7 types of software for a tennis business
Luckily one of my early business books I read was The E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber. The message I got from the book was to constantly work ON your business, not IN your business. Basically to build your business in a way that could lead towards a franchise model (even if that is not the intention) with consistent documented processes and ways of operations. Given that doing repetitive administrative tasks is also my version of a nightmare, you could say I was very keen to create airtight systems that someone else can help manage for me. As my tennis academy, Scarborough Tennis, grew in size, the importance of creating and operating better systems also increased.
So what started as a whole lot of word documents and excel spreadsheets has evolved into a suite of different software which makes running our tennis academy more professional, more efficient and more consistent.
Here is a list of the software we currently use and for what reason:
1. Intennis – class and court management.
Early days someone would have filled out an enrolment form by hand before scanning and emailing to us. We would then type their information into the excel database contact list and then the excel database class list before then waiting to receive the cash or cheque from the client. Intennis was a natural step towards online enrolment and class management. This meant that with an online enrolment we get the class list correct, the contact details correct and the payment complete. We use it for class creation, attendance, invoicing, communication as well as online court bookings. Coaches use the intennis app to see the names of their players and track their attendance each session.
2. Mailchimp – newsletter system.
Although we can communicate with intennis, its features are limited when it comes to nice looking newsletters and also tracking the results of email campaigns. So our tennis students are divided into different categories on mailchimp. Hotshots, Junior Club, Adult Program and General Newsletter. This means we can regularly keep our current clients upto date with what is happening as well as reach out to those who used to be clients who may be interested in getting back into the sport. We don’t send more than 1 newsletter a month per category but the newsletter system in combined with intennis contacts means our communication is well sorted with our clients.
3. Asana – task manager.
As our daily, weekly and yearly tasks started to become consistent, Asana, was the next step to keep track of what to do, when to do it and who is doing it. This also helped to really break down the job descriptions and all the roles and responsibilities within the business. Our business is now broken up into 5 different sections:
- Business Owner
- Director of Tennis
- Office Manager
- Sales and Marketing
- Pro Shop and Centre Management.
4. When I Work – schedule manager.
Managing coaches schedules had become too difficult via spreadsheets. Many programs were consistent and did run for 10 weeks in a row but sometimes the coaches needed to drop their shift and we needed to be able to quickly view the availability of the coaches and book in any new private lessons or newly allocated group program. The coaching team use the When I work (wiw) app to indicate any unavailability as well as to view their upcoming shifts for the week.
5. Xero – accounting software.
Numbers have never been my favourite part of a business but only know too well how important it is. I have been lucky enough to work with a great book-keeper who helps to fulfill our ATO requirements as well as do weekly payroll. For many years we used quickbooks but in the last couple of years made the switch to Xero which is easy to used, provides good reporting and importantly easily synch’s up with Intennis.
6. Universal Tennis – competition software.
We have very recently signed up as a Universal Tennis (UTR) academy. UTR is a rating platform which rates all players regardless of age or gender into a scale from 1 to 16. We will be using this platform to run tournaments and matchplay opportunities for our players. The players can sign up for free and download the UTR app. With any verified UTR matchplay, the player may see their rating go up and down and can compare themselves with their peers and their heroes on the pro circuit.
7. The Others – handy app’s to have.
- Canva – We don’t use this that regularly but it is a handy tool to create a social media post or poster/flyer.
- Lucidcharts – Use this to create mind maps which are used for flow charts to show the operational structure as well as processes around coaching, competitions, restringing and pro shop management.
- Imovie – Use imovie to do videos to use on social media or in some cases to send to clients. Easy fun way to edit videos/photos, put it to music and make it look cool!
- Tennis Australia Technique App – Use this to help set the lesson plans for the coaches as well as for coach development.
Writing this list its actually surprising how many different types of software we are using. However this really saves a huge amount of hours and results in a much better business operation.