Get the Fundamentals…
Zen Planner is a Colorado-based firm whose software program is utilized by over 5,500 gyms, yoga studios, martial arts faculties, and Crossfit containers
Whereas a touted characteristic of Zen Planner’s platform, its cell apps are its biggest weak point.
For those who determine Zen Planner is best for you, after subscribing they’ll present three onboarding periods by which a assist group member will information you through video chat and display sharing by means of the method of organising the software program to match your gymnasium’s wants
As an proprietor of a gymnasium or studio, one in all your earliest and most important selections shall be deciding on the correct administration software program to fit your specific enterprise. You and your purchasers will work together with the software program daily.
Having the options you’ll want to do enterprise based on your imaginative and prescient and the reliability to function easily are massive issues. In spite of everything, you began this enterprise out of a love for health, not difficult backend administration!
That can assist you on this essential selection, this assessment will comprehensively cowl one of many main gamers available in the market of gymnasium administration software program, Zen Planner.
Zen Planner is a Colorado-based firm whose software program is utilized by over 5,500 gyms, yoga studios, martial arts faculties, and Crossfit containers. The corporate, based in 2006, has grown quickly since 2017 when it was acquired by Daxco, one of many premier suppliers of large-scale facility administration software program for multi-location well being golf equipment.
Zen Planner represents an possibility finest suited to small companies. Whereas it gives the potential to arrange linked accounts for administration of a number of places, it’s primarily designed to serve single places with membership bases fewer than 250 purchasers.
As a web-based platform, not requiring software program to be put in or information to be saved to any of the subscriber’s gadgets, Zen Planner is extremely cell and accessible.
Moreover, Zen Planner has an “A” score from the Higher Enterprise Bureau and has acquired native and nationwide awards as a extremely rated employer, most notably Exterior Journal’s Finest Locations to Work 2013-2018.
Zen Planner boasts an extended record of options from the essential, universally used member check-in to specialty capabilities like ability and rank belt monitoring for martial arts studios. On this part, I’ll element the advantages and, simply as importantly, the draw back of every characteristic. Let’s dig into every thing you are able to do:
– Net & Smartphone Apps
Whereas a touted characteristic of Zen Planner’s platform, its cell apps are its biggest weak point.
Whereas gymnasium house owners will discover some restricted comfort within the potential to rapidly add a membership or change a consumer’s saved cost info, the Zen Planner Employees App and Zen Planner Member App appear to have been created as an compulsory afterthought somewhat than the mainstay they may probably be.
Starting with the Employees App, its advantages are the power to simply check-in purchasers for lessons/appointments, to alter their cost technique on file, and to course of overdue funds. The final of those advantages truly reveals the app’s obtrusive weak point: the shortcoming to course of on-time funds. Right here’s the priority:
If the builders troubled to incorporate cost processing performance in an effort to take overdue funds, why not permit customers to make the most of that potential at every other time? To exhibit the issue, think about your consumer, not on computerized draft, needs to pay their month-to-month dues in particular person.
As a workers member using this app, you’re unable to enter the cost until it’s already late and an alert has appeared on the member’s profile.
Whereas there may be all the time the choice of opening the software program in your desktop pc and using the complete model to finish the transaction, it begs the query, “if there may be an app that may course of funds, why should I’m going to this bother?”.
Persevering with on to the Member App, whereas its claimed advantages are that it permits members to view schedules, reserve lessons, and make funds, for lots of gymnasium members it’s an expertise that can finish in frustration. Member App customers overwhelmingly report issues with the app failing to load or crashing so steadily as to render the app virtually unusable.
Zen Planner’s apps at present lack customization choices like branding with the identify, colours, or emblem of the gymnasium. Till Zen Planner completes a serious overhaul of them, it’s truly in all probability finest that method for gymnasium house owners who don’t care to have their enterprise related to such poorly rated apps:
– Exercise Creation
Amongst Zen Planner’s marketed options is the power to create exercises and monitor trainees’ efficiency. The usefulness of this perform is hit and miss; it will likely be based mostly in your gymnasium’s specific fashion of exercises and programming.
Whereas clearly yoga studios and martial arts faculties can have no use of this characteristic, even private coaching companies and some offering group coaching will discover disappointment within the restricted capabilities of this portion of the software program.
