Running a martial arts school requires many hats. One of those hats includes administration including tracking employee time, student contact management, marketing, sales, scheduling and course curriculum development, and of course teaching martial arts.
My bet is you like teaching more than sitting in an office taking care of the management of your martial school. The bad news is if you run a martial arts school you must spend some time administrating your business. The good news is you can now get some pretty cool software that speeds up and in fact enhances your administrating tasks.
The key administrating tasks include:
- Student contact management
- Sales and revenue generator
- Employee management
- Scheduling and curriculum development
In a nutshell, the best martial arts business management software is a platform that is integrated and takes care of all these administrative tasks. This way you avoid duplicated data entry and in fact can leverage the existing data.
What do I mean by leveraging existing data?
Harnessing software as it should be harnessed means minimizing input time and maximizing production. For example, one big task involved in running a martial arts school is student contact / info management. You must maintain student information. Another big task is scheduling. You must schedule your classes and perhaps private lessons.
You can leverage your client contact information with scheduling by having the two data sets integrated. So, if you input a private lesson, you can easily access your client contact database from your scheduling software so with a click you update your schedule rather than input client information from scratch.
Let me give you a better example. Suppose you have email software that is integrated with your scheduling software. When your schedule is revised or a student signs up for a slot, you can program and integrate the email marketing software with your email marketing so that your student receives reminders about the scheduled appointment or class.
These are just two of many time-saving examples you get when you get the right martial arts business software.
Before I list the 5 must-have features, the over-arching requirement is that your software have all these features so integrations is built-in. This way you harness the benefits of leveraging your time and resources.
What are the 5 Must-Have Martial Arts Business Software Features?
1. Robust Scheduling Software
- You need scheduling software that does the following:
- Integrates with a robust email software
- Is centralized so when you make a change in the schedule, it’s replicated wherever you have your schedule digitally posted (i.e. other computers and your website(s))
- Enables auto-pay so that you can collect money up front digitally. This alone pays for any software upgrade. Money up front processed automatically is much better than chasing money.
2. Robust Student Contact Management
You want a centralized database where your student information is retained. It’s a lot of work managing student profiles, contact information, payment information, etc. When you have it in a properly constructed database with fields, you leverage your data input in many ways by integrating the database with other administrative tasks. It’s also easier inputting new data and/or revising existing data.
3. Payroll Management
Martial arts schools often have several teachers earning money at different pay rates. It’s not fun tracking how much each teacher is owed over with inadequate software (Excel anyone – I don’t mean to badmouth Excel, it’s excellent – it’s simply not designed for tracking such data).
4. Sales and Revenue Generation
- Credit card processing that integrates with your client contact database. Moreover, you want credit card processing you can do on the computer rather than separate hardware. It’s much more convenient.
- Enable online payments and auto-billing. When someone schedules classes online, why not collect money automatically and immediately. The less time you spend processing and chasing money, the more time you have to build your business and do what you love – teach martial arts and develop courses.
- Gift Card Capability
- Gift cards can be a wonderful revenue generator. Make it easy for your students to get friends and family into your school with gift cards.
- Retail and E-commerce: If you’re not selling gear, apparel, gift cards, etc. then you’re leaving money on the table. Moreover, having gear and apparel available for your students is a nice customer service touch.
5. Marketing Capability
One of the best ways to get new business and generate more and ongoing sales from your existing students is using sophisticated email marketing. Don’t rely on gmail or Outlook. Get an autoresponder email system that integrates with your student contact database and scheduling software.
You want to customize your email messages to prospective students and current students. You also want to auto-generate email messages as much as possible – such as new class openings, class reminders, private lesson reminders, etc. When you integrate your email software with your scheduling software, you can significantly ramp up your communication with students with very little time or effort.
If you don’t have a fully integrated software system for your martial arts business, then chances are you’re duplicating work and not leveraging as much as you can to reduce inputs while increasing outputs. The email marketing and contact database integration alone gives benefits sufficient to warrant the cost of more sophisticated software.
However, when you add in credit card processing, auto-billing, and e-commerce opportunities, you can seriously grow your martial arts business while spending less time in front of the computer and more time in class with students.