For the first 14 years, Theresa ran her business manually. From tracking attendance to collecting and recording payments, communicating with students and overseeing business revenue and expenses, all business administration was done by hand. “Every waking moment that wasn’t spent teaching, eating or driving to the studio was spent on administrative work,” Theresa explained. “The work was time-consuming and took away from time that I could spend with my students.”
Besides being extraordinarily time-consuming, running the business manually forced Theresa to rely on her intuition to make critical business decisions. “We were running the business with pencil, paper and clipboards,” Theresa said. “All the business numbers were in my head. I remember trying to do the business budget by laying out 12 to 16 different pieces of paper on my kitchen floor. I’d then start counting numbers to try and make sense of everything.”
Collecting student fees was also difficult. Like most business owners without management software, she was forced to chase down payments and didn’t enjoy the problematic conversations about late membership fees. “I have a great relationship with all my students, so it always felt awkward discussing late payments with them,” Theresa explained.
“The first person I ever hired to help me with my business was a Penn State MBA graduate. She pointed out that we had a leaky collections system with too many people not paying on time or at all. I realized that if we couldn’t get our payment system under control, we’d have a serious problem that could jeopardize the business,” Theresa said.
It was then that Theresa learned about yoga studio management software and how it simplifies business management, including streamlining the billing and payment collections process. “Once I heard about studio management software, I knew it was the answer. But not just any software would do,” Theresa said.
Theresa needed affordable software that would work for multiple locations and allow the studio to continue serving students with their specific, nonprofit business model. She also wanted to work with a company whose values aligned with hers. “Through yoga, I help people live better lives, so I wanted a software company with a soul and spirit who understood that. After learning that Zen Planner’s company value is OHANA, I felt they were the right fit for us,” Theresa said.