Getting families to register for the activities your business offers can be hard work! Whether you take bookings by phone or already use a children’s activity registration software, finding the perfect way to take registrations for your business is important. Registration software can streamline your business by making it simple for parents to book activities and make payments. Luckily, there are many software solutions to help set your business up for success.
When choosing registration software, you should start by thinking about what will work best for your company. Consider the following when deciding to switch or start using registration software.
1. Analyze what your business needs
If you’re reading this, you've probably thought about why you need registration software. Now it's time to narrow down the scope of your search by figuring out what your business needs. Here are some guiding questions to help you: do you need to free up your team’s time to focus on connecting with students? Do you want to appear more professional to your customers? Are you looking to process payments or dive deep into business analytics? Thinking about your business needs will help you shop for software tools. And to get you started, we've listed some common business needs below.
Common needs for children’s activity businesses:
- Parent registration
- Payment processors
- Schedule builders
- Activity libraries
- Student rosters
- The ability to support activity types like private lessons, semester classes, drop-ins, camps, parties, and free trials
- Gift cards
- Staff management
- Content management and client communication
- Reporting and analytics
- Goal setting
- Integrations with marketing automation tools
- User acquisition tools
Just know: this list isn't exhaustive. We suggest using it as a baseline to kickstart your research. You know your business best - how could a registration software make your life easier?
2. Do your research and check reviews
When you begin to research software tools, look to see what tools your competitors and connections in the industry are using. Take note of what you like and dislike about other businesses’ registration tools. You’ll want to consult this later while investigating software for yourself.
If you don’t know of competitors or peers who use registration software, look online for reviews! You can also use websites like Capterra to check on software reviews if you don’t know where to start. Create a spreadsheet of options and make sure to connect with sales representatives from each software that you’re interested in.
3. Look for great customer service — you’ll need help at some point
Great customer service goes a long way when it comes to software. Even if you are tech savvy, learning a new software takes time. Having support you can count on means that whenever you run into trouble someone will be there to help.
When looking for software with great customer service, prioritize the following:
- Onboarding: Does the software have dedicated onboarding professionals to teach your team about the registration software you’re buying? Working with an onboarding specialist one-on-one can be helpful for business owners who want guidance on when and how to use the software from the beginning.
- Continuing education: From training videos to ongoing webinars, make sure the registration software company you use offers opportunities to learn.
- Detailed documentation: Step-by-step documentation on features and products is key to setting you up for success. When you’re researching registration software, look for detailed help center guides and blog posts.
4. Find a company that will grow with you
As educators, you’re guided by curiosity. The software you partner with should grow as the world changes. The software you choose to pay for should empower you to develop your business and get the support you need to manage the changing landscape of learning from online classes, support for pods, and more.
When shopping for registration software, see if you can find how they respond and react to client feedback. Some questions you can ask are: Do you work with users to improve the tools that you offer? What changes and releases have you made to grow in the last year? How do you prioritize the user when designing new products?
5. Over-communicate your business needs
Partnering with registration software will usually involve a conversation with an account manager or sales representative. When you connect, make sure to communicate your needs and check to make sure the representative has a solution for each of your major challenges. Over-communicating your business needs sets you up for success in the long term — so you don’t run into any roadblocks on features or needs once you’re up and running.
Now that you know how to find the right software for your business, see why thousands of educators use Sawyer for Business to manage registration, take payments, and reach parents on‑the‑go.