A Fictional Tale of Two Yoga Teachers:
Wendy and John are each starting a yoga studio. They Darbi have their space, a website, and recently opened for business. They also chose to administer as much of their business on computers (who doesn’t get these days). They each have a laptop so they can be mobile, or so they think. They also have a desktop in their studio.
Students are coming to their classes, and they’re delighted by this. Yet, they both desire more students. Their business is in a growth stage, My Update Studio.
When not teaching classes and chatting with students, they’re on their computers taking care of the financial aspects, marketing, curriculum/class planning, and overall administration of their business.
When they started, they weren’t sure the direction their business would take, so they held off buying any specific business management software. Instead, they used Word and Excel to take care of their software needs. So far, their software setup is working okay, but they see the writing on the wall how something more sophisticated could save them time.
Wendy and John go online to start looking at yoga business software options. They’re pleased that there’s a lot of options. Of course, options mean making a decision.
Wendy decides to go with a cloud computing software platform while John opts for an installation software option. Wendy’s option requires that she pay a monthly cost to use her software. John likes the fact he only pays one time for the software.
Wendy logs into her software account through the Internet and sets up your software for your business. It takes a few days to get familiar with it, but she has her software working for her within a week with a class schedule set up, and she’s put her student contact information into the database. She also set up her autoresponder email account and integrated it with your student contacts.
John installed his software on both his laptop and desktop computer. He opted for no server and instead figured out how to network the two computers together so that it’s reflected in the other computer when a change is made in one computer. He spent about a day getting his software installed and networked.
Like Wendy, he takes a few days inputting his student contact information and formatting his class schedule in the scheduling software. His email software is separate, but he’s managed to integrate it using an APP with his installation-based yoga business software.
Fast forward 2 years. Both their yoga businesses are doing better than ever. Each of them hires 2 teachers to teach designated classes and a receptionist. This growth required more computers for their staff. Wendy simply upgrades her software to add another user. Her staff simply logs into the software through the Internet.
John buys another license and then goes through the installation process. Now he must network another computer. He’s read that using a server is a good idea but has no idea how to set up a server. Given his business is growing, he decides to hire a networking consultant. After buying a dedicated server and paying networking consultant fees, John spent $1,500. His software was also upgraded 6 months ago, and so he paid $300 in upgrade fees.
As their businesses grew, Wendy and John started selling some retail items in their studio and on their website. They also discovered how effective email marketing is to student retention and growing their business. Wendy’s online software platform offered e-commerce, credit card processing, and integrated e-mail marketing software. She was able to set up her stores and beef her e-mail marketing quickly.
John leased credit card processing hardware, bought a license for e-commerce software, and continues to use his original e-mail marketing software that’s integrated with his student contact database.
At this point, Wendy’s entire yoga business software is centralized and accessible over the Internet. John uses several software services that are installed and networked among his computers. As John’s business grows, his computing needs become more complex, and he now has his networking consultant on speed-dial.
He now budgets annually for computer consultant fees – something he never anticipated. He, of course, has heard about cloud software and is now interested in making the switch but is reluctant, given the amount he’s invested in his desktop installation software. He’s going to wait and see.
Wendy pays a monthly fee for her service. Still, she is pleased with how easy it is to add new users and grow her business with hardly an interruption in her core activities – teaching yoga and marketing her business. In fact, Wendy is considering opening another yoga studio, knowing aside from finding and designing space, her business is easily duplicated at another location.
John would love to expand to another location but is concerned about the expense of expanding and managing his business so that all his business information integrates seamlessly between his multiple locations. He puts expansion on hold.
What is Cloud Computing Software?
It’s software that the software company hosts. When you sign up, you get an account, and all your software is handled on the cloud – that is hosted and powered by the company’s servers – not your servers. You access it online.
The biggest reason business owners are reluctant to use cloud computing is the ongoing cost. Most cloud computing software platforms charge monthly to use the service. This ongoing cost is understandably a concern, especially for new businesses. The last thing you want is to be committed to ongoing costs if at all possible avoided.
However, when you look at your business’s long-term and your software, in particular, there’s ease of use and expansion to consider. With installation software, you must always consider the upgrade costs and the potential for paying consultants to maintain and grow your network. These unforeseen costs can be hefty in the long run.
3 Key Benefits to Using Cloud Software for Your Yoga Business Software
1. Access it Anywhere
Because it’s accessible over the Internet, you can access your entire software set up wherever you have an Internet connection (which is pretty much everywhere these days).
2. Integrates it with your Websites
A quality cloud software service for yoga studios makes it easy to update it simultaneously with your websites. For example, when you make changes to your class schedule, those changes are immediately reflected on your website, where you post your class schedule. There’s no need to go into your website(s) and manually make the changes (assuming you remember to do this).
Also, if you have e-commerce on your website selling gift certificates, yoga class packages, and perhaps gear and apparel when you make pricing changes (or any changes) in your software, it’s immediately reflected in your website(s).
3. No installation and networking costs
This is a biggie. Many business owners, when starting with buying software, tend to undermine this. With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about installation and networking your software. As you can see from the above Tale of 2 Yoga Teachers, John’s software costs escalated beyond what he anticipated because of unforeseen consultant costs. This is common with specialized business installation software. Networking software among computers is not an easy task and usually requires an expert to do it well. Will your yoga business fail by not using cloud computing yoga business software? No, but it could make administration and growth more difficult.