Oasis Martial Arts
Oasis Martial Arts is a literally an oasis in the middle of the desert. Opened in 2002, with the single mission of giving back to those without hope, owner Tony Redmond and the rest of his team share the power of martial arts with low-income students in El Mirage, Arizona. From the beginning, Tony wanted to help underprivileged students and he established the unwavering goal of not turning anyone away, regardless of their ability to pay. In order to offer this free training, Tony maintained his full-time job during the day and manages and teaches at Oasis during the evenings and weekends. Today their school has 60 active students and countless numbers of students who graduated and left the area for college as a result of the confidence and life skills gained through martial arts.
Tony is a software systems analyst, as well as a martial arts instructor, so he originally wrote his own software program to run Oasis. This homegrown system worked for a while, but as his student base grew, he began to feel overwhelmed managing tasks like emailing students, staying up-to-date on the collection of payments, and tracking student information and belt rankings. Tony had to continually shuffle between spreadsheets and his software program to complete all the tasks required to run and manage his martial arts school. This was incredibly time-consuming and forced Tony to spend time on administration, rather than teaching students.
A particular pain point was the process of communicating with students. Since none of the process was automated, Tony was forced to remember to call or email students and then manually send emails out. Not only was this time-consuming, but many of the messages were repetitive in nature, such as reminding students of new classes, following up on payments or welcoming a new student to the school. Eventually it was obvious that the administrative work was impacting the time Tony could spend with his students. That’s when a friend of Tony’s recommended Zen Planner and he decided to explore the possibility of making a change.
Because Tony has extensive software design experience, his evaluation process was slightly different than most fitness business owners. His checklist for a potential solution was quite lengthy and he wanted to try out any solution for himself prior to purchasing.
Tony signed up for the Zen Planner 15-day trial and then connected with one of Zen Planner’s knowledgeable sales consultants. The consultant took him through a tour of the time-saving features Zen Planner offered and demonstrated how Tony could manage all the tasks that he was now doing manually. Tony signed up shortly after the meeting with Zen Planner’s sales consultant, knowing that he had found the key to spending more time with his students and less time with unfulfilling paperwork.
Tony says he’s now able to run Oasis Martial Arts much more effectively. Like many other disciplines, martial arts students want to know they are making progress and learning skills, and belt testing relies on accurate attendance records. With the photo-centric check-in process on Zen Planner’s Faceboard, students can’t wait to check-in when they arrive. This makes it easy for Oasis Martial Arts to keep accurate attendance and skills records.
Having everything he needs in one place makes running the business much easier. The automations in Zen Planner allow Tony to stay in contact with students. Especially valuable are those automated emails that he set up to go out with the occurrence of a triggering event, such as a first visit or celebration a milestone. In addition, the automations Tony set up mean that he no longer has to double check credit cards or try to find a particular student. The system automatically alerts him if credit card is going to expire or if a student hasn’t been in for a particular amount of time. “With Zen Planner’s many options to automate emails, we easily save 12-15 hours a week. I can use this extra time to focus on teaching and we have the ability to systematically remind students if they’ve missed a certain number of classes.”
Finally, Tony also appreciates Zen Planner’s excellent support team because he says they are “knowledgeable, personable, and truly understand my concerns.” In his complimentary onboarding sessions, Tony worked with a Zen Planner team member who is also a Martial Arts business owner. This industry specific knowledge was a huge benefit for Oasis because it allowed Tony to set up the software to work specifically for his business.
Without a doubt, Tony Redmond recommends Zen Planner for other Martial Art schools. “The power of Martial Arts is incredibly transformative, and I now have more time to change lives through martial arts. My students leave Oasis years later with self-esteem and a sense of self-worth that carries them on to college and a rewarding life beyond. Without Zen Planner in place, I would be stuck doing administration-type work rather than doing what I love, which is transforming kids’ lives.”