Exercise monitoring inside Zen Planner appears to be a characteristic supposed just for use in Crossfit affiliate containers and gyms that make the most of an identical Exercise Of the Day-style strategy.
In case you are unfamiliar with Crossfit WODs, they’re the hallmark coaching fashion of Crossfit containers and different cross-training services. For the aim of this text, we’d like not concentrate on specific actions carried out in a WOD, simply the general construction.
A WOD is a exercise with a standardized workload; all individuals shall be assigned the identical variety of reps and the identical weight (when relevant).
The variable of the exercise, certainly the crux of the whole aggressive nature of it, is the time the person trainee takes to finish it or, as one other instance, the variety of rounds they will carry out in a predetermined period of time.
The essential facet that pertains to how monitoring a WOD differs from monitoring different coaching strategies is specific WOD doesn’t change over time, it could be reused as many occasions because the coach wishes with the one enter needed for monitoring the exercise being the members’ single-variable efficiency end result.
Thus the coach can, in a single occasion, create the exercise in Zen Planner and by no means want to change it.
Distinction that with the predominant strategy of a energy and conditioning coach who guides a trainee by means of a progressive coaching program by which the work requirement of every exercise and it’s element elements must be intentionally elevated over time because the trainee improves.
This might require a sturdy exercise constructing and monitoring software program sturdy in its ease-of-use when updating the exercises themselves.
That is, sadly, past the scope of Zen Planner’s exercise monitoring characteristic. To place it bluntly, the system is just too sluggish and unintuitive and with no train library, a coach would discover himself spending an inordinate period of time making an attempt to bend this characteristic to his goal.
Nonetheless, making a exercise could also be worthwhile for the coach who should solely do it as soon as to then be used advert infinitum.
Crossfit coaches and field house owners will admire that the exercise monitoring system comes pre-loaded with templates of the well-known Crossfit Open exercises that may be rapidly carried out with no less-than-enjoyable go to to the Create New Exercise part.
– Level of Sale
Within the present market, many gyms from boutique studios to giant well being golf equipment select to function a retail income stream to enrich their customary companies.
These utilizing Zen Planner can benefit from the comfort of a POS and stock monitoring characteristic that works alongside the gymnasium’s membership gross sales and billing with out the necessity for a separate software program platform.
By way of the setup software, you possibly can add objects and set their costs and gross sales tax charges. You need to use the stock perform in tandem to trace amount readily available of every merchandise and arrange alerts notifying workers to reorder inventory for objects falling below your amount thresholds.
As soon as objects have been arrange, they’re prepared on the market by means of the built-in POS perform by workers or through the non-obligatory Shopper Self-Service system.
– Shopper Self-service
The consumer self-service characteristic is an possibility that may streamline your gymnasium’s every day operations or ease the burden on a enterprise with few workers members obtainable for customer support.
At your discretion, you possibly can allow purchasers to make the most of a self-service kiosk (an IPad is beneficial) to check-in for appointments, make funds, buy retail objects, and even full a brand new membership sign-up.
Amongst these choices, you could make the most of as many or as few as you want based mostly on your enterprise mannequin. Whereas self check-in for a exercise looks as if an apparent profit, it’s your selection as a gymnasium proprietor to find out whether or not or not a extra vital operation like beginning a membership is one thing you entrust to the purchasers themselves.
– Program and Schedule Design
Outlining your gymnasium’s numerous applications, class varieties, and schedule is the primary logical step in getting your administration software program to give you the results you want.
The account admin would go to the Setup display and create (if relevant) a number of applications or classes and, inside every program, the particular lessons. For instance, a gymnasium which options weight coaching and yoga could generate this construction for his or her program:
Weight coaching [program]
Scorching Yoga class
Barre Fusion class
For every class, the consumer could then create a schedule of particular occasions when the category happens.
Why is that this essential?
Designating the time of every class controls when it’s going to seem for check-in to your members must you decide to trace their attendance. I extremely suggest you do in all circumstances however in the case of gyms utilizing a enterprise mannequin based mostly on class limits (three/week, 12/month, and so forth.), using this characteristic is a no brainer.
