2018-05-03 12:19:31 Mobile English Learn more about the type of membership management tools available to small businesses, non-profit organizations, and associations. Member... https://d1bkf7psx818ah.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/07055032/small-business-owner-manages-memberships-on-laptop.jpg Membership Management Tool Options for Small Businesses

Membership Management Tool Options for Small Businesses

4 min read

When you own a membership-based business, such as a gym, club, or dance studio, you want software that makes managing your members’ needs as easy as possible. Small businesses have several app options available to simplify member management, so you should take a close look at them before picking one.

Benefits of Using a Software-as-a-Service Tool

SaaS systems operate using the cloud, which lets you manage memberships across multiple locations. For example, if you own several local gyms, using an SaaS option gives your members the ability to go to any of your gyms when they want to work out.

Also, you can customize your SaaS tool to fit your business’s specific needs. So you could customize it to manage and store important documents, process automatic monthly payments, and sell branded merchandise. Or if you operate a non-profit, you might have your software customized to collect and track donations.

Most SaaS tools let users integrate apps to streamline various processes. For example, choosing an option that integrates with your email automation software, lets you set up a workflow that automatically adds new members to your email list. This way you don’t need to update your email list every time you want to send an important message to your members.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

Every business and organization has its own set of priorities and needs. So before you start comparing software options, you should consider a few things.

  • Assess all of the features you need your software to include — it’s a good idea to make a list so you don’t forget anything.
  • Think about which features are most important to your business. For example, is collecting monthly payments from members or letting members manage their accounts remotely more important?
  • Determine what type of apps you want to integrate with your software, if any. Do you need your SaaS to integrate with your email automation software, your payment processing software, or an event planning app?

Also, it’s a good idea to think about how much cash you have on hand to get your software up and running because pricing varies between platforms. If you don’t need an option with all the bells and whistles, you could save money by using Sumac, a plug-in-type software that integrates into your existing website. But if you prefer a done-for-you solution, ZenPlanner has a more costly package that includes website design and maintenance.

Commonly Used Basic Features

Even though different membership management tools have different features, there are some basic features you might want your software to have.

  • Web-based and mobile-friendly application process
  • Automated renewal process that includes email reminders and invoices
  • Searchable online membership directory
  • Ability to process monthly payments and send an email receipt automatically
  • Option for group memberships for families, teams, and/or companies

Gym and Studio Member Management Tools

Gyms, dance studios, and other similar businesses have their own set of needs. So it’s not surprising that there are several member management tools designed for these business types specifically.

If you own a gym or a yoga studio, Zen Planner is a great option. It comes with two types of mobile apps — one for employees and one for members. The membership app lets members register for upcoming classes, update their payment information, and track their workouts. The employee app lets you manage member’s profiles, process monthly payments, and track class attendance.

Dance studio owners should consider RhinoFit’s Dance Studio Software. This app helps you manage your dance studio’s class schedule, membership options, payment processing, and product sales. It even has the ability to let parents manage their entire family’s needs in one place.

Member Management Tools For Other Organizations

If you’re looking for a tool to manage an association or club, Wild Apricot and MemberPlanet are good options. Both tools make it easy to keep tabs on your members and the dues you collect. Wild Apricot also has a website builder, processes event registrations, and integrates with WordPress. But MemberPlanet provides specific support for non-profit organizations, religious groups, and school booster clubs.

Are you planning to raise money for your club or non-profit by selling branded merchandise? If so, you should consider aMember Pro. This software is designed specifically to suit online membership sites and e-commerce businesses. This solution is designed mostly for businesses and organizations run solely online. But it’s also a good option for anyone looking for a way to sell merchandise to their members without installing an entirely new membership management system.

Lastly, regardless of the type of club, association, or non-profit you run, you should take a look at ClubExpress. It’s an all-in-one membership, e-commerce, events, and web management platform. Using ClubExpress lets your organization or non-profit manage its members, plan money-raising events, and sell merchandise in one place.

When you choose a membership management tool that’s customized to fit your business’s needs, it saves you time and money. Cloud-based member management tools help you streamline the entire onboarding and membership process, making them practically a must for any type of membership-based business or organization.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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