The admin side of running a school/club

Badger1777

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Who here has run/is running their own school/club?

It seems to me that our teachers do more work than they should have to doing the tedious but necessary stuff like recording attendance, checking membership/license renewal dates, booking gradings etc.

It also seems to me that as a software developer, I may be able to make their life a little bit easier when it comes to doing the tedious but necessary admin stuff, but I have only the most vague idea of some of the things they have to do. I don't really want to ask, because I don't want to half commit to developing something for them, only to discover it is going to take all my spare time over several weeks. So, any ideas?
 

hoshin1600

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Just my opinion here but I wouldn't waste my time developing it. Running a dojo is only as complex as you make it. There are already many companies out there who collect the money for you and everything. Look up efc. Educational funding company. Most dojo out there are relatively small. I would suggest doing some preliminary data research on the average size of dojos to find out if there is truly a need from their perspective. The biggest mistake in business is thinking that everyone needs my widget. Then you would have to know the average profit margin to find out if there is a financial hurdle . If the soft ware was good I might pay up to 100$ as a one time purchase price. More then that and I would continue using something like excell.
 
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Badger1777

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Just my opinion here but I wouldn't waste my time developing it. Running a dojo is only as complex as you make it. There are already many companies out there who collect the money for you and everything. Look up efc. Educational funding company. Most dojo out there are relatively small. I would suggest doing some preliminary data research on the average size of dojos to find out if there is truly a need from their perspective. The biggest mistake in business is thinking that everyone needs my widget. Then you would have to know the average profit margin to find out if there is a financial hurdle . If the soft ware was good I might pay up to 100$ as a one time purchase price. More then that and I would continue using something like excell.

Thanks, but this wouldn't be a commercial venture. It would be a favour really. Our club is not a profit making operation. The money we pay for our training fees, accessories etc all go straight into the club. Annual membership goes to the wider association that our club belongs to, so that they can organise events and seminars and such and help other schools to get started. I counted up how many people train once, and multiplied that by our training session fee, and the conclusion I came to was it wouldn't even cover the petrol used by the instructors to get from their homes to the venue. They work hard, and they make sure everybody gets what they can out of each session, so if I was to offer my skills to help them, it would be a favour, and I'd be doing no more for them than they do for me.
 

Balrog

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Badger, there are already school operation programs developed. It's a niche that is pretty well filled. In order to be successful at it, your application would have to not only take attendance, etc., but feed the baby and walk the dog as well.
 

Mark Lynn

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Badger

As the others have stated there is stuff out there already such as this link

Features: Open Black Belt - FREE Online Martial Arts School Management Software Features

which is free up to 250 students, or you can upgrade and pay an additional cost for added features and tracking of more students. If I remember right there are other products out there similar to this product as well.

If you were wondering how to help your club I would just ask them what their needs are and see if yiu can help out or not, rather than trying to develop something they may or may not need.
 

jks9199

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Badger

As the others have stated there is stuff out there already such as this link

Features: Open Black Belt - FREE Online Martial Arts School Management Software Features

which is free up to 250 students, or you can upgrade and pay an additional cost for added features and tracking of more students. If I remember right there are other products out there similar to this product as well.

If you were wondering how to help your club I would just ask them what their needs are and see if yiu can help out or not, rather than trying to develop something they may or may not need.

Or... if this is something they need, why reinvent the wheel? Offer to help them put a program like this one into use, and administer it.
 

Buka

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Thanks, but this wouldn't be a commercial venture. It would be a favour really. Our club is not a profit making operation. The money we pay for our training fees, accessories etc all go straight into the club. Annual membership goes to the wider association that our club belongs to, so that they can organise events and seminars and such and help other schools to get started. I counted up how many people train once, and multiplied that by our training session fee, and the conclusion I came to was it wouldn't even cover the petrol used by the instructors to get from their homes to the venue. They work hard, and they make sure everybody gets what they can out of each session, so if I was to offer my skills to help them, it would be a favour, and I'd be doing no more for them than they do for me.

I wish everyone had the same attitude. Good for you, brother.
 

WaterGal

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It's great that you're trying to help your school! As others have said, there are a lot of different software programs out already there that can really help with this stuff. You could make your own if you like, but it seems like a lot of work vs getting an already-made software and maybe helping them implement it.

We use a program called "Studio Organizer", which is okay - I've thought about switching to Open Black Belt, since the new (since we opened, anyway) version looks pretty good. A lot of the other ones out there (MindBody, etc) handle credit card payments too but require you to pay every month.

What I do with the software is to keep a database of all the students, including when they started, what belt they are, when they last tested, and how long of a membership they signed up for. The software interacts with a barcode scanner to automatically track attendance. Every month, I use it to generate a list of who's eligable to test, and then do a mass promotion of everybody who did test. There's only one thing I'd really like the program to do that it doesn't: to automatically fill out our certificates. It has some totally blah-looking certificate templates of it's own, but I don't like them and it won't let you use your own.
 
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