Unfortunately, there are still a lot of gymnastics clubs out there who settle for software that isn’t helping them reach their full potential. However, as we’ve talked about before on our blog, it’s not about adopting just any piece of technology – it’s about investing in a platform that will continue to benefit your organization long-term.
Discover the 6 reasons why your gymnastics software sucks:
Let’s be clear about something too: when we say your gymnastics software isn’t working for you like it should, we’re not saying that it can’t do basic tasks or even meet some of your general business needs. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fulfilling needs that are specific to your organization’s unique set of circumstances and challenges.
In fact, even if their software isn’t efficient or doesn’t have specialized features, a lot of gym clubs don’t even recognize that as a being a problem. Instead, they’ll stick with the same, often older software solution because, well, it does the bare minimum. Sort of.
From a lack of connectivity with other platforms used by your administrators to a design that’s the opposite of user-friendly, there are lots of reasons why gymnastics clubs are using software that only meets that minimum quality standard instead of giving their clients an unforgettable online experience. Even if your organization is a non-profit, engagement and revenue growth is the key to big picture sustainability – without the right digital solution, you might get left behind in the marketplace.
Here are some of the most common red flags we see in software solutions that can hinder your club’s business and operational performance if you’re not careful:
Doesn’t Integrate Well with Other Platforms
With many gymnastics clubs clamoring to offer their clients a smooth online registration experience, as well as a hub where they can view upcoming events, class or activity schedules, competition updates and much more. However, you can’t have a high-performance digital community without seamless connectivity to other platforms.
Whether you’re using tools included in Google’s suite of business tools or other online services from the likes of Mailchimp or YouTube, aggregating all of your operations in one digital space is a must for administrators in any industry, especially considering the explosion of available tools publicly available on the internet.
That’s why an interactive and fully connected web experience, achieved mainly through the use of open API’s, allow organizations to create totally immersive ecosystems for both their clients and their staff members. Software solutions that don’t give your club the opportunity to do so are putting you at a disadvantage.
Software isn’t User-Friendly
As regular readers of our blog know, we’re big advocates for sites putting a ton of emphasis on user-friendly web design and functionality. Frankly, if customers cannot navigate your website or online software system with ease because of a confusing visual layout or features that perform poorly (this includes speed and page loading issues), you’ll be losing out on loads of revenue and potential long-term rewards.
Sadly, many of the software solutions that gymnastics clubs are currently using fall well short of acceptable in those categories. Not only are text descriptions, user interfaces and visual layouts often stuck in some weird bloated 90’s-era phase, but many of these digital systems are also not optimized for mobile, which is a huge problem.
Seriously: If your participants and their families can’t access their user accounts on the go via their mobile devices, your club will see an increase in customer frustration. Which brings me to my next point …
Information isn’t Updated in Real-Time
The advantage that SaaS-based software has over competitors who don’t use the same technology is simple: the database updates and syncs to both administrative and end-user accounts in real-time. It’s the same concept as adding a song to your Spotify playlist and knowing that, the next time you hit shuffle, that track is likely to be played.
However, not all software solutions are made equal when it comes to updating client information. Some are slower than others, often relying on outdated hosting center systems to get the job; others are still reliant on (gulp) manual data entry. Does anyone still want to be doing either in this day and age? I didn’t think so.
If updates are not done regularly and your club is stuck using incompatible software, it will inevitably become a huge headache for both your clients and staff members. You also won’t get access to the same features as other organizations, whereas SaaS software normally offers the same functionality across the board (assuming you’re using the full version of a platform and not the free or “lite” iteration).
Bottom line? Your clients want flexibility and the opportunity to access information at any time, from any device. If that convenience isn’t provided, there’s no guarantee they’ll be making return visits to your facility in the future.
Platform Doesn’t Evolve Quickly
This is tangentially related to the SaaS-vs-not conversation, but just because an online software solution says it releases updates and performs maintenance on a regular basis, that’s not the same as a piece of technology that evolves alongside an organization and gets tweaked to match their specific needs.
Lots of web development teams don’t utilize Agile methodology and, as a result, create a static software tool that is almost immediately stuck in a specific place and time. Especially as your gymnastics club continues to grow and expand your reach in the community, it’s imperative that you’ve got a software solution that can keep up.
Clients Don’t Have Their Say
Why should a software company listen to their clients? In short, because it’s the only way they’ll really improve over time.
What separates the great software services from the average or mediocre ones is almost always directly linked to how they take feedback and turn those ideas into actionable instances of change. It goes back to this concept of evolving with your organization and not remaining static over time.
Even if your gymnastics club gives your software provider feedback and lets them know what changes, improvements or additional features you want to see, there’s a chance none of those concerns will be taken seriously. In the end, rigid software puts you at a technological disadvantage when compared to your competition – an avoidable mistake that most community organization literally can’t afford to make.
There’s No Inflexibility in Gymnastics
You’d think that gymnastics clubs, especially those who claim to be on the cutting edge when it comes to software, would be all about flexibility and agility. However, while those qualities are prerequisites for many athletes who wow audiences at the competitive level, it’s sorely lacking in many digital solutions used in the industry.
We understand that every gym club is different and that not everyone operates with the same business principles or is moving towards the same goals. If your software feels like something that was made with a generic appeal in mind, it’s not going to promote growth and improvement for the long haul.
Further to that, you don’t collect the same kind of information that other gymnastics organizations do. Your birthday party registration and attendance forms aren’t used the same way that the documentation for competitive teams is, so why invest in the kind of software that assumes otherwise. You need nuance when it comes online registration, database organization, CRM capabilities and more; a solution that doesn’t offer that kind of detailed functionality isn’t worth one millisecond of your time.
Connectivity issues, flexibility, user-friendly designs and real-time information updates are all qualities that are not just nice to have in a software solution but, in reality, are necessities. Long-term growth and sustainability are on every small business or non-profit’s wish list and shelling out the cash for a digital system that isn’t pushing you further in that direction is, at best, a misuse of your time and resources. If one or several of the problems listed above are plaguing your gym club, it’s time to start searching for a better alternative, and quickly.
Amilia’s richly-constructed, SaaS-based software solution has helped many gymnastics entities grow significantly in recent months and establish themselves as forces in their respective communities. Find out more about how we can help your club today by clicking below!