Along with many other gyms and studios in the UK, Jake, owner of Hove Dance Centre in Brighton, England, was forced to close his doors during the country's first lockdown. Now needing to make the switch to online classes to keep his students connected and his studio open virtually, he found himself at a bit of a crossroads. Being rather tech-savvy, he was initially deciding between doing things himself and emailing his students Zoom links, or investing in dance studio management software with a Zoom integration to save him time and get things up and running as fast as possible.
Fortunately, he solved that issue very quickly. After speaking to a neighbouring studio who suggested he check out TeamUp to help him run his online classes and collect payments, Jake signed up his studio. Although Jake has only been a TeamUp customer for less than a year, he is a perfect example of a studio owner who dove headfirst right into the software and learned how to use every tool and feature possible to benefit his business.
While he originally signed up with TeamUp to use our software only for his dance studio and online classes, he quickly saw the benefits of having people pay online in advance and the potential for growth and better attendance. Jake shared with us how he uses his tools to run his studio and what he has gained from being a TeamUp customer. We're so very proud to share his success stories and his tips for what other owners can do to use their software to manage both in-person and online classes. Here's what he shared with us:
A platform to keep the dance community connected
When the pandemic first started my main concern was staying connected with my pupils. Without being able to come into the studio, I knew I needed a solution that would help with that. While I could have set up Zoom and emailed everyone links on my own, I wanted a software that would do that for me, which is when I noticed a local personal trainer I knew very well using TeamUp and he suggested I should too. It made things so much easier to have people pay through the website in advance. This functionality drove me to keep using TeamUp as we came out of the first lockdown and use it as my software when I started giving in-person classes again. I saw how much easier it made things for me online and how easy it could be for in-person classes too.
Better attendance rate due to online payment
The software helped me avoid collecting cash in-person which in turn helped my class attendance. Once I started giving in-person classes again, I actually saw a better attendance rate in class than prior to lockdown because people had to pay online in advance to come. We have drop-in classes and it could be the silliest thing like bad weather and people wouldn't want to come. However because they now had to book into a class and pay beforehand, there was more accountability for their attendance and prioritise coming.
More preparation and class structure
That accountability and knowing who was coming to class in advance automatically turned into more structure within our classes. We could organize and plan much easier and to have that in place helped a lot. You can get addicted to the activity feed in that way. Even the other teachers in my studio that have access to my TeamUp account got a little bit addicted to seeing people sign up for classes and memberships. I am also a personal trainer so in days when we don't have dance lectures, I offer other classes so it's excellent to offer that all in one calendar.
Easy to use integrations and set-up
We got into learning how to use the system, tools, and integrations quite quickly. The TeamUp support chat button was so helpful in trying to understand things while also being given the tools to figure out how to do it on my own. I could have tried to integrate my own version onto the website but because everything I needed was in TeamUp, I was able to drive traffic from my website directly into the widget and convert people to book and come to class.
Ability to offer classes, courses, and on-demand content
The store and different membership options are good to give to my pupils. I can run a normal monthly recurring membership or offer them a pack, and I like being able to do both. When we came out of lockdown the first time I began running courses. I saw good use of running classes and then courses that people would have to buy and commit to. When we had a mini re-opening between the lockdowns in October and December, we ran a course where people could sign up for the four weeks between and be committed to coming to all of the classes in that period of time. It also has also been great for following COVID regulations and limiting contact with people. The software has helped us organise and have limited contact with other people and helped us organise and have a structure for both formats of classes.
Power to host virtual dance events
One thing we have done during this current lockdown is organise and host on a dancing festival, Janfest. We started our festival on the 10th of January and it will run up until the end of January. We have a dance event or workshop scheduled every day. I have managed to get 17 other dance teachers from around the UK to do one-off workshops to try and bring our dancing community together. We are a specialised dance school and focus on ballroom and Latin dance. We provide other things as well but that's the thing that we're known for and now have a new way to offer lessons by teachers even outside our studio, all through our software.
My regular online classes that we had during the lockdown and even in in-studio classes as well I would have 10 to 15 people coming into the class which is a good size. But the first day of our festival we had over 60 people come to class. We started off with a big headliner world-renowned dancer now coach, Joanna Leunis. We got a massive jump up from regular results and had over 30-40 attendees for our following workshops. As these are one-off events, we offer several different packages for our festival in our TeamUp account. You can either purchase single event, packs of four up to the full 16 events, or you can purchase recordings of the events in our store. It's been a great thing to connect a bigger community of people.
Boosted revenue month to month
In comparison to December when we were in the studio daily compared to now when we are in lockdown and hosting our events and classes virtually, our revenue is up 83% from last month. We are charging more than our typical prices for the events, so in theory, although we have gone online, our pay structure still works. We are actually getting people to pay more than they would for class because of the content we are now offering. We still have 15-16 more days of the festival so we will have even more people signing up.
Expanded network with the customer referral program
Within the dancing society that I am paired up with I did an online lecture, and I helped a lot of other dance studios get online. I was able to use my TeamUp referral link and I promoted TeamUp as much as I could. It was the easiest to some degree to convert people to online. One of the other studios who signed up for TeamUp and I now can even communicate with each other and help each other out with little things when we need to figure out how to do something or for advice.
In conclusion - the best dance studio software
Although I originally signed up with TeamUp to use for online classes, I will continue to use TeamUp even when the world goes back to normal because it's been a great way to keep on top of everything in the outside world, especially financially.
Thank you very much, Jake, for sharing your insight with us and ways that you have used our software to run your studio.
Video: Why Jake chose TeamUp to manage his dance studio
And certainly, when I set up, it was great because, you know, there's that feeling where it seems that you want to you really want to know, how to describe it. The support team really do want to help you with all of your things. And it could be an outrageous request of like, how do I do this? How do I do it? And then they make it really simple.