Regardless of the excessive diploma of freedom to create as many applications and lessons as wanted, Zen Planner’s scheduling system has one vital draw back:
With regards to particular person appointments equivalent to private coaching periods or consultations, including or altering these one-off occasions to the calendar is a trouble, to place it mildly.
Let’s say, as an example, coach’s personal teaching consumer is often on a recurring schedule of 5 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This week, nonetheless, they wish to transfer Friday’s appointment to the morning.
Quite than a easy drag-and-drop on the calendar or two-click time adjustment as one would possibly hope for, the coach shall be required to click on by means of a number of home windows again within the Setup part, primarily creating that new calendar entry from scratch.
When contemplating that there could also be a excessive quantity of purchasers, all of whom require flexibility on occasion, this inefficiency can add as much as fairly a little bit of wasted time for a coach or gymnasium proprietor.
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– Create Membership Choices
Together with your numerous applications and lessons created, the subsequent step is organising who can entry every program and their price to take action. That is the place creating membership varieties and packages are available in.
Similar to creating the applications, including membership choices will be as advanced or so simple as you want to make it. Zen Planner provides you the liberty to create memberships and hyperlink them with any mixture of your companies.
You might, for instance, create a membership sort with entry to weight coaching teaching periods with a restrict of three per week and Open Health club use with limitless visits every week.
Membership varieties that shall be used repeatedly for many purchasers will be saved as defaults so that they needn’t be created from scratch for every new member.
Managers will, nonetheless, make use of the Add Customized Membership possibility in which you’ll immediately create a membership with distinctive parameters equivalent to a particular low cost or every other circumstance that falls outdoors the traditional pre-determined membership settings.
The seemingly limitless choices for organising memberships are one of many Zen Planner platform’s strongest choices.
As a gymnasium proprietor or coach, the extra features of the enterprise you possibly can automate, the extra you possibly can concentrate on coaching and consumer relationships. Thus a characteristic like automated emails to your purchasers is a must have in your administration software program.
Zen Planner comes with a default record of advised computerized messages that the consumer has solely to activate and they’ll be up and operating and streamlining their enterprise. Amongst these are cost reminders, receipts, late notices, and birthday messages.
There are dozens of templates set as much as auto-fill the suitable details about the consumer’s identify, membership sort, and related dates. Moreover, all emails will be personalized providing you with the power to create an automation based mostly on any piece of information you monitor in Zen Planner.
You might, for instance, create the next sequence for a brand new member:
Welcome electronic mail after the primary go to
Verify-in electronic mail after the primary two weeks
Request for a constructive assessment on social media after 4 weeks
Introduction to referral program and referral request after six weeks
By utilizing the platform on this style, you possibly can reinforce the member’s resolution to hitch, construct rapport, and probably even acquire new consumer leads all with out lifting a finger after the preliminary set-up.
Within the fashionable health trade, for those who’re not utilizing software program with electronic mail automation you’re doing your self and your enterprise a disservice.
– Information Reporting
Profitable gymnasium house owners continuously keep in tune with the efficiency of their enterprise, not simply their purchasers. Fast entry to your gymnasium’s vital information each day is a key characteristic of administration software program and one which Zen Planner does fairly effectively.
A go to to the Dashboard will allow you to view experiences of the gymnasium’s monetary statistics, attendance, and gross sales. Whereas there are lots of helpful default experiences that mechanically seem on this display equivalent to memberships expiring quickly, upcoming funds, and projected income, the consumer can create experiences for any information their enterprise collects.
The dashboard view will be personalized to incorporate whichever experiences you discover most related to the day-to-day operation of the enterprise in order that with only one click on you’ve entry to the pertinent information.
Whereas most gymnasium house owners go for the simplicity of one-time upfront funds or month-to-month recurring funds, Zen Planner permits memberships to be arrange with each conceivable cost schedule from a easy chronological foundation (weekly, bi-monthly, and so forth.) to punch card fashion choices the place the member shall be billed once more after a specified variety of check-ins.
Zen Planner can additional make it easier to keep organized in your enterprise’s bookkeeping by permitting you to categorize funds, together with these on computerized draft, based on program or membership sort. Thus you possibly can monitor the monetary efficiency of every of your gymnasium’s applications independently along with the general income of the enterprise.
