I ran rooftop yoga on the top of a multi-story car park. It was amazing in the first year.
I was expecting about ten, if I was lucky twenty, people per class to these sessions, and I thought, “Well, what I’ll do is instead of people emailing me and deal with paper forms, I’ll do a Google form and they can fill that in and that will reserve them a place.”
I sent out a press release and I sent it to Time Out despite the little voice in my head saying don’t, I did. It went in Time Out, a whole page in Time Out, and it went crazy. I had about forty bookings in about twenty-four hours.
My “system” could not handle that, and so I spent that summer basically handling the bookings and trying to deal with things coming in by Google forms, and of course, no automated emails, no advanced payments, trying to unravel everybody’s contact details and a slightly not properly firmed up disclaimer and all this kind of stuff, and printing out my own registers.
When I had to cover teachers, having to email them registers that people would be booking into the last minute, and how to update my website when this class had sold out or if a place came free, how to fill it back up again. How to handle a waiting list, all of these kinds of things. So I started experimenting with booking systems.”
Lucy realized she just had to get through that summer because she couldn’t change the system halfway through. At the end of the summer, she started looking into booking systems. She used one for a while and noticed an improvement quite quickly with reduced admin levels, however, she wasn’t taking payments through it for a while, then she started taking payments too.
Again, that was helping, but it wasn’t really ready. It was still very much in development and it was really lagging behind where I needed it to be.”
Online booking management
That was the point when she realized that when she was about to go into doing rooftop yoga again the second year, she needed a really robust system that was going to work for her and handle the level of bookings that she was anticipating.
I looked to all the different systems available and TeamUp came on my radar because a neighbouring yoga studio was using it.
What attracted to me in the first place was just how friendly Tim was and how adaptable the system was.
It was really simple to use and also that over the Summer I knew that I’d be paying at the top end of the system.
I knew that my bookings would be high and the turnover on the rooftop is significant, so I knew I’d be at that top end.
Then, when I got to the end of the rooftop, I could retain the system and drop down a level in terms of outgoings, and the sliding scale was really attractive to me because in the summer I was getting maybe four hundred new students over three months and of course because I was also running classes that other people were teaching.
Then, once I got through the end of September and that rooftop was closed, I was going back to my much more normal level of maybe twenty or thirty students a month.
I didn’t want a system where I was paying full whack when I got back down to my normal level.
Better instructor and staff management
Lucy also liked the way TeamUp has the ability to share with other instructors so that she could have other instructors in the system and give them the access to do registers on their smartphones, which she says has worked really well.
When I got cover teachers in, I either get the teachers themselves or a volunteer. I’ve got a handful of volunteers who have got access to the system, and they can do the registers for me, which is nice because I’ve had incidences like my phone’s died, the battery’s just gone for some reason or the reception’s dropped.
Having taken a huge chunk of admin away from her and making everything much more efficient Lucy doesn’t have to do those loads of jobs that she used to such as emailing new students, following up with them, emailing them to confirm bookings, or dealing with class memberships, like past bookings, cancellations, all these kinds of things. Now they can do all of that themselves.
My students love it. My business is growing massively, and I’m sure that a good proportion of that is down to TeamUp because it’s so easy for them to use that what happens is they’ll find me on Google, they’ll go through to my website, they have a look, they choose a class, they book it.
It’s not just the effect on growth, it has also saved Lucy time, especially as she manages multiple teachers.
It massively reduces my administration, which means that I can manage my business better. I can keep track of my income. I can keep track of the payments that are coming into me, keep track of my students. Then that frees up time for me to be doing other things.
I actually just can’t imagine going back. I sometimes cover other teachers and I just don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how they organize themselves when they don’t know who is turning up to class, how they keep track of payments, how they can manage their tax returns and things like that.
Reporting and payments
Having all the reporting of all the payments through helps me to keep track of everything because when you start doing quite well with your classes, then that gets really complicated.
You have to be able to evidence the different money that’s coming into your account, whether it’s coming via a Stripe payment, PayPal, cash or whatever, it’s really good to have that central place where it’s all being documented.
It’s freed up time. You’ve got more time to focus on what you need to in running the business.
I found TeamUp to be really intuitive from the beginning.
Read more about Lucyoga at her website www.lucyoga.co.uk.
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