Hi, I'm Claire Willet from Millstream Pilates. This is my studio room and currently my live stream Zoom room too, while we're in lockdown three. I run classes in Benson and Oxfordshire and other villages around Oxfordshire, too, Radley and Dorchester On Thames. And I have three other teachers who work alongside me as my recovery sort of classes we teach across the week. We run about 20 classes a week at the moment.
Karen, one of my fabulous Pilates teacher friends and my mentor when I was a student, had been talking to me about TeamUp probably for about a year before I finally took the step into it. I really wish I had done it a lot sooner.
I set up Millstream Pilates in 2013, initially part-time. I still worked in the business world using CRM systems and business development. And I took the big step in 2015 and went full time. So going from part-time to full time, I'd had my set of spreadsheets that I was using for my expenses, tax, client payments, etc. and as I grew the business, it started to get quite messy. There is a certain level of joy and kind of going through your spreadsheets and seeing your income and business growth.
But there's a huge amount of stress that starts to arrive as well when you are thinking about clients who haven't paid you at three o'clock in the morning or you post checks off to the bank and you've got to be paying in slip in. That happened once too. Or you're chasing clients' payment who actually paid you, you just haven't seen it in the bank account.
So my processes just became too messy for the size that we're at. Karen, one of my fabulous Pilates teacher friends and my mentor when I was a student, had been talking to me about TeamUp probably for about a year before I finally took the step into it.
How TeamUp has helped me grow and innovate over the years
I really wish I had done it a lot sooner, particularly someone who is used to using CRM systems in my old life. It's just a no brainer. It's taken away so many of the administration stresses. So the waking up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning no longer happens.
Clients just pay. And it's kind of done in a faceless manner. Which although takes away some of the personal side, it leaves me to focus on teaching classes in my classes and not having to talk about money, which I much prefer.
When I first started exploring using TeamUp, I spoke to Mitch two or three times and he's absolutely brilliant at understanding my business. I think it's a Pilates model we're slightly different from how perhaps TeamUp had worked with other businesses.
We don't run fifty-two weeks of the year. We run quite unusually six week or twelve-week blocks and then have a break. So trying to work out how you set up payments when they're monthly on the direct debit or as a class pack meant changing my business model and modernizing, actually. But it takes quite a lot of confidence to make that change and for someone else to see the vision of how that's going to work.
TeamUp's reliable customer support
And TeamUp have been brilliant at that all throughout. So the time Mitch spent with me, getting things set up, coaxing me into making changes within the business, which actually my clients love, they much more direct debit rather than paying everything upfront which is what we were doing originally for twelve or fourteen-week memberships.
And throughout, I think I've been TeamUp for maybe three years now and throughout those three years, the support has always been fabulous. I'll send an e-mail and I get a reply very quickly. I've made suggestions on developments and we'd like to have and I see them coming and not always straight away, obviously, but they go into a wish list and they don't get lost on that wish list. They do come through.
Using franchise management software during lockdown
The major things where I know the value of TeamUp from day one, I've never doubted it. During the initial lockdown, where overnight I, along with everybody else, had to suddenly change their business and just like that. Luckily I'm from a business background, so I actually don't mind that challenge.
It's just been a long time since I've had to do it in such a massive way. And it was incredible how TeamUp were already there. They'd already set up the interface to Zoom, you had your FAQ's there, and it meant, that I could just sit on the side and sort out all of my processes, get all my clients on board, do all the training, with them, on how to use Zoom, etc.
And then three or four days later, take that time to look at what TeamUp had done, knowing and having full confidence that it was all there and it was just going to work. So I absolutely applaud you for how you manage that and supported us, which has meant you supported our clients and helped keep our clients with us.
And one of the wish lists I mentioned in the past is that it would be really useful for some marketing material that we could just send our clients on how to use TeamUp periodically. And I've noticed that you've just started to do that with online classes. So I know that's helpful to my clients.
There's a lot to take on when you set up TeamUp's pilates franchise management software or any system, any CRM system, just CRM system, it just takes your money as well. And you learn the percentage that you need for the job at hand at that immediate moment. And each year I've taken time to have a catch up with Mitch and see what else can I use to improve my business.
Discovering TeamUp's features and integrations
And I've implemented different parts TeamUp over the years. And I'm really slightly embarrassed, I didn't know how to use it, didn't really pay attention to the notifications until fairly recently and now I absolutely love them. So yeah, we as the user have to take some time periodically for our own training.
And just what other useful features can we use. And because you often dismiss them and go oh it's for yoga or for a gym and it's not relevant to my business. Or I'm already using MailChimp, so what's the benefit in interfacing it in? There will be answers there and my brain just needs to be receptive and have the space to go, OK, let's do it into other areas.
And one of the things that we've been doing through lockdown is running live webinars for Hormone Health and menopause. And I've teamed up with someone else who also uses TeamUp. So when my clients book in via TeamUp, it's so easy for them to be able to book on.
So there's been many benefits in this period of time and having all the financial admin and client admin taken away allows me to play around and just grow and move in directions that our clients are taking us in. I think that we're able to live in the now a lot more right now, and that's got to be a positive.
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