Zen Planner makes it pretty easy so as to add or delete cost strategies, flip auto funds on or off, and view cost historical past for a selected consumer. Ideally, on the time of onboarding a brand new member, a card is positioned on file for computerized billing and little backend account administration is important.
Nevertheless, as a result of bank cards get stolen or expire and members often change cost technique out of desire, the convenience of updating cost strategies inside Zen Planner is a noteworthy attribute.
– Built-in Fee Processing
Choosing a cost processing service is a vital a part of organising your enterprise for monetary success. Like all membership administration/billing platforms, a third-party firm should are available in to play to make sure that once you click on Cost Invoice, cash truly strikes out of your consumer’s account to yours:
That’s your cost processing firm and their charges and processing time could make an enormous distinction in your gymnasium’s profitability.
Subscribers to Zen Planner will wish to give severe consideration to using their partnership with Paysimple for card cost processing built-in with the software program.
As prospects of their most popular billing software program, Paysimple grants a reduction to Zen Planner customers. As a result of simply .05 % charge distinction could make a distinction of hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your enterprise, this low cost is price wanting into.
A further profit to utilizing Zen Planner’s Paysimple integration is the elimination of additional steps when points pop up within the regular course of enterprise. Let’s say, for instance, you owe a buyer a refund for some purpose.
With every other third social gathering processor, you’d must contact the processing firm to provoke the refund along with reversing the cost on the consumer’s account in Zen Planner. For those who opted to make use of Paysimple, nonetheless, the refund will be initiated immediately in Zen Planner with no additional steps.
– Employees Administration
Together with managing your purchasers, Zen Planner can present important capabilities for gymnasium house owners who make use of trainers, salespeople, and operations workers.
The software program options the power so as to add workers members and set the schedule and obligations for every one. For instance, the admin could add a weightlifting coach to the workers and set him as the first coach for morning energy coaching periods. Upon viewing the calendar, different workers and members would then see his project to these lessons on the schedule.
Naturally, all workers can have some event to work together along with your gymnasium’s administration software program so Zen Planner provides you the power to set workers permissions for every particular person worker.
For instance, you could want to limit private trainers to the power to test purchasers in for periods and view their remaining variety of periods whereas giving managers or these concerned in gross sales have the power to provoke or terminate memberships and course of funds.
Zen Planner provides the gymnasium proprietor the power to trace workers exercise and customise the position of every workers member within the enterprise.
For workers who’ve been assigned an hourly pay charge, Zen Planner may also function a fundamental time clock.
– Web site Design and Integration
For gymnasium house owners with the price range to afford it, maybe one of the simplest ways to benefit from all Zen Planner has to supply is having their group develop an Built-in Web site for your enterprise. Zen Planner can create a web site with handy instruments in-built that hyperlink on to your Zen Planner account.
As an illustration, when a brand new customer to your web site provides their info in a session request kind, they are often mechanically added to your prospect administration system in Zen Planner.
From there they’d mechanically be entered into the built-in prospect curating electronic mail funnel, enormously will increase their probability of visiting your gymnasium in particular person and changing into a member.
It’s the final approach to make the most of Zen Planner and the perfect answer for the enterprise proprietor looking for essentially the most environment friendly, hands-off approach to run their gymnasium administration software program. This added comfort and decreased stress, nonetheless, doesn’t come low-cost:
Relying on the variety of members at your gymnasium and your number of sure premium options, having Zen Planner construct and preserve your web site will price your enterprise between $400 and $1000 monthly.
Who is that this health software program for?
– Goal Market/Positioning
Zen Planner is marketed as a administration and advertising answer for Boutique Gyms, Crossfit Associates, Conventional Martial Arts and MMA faculties, in addition to Yoga Studios.
What do these customers have in widespread?
All present premium companies like guided instruction in a private or group setting. A lot of Zen Planner’s options can be superfluous to the kind of enterprise promoting easy facility entry for permission to make use of an open gymnasium ground.
Small to Medium measurement health companies providing the next stage of service and usually multi-faceted membership choices want software program with the pliability to function a number of applications and comfort options which justify purchasers’ premium worth of membership.
