Owner of TriYoga of Central Pennsylvania
Theresa Shay always knew she was built to teach and spread the word about the TriYoga® practice. In 2000, she decided to pursue this passion by opening a small yoga studio in downtown State College, PA. Since then, TriYoga of Central Pennsylvania has become a nonprofit organization and expanded to three studios in Boalsburg, Bellefonte and Spring Mills.
TriYoga of Central Pennsylvania serves to provide yoga for all stages of life, from prenatal to their oldest practitioner who is 82 years young. The studios serve over 150 students, and are a training ground for the TriYoga® practice in the east coast.
After 14 years of manually tracking attendance, payments and revenue trends in her head, Theresa knew there had to be a better way to run her organization. “Every waking hour that wasn’t spent teaching, eating or driving to the studio was spent on administrative work,” says Theresa. She has great relationships with all of her students, which makes it difficult to ask for money when they are behind on payments. “The first person I ever hired to help me was a Penn State MBA graduate. She pointed out we had a leaky system with people not paying on-time, and warned me it was headed toward becoming a gushing system,” says Theresa. This hire was the person who informed her about studio management software and how it could simplify their entire billing process.
Theresa was also interested in growing her student base, but knew it wouldn’t be possible without software. “A student recommended that we offer more classes and events, but I knew I had to get the organization in a place where it was able to grow; I was at my capacity with tracking everything on my own,” says Theresa.
Finally, Theresa firmly believes that teachers should be asked to teach, not to deal with administrative work. “I knew if we had a good system in place, our teachers could focus solely on teaching.”
Theresa knew she needed affordable software that would work for multiple locations, process credit cards payments (they were only taking cash and checks at the time), allow them to continue serving students with their specific business model and embed information on their website. “Through yoga, I help people live better lives, and wanted a software company with a soul and spirit who understood that. After seeing Zen Planner’s OHANA sign in their office, I knew they were the right fit for me; I felt like they actually cared about me.”
Theresa built out her database in Zen Planner during her two-week free trial, knowing that if she liked how the software worked, she would purchase it after the trial ended. She also spent time reviewing all of her software questions with Drew, a Software Specialist at Zen Planner. “Drew was amazing. He was focused on actually helping me, and never pushed me to buy. I felt supported, encouraged and welcomed way before I became a customer.”
Before Zen Planner, Theresa relied on intuitive knowledge about trends in her business. Now, she keeps a close eye on actual numbers provided through Zen Planner’s reports. She even admits to reading Zen Planner’s dashboard for fun. “There are so many things I didn’t even realize I wanted to know until getting Zen Planner. The combination of Zen Planner and my accountant taught me how to run a successful business. This has allowed me to step back and let things run without getting overwhelmed.”
With software, Theresa was finally able to focus on growing her studio. “Zen Planner saved my sanity and brain capacity. We are rich in square footage and can now take on more teachers, students and events since it’s not reliant on my brain. Every aspect of the organization has grown since implementing Zen Planner,” says Theresa. Theresa reports doing very little administrative work now thanks to the software, and has even hired three employees to help her run the organization.
Her students also rave about the software. She says they enjoy everything from checking in to easily making payments. “They LOVE Zen Planner because it’s a fun interface and it’s very easy to use.”
Theresa is also a big fan of Zen Planner’s Customer Advocate team. “They always take calls from me, my staff and my students. They solve the problem efficiently and joyfully, and I never feel like I’m bothering anyone.” Theresa loves the entire Zen Planner team so much that she jokes she would work here if she ever left teaching.
As for her favorite thing about Zen Planner, Theresa says it’s hard to pick just one. “I am no longer responsible for tracking the business side of my organization in my head,” says Theresa. Theresa also feels like Zen Planner and TriYoga are the perfect fit because they’re kindred spirits. “Zen Planer is here to help me, and I’m here to help the world by teaching the practice of yoga. I honestly feel like my software company is on my side.” To sum it up, Theresa says it best: “the software is powerful and easy to use, it works, it’s affordable and the people are friendly and super helpful.”