You’re beating your head against the wall and wondering why you need so much ibuprofen.

The attendance tracker is down, the billing system glitched, and when you finally get ten seconds to try and fix something, your martial arts management software is so difficult to navigate that you end up spend 3x as long on it as you should.

And of course, a little while later, it all happens again.

Is it finally time to switch your martial arts software? Keep reading.

It’s a Headache to Use

Martial arts software is meant to make your life easier, not harder. Yet your software is so complicated that you almost need a degree to use it. The learning curve is so steep that you’re spending more time finding out how to do something than actually doing it. Then, when your staff jumps on, they have to waste just as much time just to perform a simple task.

If your software doesn’t allow you to schedule classes, manage payments, and track member attendance without having to scratch your head, it’s time to start looking for a better alternative.

Andrew Cameron from Wing Chun International found himself in that very situation. Finally, he came across a management system that actually delivered on its promise of simplicity and ease of integration.

Here’s Andrew…

I tried so many products promising so much yet deliver so little and are difficult to learn and use.
With Gymdesk it was totally different – easy to set up, easy to use and members and staff love it.
We’re 6 months into using this software and so far I give it a perfect 10 out of 10.

Bad Scheduling and Class Management

If your current software doesn’t allow for seamless scheduling, allowing you to easily change class schedules, assign instructors, and manage multiple locations, you will end up with frustrated instructors and confused students. This leads to nothing but bad outcomes, including missed classes, overlapping schedules, and difficulty accommodating special events or schedule adjustments.

Quality martial arts management software should also accurately track student attendance. If you’re using software that lacks this feature, you are creating an unnecessary burden for yourself. Manually tracking attendance is a real hassle that can result in inaccurate student records.

You also need a software package that includes effective communication tools. This should include automated emails, text messaging, and in-app notifications. If these are not operating smoothly, it could result in missed messages, confusion about class schedules or cancellations, and decreased student engagement.

Another red flag is software that does not properly manage your martial artists. Your software should track student progress, manage belt promotions, and communicate with students and their parents or guardians. If it doesn’t, your student engagement will be negatively affected, which will impact retention and overall satisfaction with the school.

Here’s what the best martial arts school software will do for you and your students:

  • Get them excited for their next class with training history and progression tracking.
  • Provide easy access all content – from martial arts classes to exclusive online content – through their member portal.
  • Manage their training and payment fully online.
  • Instantly set class schedules, assign instructors, and make bookings.
  • Seamlessly communicate with members, engaging them as individuals based on their habits and history.

That’s precisely what you get with Gymdesk, as attested to by Heidi Smith of Mission Submissions …

Our membership doubled within the first four months using this product – it was pretty incredible.
Easy to sign-up new students, easy to see payment history. Overall it’s very organized and easy to navigate. I love that our members can access their profile online.

Love this software!

Difficult Billing and Payments

Billing and payment problems can be a major headache. If they’re caused, or even contributed to, by outdated or inefficient software, you need to upgrade your system. Here are some billing and payment red flags:

Inflexible Billing Structures:

Martial arts schools may offer a range of programs, classes, and payment plans. If your current software can’t handle diverse billing structures, it can lead to confusion and errors in invoicing.

Manual Payment Processing

Traditional methods of payment processing, such as manual entry of credit card details or handling cash transactions, are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. Your software needs to integrate seamlessly with payment gateways for secure and automated transactions.

Poor Tracking of Late Payments and Overdue Accounts

Tracking overdue payments manually is challenging and can strain the relationship between the school and its members. Software with automated reminders for late payments can help improve cash flow and reduce administrative burden.

Difficulty in Tracking Attendance and Payments

Martial arts schools often have fluctuating attendance, and keeping track of class attendance along with corresponding payments can be challenging. Your software solution should integrate attendance tracking with billing, streamlining the process.

Lack of Payment Security

Security is paramount when handling sensitive financial information. Outdated software may lack the necessary security measures to protect payment data, exposing the school and its members to the risk of fraud or data breaches.

Limited Reporting and Analytics

Detailed reporting and analytics are essential for understanding the financial health of the school, identifying trends, and making informed decisions. If the current software lacks robust reporting capabilities, it can hinder the school’s ability to optimize revenue streams and operational efficiency.