Moreover, it’s the small enterprise, primarily, which Zen Planner’s all-in-one package deal appeals to. Right here’s why:
Whereas the big nationwide franchise gymnasium with eight,000 members has the cash and infrastructure to speculate lots of of hundreds of dollars in separate specialty software program platforms and separate workers for coaching, gross sales, and advertising, small enterprise house owners have a restricted price range and should usually play quite a few roles inside their enterprise.
For that purpose, they are going to normally search the one answer to all their enterprise’s wants.
– Trial, Registration, and Set-up
As beforehand talked about, the administration software program you decide to utilizing in your enterprise is a large resolution that can have an effect on your stress stage and your earnings. How do you ensure you’re selecting the correct one?
Higher take it for a take a look at drive!
Most administration software program suppliers supply a trial of some type and Zen Planner isn’t any completely different. On their web site, you’re invited to register for a free dwell demo of the software program guided by somebody from Zen Planner’s assist group.
Following the demo, potential subscribers are granted entry to the software program on a trial foundation for 14 days to check its options. You possibly can observe creating memberships, generate a schedule, and see if its exercise monitoring is of use to your enterprise.
For those who determine Zen Planner is best for you, after subscribing they’ll present three onboarding periods by which a assist group member will information you through video chat and display sharing by means of the method of organising the software program to match your gymnasium’s wants. When you’re in enterprise, you possibly can entry extra assist by means of Zen Planner’s in depth library of on-line tutorials.
– Consumer Perspective
Zen Planner’s fame is usually excellent with constructive rankings from the well-known assessment websites Capterra (four.5 / 5), GetApp (four.three / 5), and Funds On-line (9.5 / 10).
Searching the numerous consumer rankings, a few traits stand out:
Customers who charge Zen Planner the best concentrate on the subjects of customer support and worth for the cash.
“Customer support is all the time high notch. If a consultant can’t reply your query, they’ll analysis and present an answer normally by the top of the day.”
“Assist group is nice, and actually helps within the onboarding course of. They’re very quick in response time and give many choices for serving to resolve conditions.”
For customers who gave Zen Planner poor rankings, the focal factors had been technical performance or bother with particular person options pertinent to their particular enterprise. The identical customers account for the uncommon buyer assist complaints reporting being let down when looking for assist for his or her difficulty.
“Our gymnasium runs about 250 periods per week. They’re all completely different. ZP’s exercise builder doesn’t work for this. We had been spending ~three hours per day inputting exercises. It couldn’t scale. So now we don’t monitor exercises within the software program.”
“The wants we said for our enterprise had been easy and we had been assured that Zenplanner may carry out them. Going by means of the onboarding course of was like repeatedly being instructed ‘no it could possibly’t try this’ and ‘sorry, no it could possibly’t try this both’.
In abstract, Zen Planner appears to test all of the containers for gymnasium house owners who use quite simple working fashions of their enterprise. These with solely a pair membership varieties and completely group lessons (the best to set-up) have the perfect expertise.
Nevertheless, in case your gymnasium’s day-to-day wants would contain a number of the extra specialised options Zen Planner advertises, it’s price totally verifying previous to committing to the service.
Zen Planner encompasses a tiered pricing mannequin based mostly in your gymnasium’s variety of energetic memberships. An energetic membership can be any particular person in your database as a member, even when their membership is on maintain or has a late steadiness. Not included are folks saved in your database as prospects or alumni of your gymnasium.
Zen Planner presents each month-to-month and annual funds, the latter entailing a reduction of roughly $20-30 every month relying on which quantity tier your gymnasium falls in.
High Direct Opponents
In health facility administration software program, a few of Zen Planner’s high opponents are:
MindBody, probably the most extensively used platforms attributable to its compatibility in a number of industries.
Train.com, the one software program providing full custom-branding for your enterprise’s on-line platform and cell apps.
Virtuagym, a lower-price software program possibility for gymnasium house owners not essentially looking for the complete array of options of an all-in-one platform.
The Backside Line
For small companies within the health trade searching for software program to handle their gymnasium, Zen Planner is price a glance. Whereas it has all the essential requirements like billing and experiences coated, you’ll must carefully look at whether or not its extra specialised options meet your wants as they aren’t universally relevant or dependable.
It’s a severe resolution when selecting how your gymnasium will run and what instruments will assist make it successful. Don’t go away something to probability and accept nothing lower than what’s precisely proper for your enterprise.