates with your scheduling software so you automatically track who teaches which classes and then automatically tallies your payroll based on the remuneration details you input into the system. Good software will tally the most complicated remuneration arrangements such as a percent of the take upon a certain number of students plus flat fees or an hourly rate.

6. Student Swipe Cards and/or Tag Capability

I’ve seen all kinds of sign up systems in yoga studios. Some use pen and paper. Others manually input attendees into the computer as students arrive. Then there’s some studios that issue swipe cards or tags which enable students (or a staff person) to scan the card for attendance. Which is faster and more convenient for your students? In my view swipe cards are the best. There’s a reason huge health gyms (and small gyms) use swipe technology.

If you’re going to set up your yoga studio business with a great software platform, then why not add swipe technology? It looks professional and is convenient for you and your students.

One other feature I strongly recommend, and that’s getting yoga business software that’s “on the cloud.” By this I mean software that’s hosted on the servers of the software provider. This way you don’t have to deal with installing and networking software. Moreover, you can access your software wherever you have Internet.

This feature alone can save you a great deal of time and money in installation and software networking costs. In fact, if you’re a larger studio with several computers, you then don’t require a server for your software.

Small Business Management Software – 4 Important Software to Use In Your Online Business

Posted on December 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

One of the advantages of having an online business is the idea that you can actually have a small business management software to help you run your business almost in auto-pilot. With a few software installed in your business’ website, you can actually free up more time in managing your business.

Whether you are still starting with your online business or you are just bringing your business online to reach out to more customers, learning how to automate your business is indeed a useful one. Here are some of the software that will help you run your online business conveniently.

1. Shopping cart software. Especially if you are into retail or you are selling various types of products and services, it is very useful to have a shopping cart software that allows your online customers to just put their orders in the cart and conveniently pay them once they have done their online shopping.

2. Order tracking software. Getting a software that allows your customers to track their orders and the status of delivery is also another important tool you can use for your business. Even in small businesses, setting up this tool can help you gain the trust of your customers as well as cut down the number of emails and inquiries you get especially those that are just asking for the status of their orders.

3. Accounting and bookkeeping software. Another important small business management software is the software that allows you to make your books and record your business transactions as they happen. This is truly helpful in making your books fast, easy and convenient and allows you to have proper business records as well. Although you may still need to check and go over the transactions in your books, having a software will make everything easy and fast.

4. Software on customer support. Another important software that you can use for your small business online is a tool that allows your customer to reach you easily if they have questions and inquiries about your products or services. By having a good customer support, you can also earn the trust of your customers and give them the assurance that you can be reached at any time. Good customer support is indeed, one of the many factors that can attract customers to a business, especially when it comes to online businesses where people are cautious in dealing with people and businesses online.

Aside from these 4 important software that you can get for your business, it is also important that you put up a professional business website online. Aside from the ease and convenience of transacting online with your business, customers are often attracted to and enticed through a well organized website where they can browse through your product, check out the specifications and make some orders. Of course, easy buying starts from the choosing and the comparing and the ease of browsing your online store, so take your website design a consideration as well.