How to Choose the Right Scheduling Platform For Your Business

One of the top questions I have seen in the last month is “what scheduling platform should I use?” Or, a variation of “I want to switch from my scheduling system which one do you use?” Whether it is the cost that is causing you to consider a new platform or your business has changed and the one you use no longer serves you, or, you’ve realized you lose too much precious time scheduling/rescheduling clients via text and keeping track of packages on our notes, picking the right platform for you is going to take research. Yep, I know, you probably came here for the answer to which platform you should pick. But, I promise, below I will give you tips to choose the best platform for your business. Ready to have a scheduling tool that literally grows you business by giving you time and options? Here we go!

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First, write down EVERYTHING you want your business to do. One thing that will drive you nuts is if you choose a program based on price and what you do this month. But, don’t consider where you want your business to be next year. I know, why pay for something you’re not using yet. But, most programs allow you to add things on too. So consider EVERYTHING! Do you want to have merch, workshops, classes, privates, zoom? What about it talking to your mail server? I want you to dream big here! If you’ve been in business for a while you might already know the answers to this question. But, if you’re at a pivot point or starting out on your own think of this like you’re back in dating life and you’re dreaming up your perfect match. What qualities matter the most to you? What are “must-haves” and “nice to have.”

Second, what don’t you like about the platform, program or system you are using? If you’re using your calendar and your notes on your phone (yes we def gotta fix that) but what about this is a waste of your time? Btw, YES THIS IS A HUGE WASTE OF YOUR TIME! But, what would you like it to do for you? The tool and systems you use should allow you to have more time to do the things that bring you joy or make you money. Literally write down everything that you dislike so you can make sure you don’t swap and do all the work and end up with the same complaints.

Third, now you can ask people “why do you like the scheduling tool you use?” Or, “what platform do you use and what are the pros and cons?” Note, I did not say ask people “what program do you use?” I also made this third for a reason. If you go and ask people what they use and the pros and cons of it before you make your lists your idea of who they are, how well their business is doing, the story you tell yourself about them will sway you to like one program over another. Its just human nature.

So, do the work to list out what you love, need, deal-breakers, and makers. Then get some feedback with the why behind it. And then fourth, start contacting these service providers and get on the phone with them. Yep, old school. Tell them what you want, need and DEF DO NOT WANT. And they’ll try to prove themselves to you. And, because you’ve got your list you can’t be swayed by charm and deals.

Your time is money. Literally every minute. So, anything your platform doesn’t do that you do on a daily basis is costing you money now and in the future. Because it takes up brain space. And wasted brain space means time lost creating future money-making ideas.

And, before you go all in and let your clients in on it have a friend or family member try to sign up for all the things. Not you. Someone who doesn’t know what is supposed to happen when they sign up for a new session. A friend or family member who is similar to your clientele signing up for a package or canceling a session. See where they struggle so that when you go to train your current clients on the switch its a smooth-er transition (no one likes change but that should not stop you). Afterward, if you’re like YASS this is it. Then do the switch. Yes, it will be work. Yes, it will be frustrating. And yes it will take time. But if it solves all your problems then it should actually give you time and energy back!

Please do this sooner than later. Trust me when you are on the other side of this issue you’ll be like “why did I wait so long?!”

What are you looking for in a platform?

xx~LL

PS when you’re ready to talk dream work schedule (yes it exists) check out this course here and my blog here on making sure your schedule has your future goals in your present day.

How to Make Strong Teacher-Client Relationships

Client retention is as integral to your Pilates business as you are. If your clients are not consistent not only does that affect how much you make each week it also can cause you to have to constantly get new clients or manage more clients than you have time to teach. Does this sound familiar to you: A client says they want to come in three times a week and then they move a session here, ask last minute to switch another session. Cancel the next two sessions because they have lunches or dinners, can’t get into the studio because they have this, that and the other. They want to do Pilates three times a week but they are trying to fit Pilates into their life. This song and scheduling dance is not only frustrating for you it’s also exhausting. And, to add more stress about it if they don’t come in consistently then they will not enjoy all the benefits of Pilates and so then of course…bye bye Pilates!

So, how do you manage your client’s schedule and yours? Well, first let me just tell you that you do not have to manage your client’s schedules like you manage yours. But, if you can motivate your Pilates clients to schedule their life around Pilates instead of the other way around then your Pilates business will not only be healthy it will continue to grow. Client consistency is key for Client Retention and their consistency equals reaping the benefits of Pilates which means their friends will notice how strong they are, how well they stand and want some of you too! Hello, client referrals!

Create a strong teacher client relationship by-
1) Know what your client does when they are not doing Pilates.
2) Remember events that are important to them.
3) Schedule them in advance. Tell them to book their sessions a month in advance to ensure they don’t miss their sessions
4) Remind them to “make up” missed sessions by rescheduling vs canceling
5) Let them know when a time they like becomes available
6) Look ahead at holidays and vacations that may affect them and get suggest times they can do to reschedule in advance.
7) Don’t be afraid to be unavailable! People like a busy restaurant!
8) Remind your clients of their goals and why they come
9) Don’t offer every available hour you have. Use the “which” rule. “I have this time or this time which would you prefer?”
10) Be more than the hour-long entertainment. If Pilates is integral to them feeling good then you won’t have to work as hard to get them to come in regularly.

Look, I get that many of these are easier said than done. But, I promise you managing your clients is easier when you teach them from the beginning that you are not just sitting around waiting to teach them. That, even if you have all the time in the world, you are not a beck and call teacher. Studies show if people are given too many options they have to “think about it.” But, if they only have a couple options they can make a decision. If you tell a client they can come in anytime on a Monday then they are going to go and plan their whole Monday and fit Pilates in. And, chances are they will be running late or not be able to get in because they are “too busy.” But, if you tell them two options that are near times you know they like then they will schedule their life around the session.

I get it, it’s not easy to say no to a client or to hold your clients accountable but it’s essential in your self-care as an instructor, making it easy for you to manage all of your clients, and will create a strong relationship with them. If your clients are getting their Pilates in regularly with you because you keep them consistent they are going to realize that you are more than a person they see in their week. You are the person who helps them do their week. When you remember life events they are going to feel special and more than a name in your calendar. And, all of this helps grow your Pilates business.

Which one of these things are you going to work on? Let me know below in the comments. If you have any questions feel free to contact me here. Let’s make your client schedule consistent and as full as you want it!

xx~LL

PS for more on creating an optimal learning environment check out this blog and this one for motivating different personality types.