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Martial Arts on Rails
Martial arts gym owners and their employees are in the business for their love of the sport and art form—not out of a love for paperwork and data entry.
Unfortunately, running any business requires clerical work. Fortunately, martial arts management software can streamline this work and help users focus on the parts of the business they love.
There are many vendors that offer general club and gym membership solutions that can be tailored to the needs of martial arts gyms. There are also solutions created specifically for martial arts gyms. This guide will give you a head start in choosing the system that’s right for you.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What Is Martial Arts Software?
Martial arts software helps users manage the business operations of their martial arts studios. These systems allow users to add and track members, and they automate a number of tasks—which can be tedious—that users would have to do manually otherwise.
Martial arts software typically includes the same functionality as club and gym management software, such as member sign-up, billing and scheduling. However, solutions designed specifically for martial arts gyms also include specialized features, such as belt tracking.
Common Capabilities of Martial Arts Software
Martial arts systems often come with some or all of the following core capabilities:
|Scheduling and booking||Schedule group classes and private sessions. See team members’ schedules and daily, weekly and monthly calendars.|
|Billing and payment processing||Invoice clients. Track tuition payments from members. Set up automatic billing and notifications. Process credit and debit card payments.|
|Member management||Maintain a database of members, both active and inactive. See members’ payment histories, which classes or session they are enrolled in and attendance records.|
|Progress tracking||See how students are progressing through training, their class histories and performance. Software designed for martial arts gyms may offer belt tracking, so users and members can see which belt each member currently holds and when they earned it.|
|Member portals||Some solutions offer member portals, where members can log in to enroll for classes, schedule one-on-one sessions, cancel reservations, make payments and track their own progress. Many of these portals are also accessible through mobile apps.|
The Vendor Landscape
Many vendors offer products for generalized club and gym management, but fewer target martial arts gyms specifically. Consider your specific needs as you begin researching products. Some examples are listed below:
MINDBODY. This solution offers club management solutions for a variety of fitness club and gym types. Its martial arts component includes modules for online booking, point of sale (POS), client check-ins and task automation.
MINDBODY also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. The app lets potential and current clients search for gyms. Clients can save their favorite gyms and easily return to the ones they like.
Zen Planner. Like MINDBODY, Zen Planner has specialized solutions for different fitness types. Its mixed martial arts (MMA) gym software caters to gyms offering Muay Thai, Krav Maga and Brazilian jiu jitsu training.
This solution offers an app for iPads and various functionality, such as:
- Automated reminders
- Student self-service portal
- Skill and rank tracking
- Retail management
GymMaster. This is a more general gym management solution that can accommodate the needs of martial arts gyms. It is designed for gyms of all sizes and a variety of specialties.
GymMaster lets you keep detailed member records, schedule classes and trainers, process sales and communicate with team members and clients. It also offers a mobile app.
Market Trends to Understand
Here are a few trends to be aware of as you search for martial arts studio software:
- Cloud-based software. Most martial arts software solutions are cloud-based. This means that users can log into the software from anywhere with their internet-connected device, and multiple users can access the system at once.
With more traditional on-premise systems, users have to install software on a limited number of office terminals. They’re limited as far as when and where they can access the system and how many users can log in at once.
- Mobile member portals. Cloud-based deployments also mean members have access to their accounts and membership details. Many vendors now offer native mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, which provide a seamless on-the-go experience for clients.
Some vendors also offer employee self-service mobile apps, which allow workers to access their own schedules and details remotely. Look for this trend to continue in the future.
Key Considerations for Martial Arts Software
Before you start the process of evaluating potential martial arts software for your business, you should consider all of your requirements and list them based on their importance. Below are some of the questions that you should keep in mind when trying to identify the best solution:
How easy is the software to use? A software solution that is easy to learn and use makes things more seamless for you and your staff members and means less down time during implementation. Automating daily tasks can make daily processes more simple and allow users to complete them more quickly. Keep in mind, it’s easy to be dazzled by offers of multiple features, but if they’re not needed, users can get distracted and bogged down. So, opt for a simple solution, as feature overload can create confusion and even increase stress.
Will the software help you grow your business? Automation of daily tasks will allow you to become more productive, giving you time to focus on business growth. In addition, the right software will also enable you to find, nurture and convert prospective leads into customers by using features such as integrated email marketing and customer relationship management (CRM).
How easy is it to implement the software? Depending on the software provider, the process of implementing a martial arts software solution can either be an arduous task, or it can be a breeze. To keep things simple, look for software providers that offer migration of existing data and that will help you set up your new application as part of their service.