Poor Integration with Other Systems

Seamless integration with other systems such as accounting software or CRM platforms is crucial for efficient business operations. If your current martial arts school software does not integrate well with other essential tools, it can lead to data silos and inefficiencies.

It’s Not Making Life Easier for Your Students

Your martial arts studio software has a lot of jobs to perform, but its overriding mission should be to make life easier for your students. If your current management software makes it difficult for students to sign up or register for classes and events, your engagement, new member sign-ups, and retention will all be negatively affected.

It’s the same thing with accessing class schedules, student management, instructor profiles, and progress tracking. As well as being comprehensive and easily updated, these features should have a user-friendly interface and mobile accessibility.

Software that fails to facilitate fast, efficient communication between instructors and students or that omits reminders or announcements should also be upgraded. The same thing applies if your current system does not allow students to track their progress and achievements over time.

Does not Simplify Billing and Payment Processes

If your software requires manual data entry, multiple systems, or complicated workflows, the possibility of incorrect charges, missed payments, or billing inaccuracies increases. This can result in customer dissatisfaction, loss of revenue, and lower member retention.

An inefficient billing and payment system will also likely tie up your staff in tasks such as the manual creation of invoices, payment tracking, and account reconciliation. That time could be far better utilized for teaching classes, engaging with members, and growing the business.

Lack of integration with payment gateways is another red flag issue.  Modern martial arts management software should seamlessly integrate with popular payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal to facilitate secure online payments. If it doesn’t, you’re likely to lose potential members.

Gymdesk offers a martial arts billing solution to streamline your martial arts studio’s finances. It effortlessly integrates with Stripe, Square, or, taking full control of your payments with its on-demand, scheduled, and recurring payment features.

Weak or Difficult-to-Read Reporting (Data Analytics)

Martial arts school owners like you don’t have time to decipher complicated data analytics reports. Reports that are hard to understand can hinder your ability to identify such critical metrics as attendance trends, revenue streams, student retention rates, and marketing effectiveness. Without this data at your fingertips, making informed decisions and identifying improvement areas becomes challenging.

The lack of customization options in reports is another potential problem. Software that offers only predefined, rigid report templates won’t provide the flexibility needed to tailor reports to your unique requirements. This limitation can result in generic, one-size-fits-all reports that fail to capture the specific insights necessary to drive strategic decision-making.

Effective reporting should provide data and deliver actionable insights that drive meaningful improvements in business performance. If your current software fails to deliver actionable insights or presents data in a format that is difficult to interpret and act upon, it can limit your ability to identify opportunities for growth, optimize operations, and enhance the overall success of your martial arts school.

Gymdesk has put countless hours into it’s beautiful and easy-to-read reporting feature.

Conclusion: When to Change Martial Arts Software

Here are the key features to look for when upgrading your martial arts studio software:

  • Digital membership management that automatically tracks members, leads, and payments. This should include document management, sign-up portals, marketing features, attendance tracking, booking and scheduling capabilities, gym reporting, and billing features.
  • Online scheduling and booking management, allowing members and visitors to reserve time slots for private lessons, trial classes, and regular sessions ahead of time.
  • Marketing software that streamlines marketing campaigns for martial arts studios and improves engagement of gym members through robust marketing automation tools. This should include email marketing and SMS messaging tools, gym website analytics, and marketing data reports.
  • A billing system that allows gyms to collect recurring membership fees and one-time membership fees and process merchandise and product sales, as well as automate payment issue resolution.
  • Gym reporting software that captures, tracks, and displays member, financial, and other gym business data.
  • Point-of-sale (POS) software that helps manage your gym’s finances and track financial transactions.
  • Member attendance tracking software that allows a gym to record when members attend the gym.
  • A gym website builder that lets you build a website for your martial arts studio without code or technical knowledge.
  • Mobile app integration that allows members to manage their accounts, look at class schedules, check-in, and access members-only content on the go.

Gymdesk offers all of these features and more. But don’t take my word for it. Start your 30-day free trial and discover for yourself why so many martial arts school owners have fallen in love with Gymdesk.


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