Month: May 2016

Grow Your Dojo – #5 Maximize Profits

(This is a series of blog posts following along with Michael Massie’s Growing Your Dojo series of emails and how MasterVision can help with each of the steps. You can sign-up for Mike’s daily email list here.) We’re talking about Michael’s Step #5:
Step #5 – Profit Maximization – This consists of financial efficiency + added profit centers. Most school owners start here by adding profit centers before they get their issues with the previous four steps fixed. This leads to all manner of problems, such as school identity crises, perpetual peaks and valleys in enrollment numbers, and unstable cash flow.
As Michael says, I’d concentrate on all the earlier items, make sure you school is running smoothly and efficiently, before turning to these ideas. If you’re ready for this though, here’s how MasterVision can help:
  • MasterVision has a full point of sale system to run your pro shop. It will track inventory, let you know what needs to be ordered, easily let your mark items up/down as need be (holiday sales), and remind you that a student owes you money for a piece of equipment they took but didn’t pay for.
  • MasterVision’s contract module has a very powerful pricing capabilities that make it very easy for you to show a student what they’d pay under various scenarios. Easily show students the savings for longer term contracts, discounts for adding family members, and discounts for paying cash.
  • You can use MasterVision to collect track & collect contract payments yourself (especially handy if you’re a small school). Send out statements, know who owes a payment, and collect the payment all with MasterVision.
  • You can also use MasterVision to automatically collect contract payments via credit cards. Learn more about there here.

This concludes the Growing Your Dojo series. I hope it was helpful in identifying all of the ways that MasterVision can be used leveraged to help you have a more successful school. If you have questions or feedback, I’d love to hear it. Drop me an email at todd@MasterVisionSoftware.com.

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Growing Your Dojo – #4, Staff & Leadership Training

(This is a series of blog posts following along with Michael Massie’s Growing Your Dojo series of emails and how MasterVision can help with each of the steps. You can sign-up for Mike’s daily email list here.) Let’s talk about Step #4:

Step #4 – Staff and Leadership Training – To grow your school, grow your staff (and not necessarily in numbers).

Most of training staff and leadership is going to fall to you. There’s isn’t much a computer can do to make a person a better staff member. MasterVision can though help you track some of that work:

MasterVision can track students who assist in teaching a class. On the attendance screen there is a spot where you enter the instructor for the class. This person is setup in the Employee section of MasterVision. You can also though add a student assistant by double-clicking the “Instructor” label on the attendance screen and then adding a student.

In the reporting section of MasterVision, in the Attendance section, there are “Assistant Detail” and “Assistant Totals” reports that you can use to see how many classes a particular student has helped out with.

Next: How MasterVision can Help Maximize Profits

Growing Your Dojo – #3 Retention, Grab Bag

(This is a series of blog posts following along with Michael Massie’s Growing Your Dojo series of emails and how MasterVision can help with each of the steps. You can sign-up for Mike’s daily email list here.) Let’s talk about Step #3:

Step #3 – Retention. Keeping students around for the long haul. This basically amounts to two things – promise fulfillment, and customer service. This is another step many school owners skip, which leads to stalled growth and a poor community reputation.

We’ve looked at Measuring Your Retention and how to Spot Problems with Retention. Here are other ways you can use MasterVision to help with your retention:

  • Take attendance and use the automatic messages that go to the appointment book so that you know who is missing class.
  • For the students that are simply missing an occasional class (“Missed Class” in the appointment book), use the email and texting abilities to drop them a quick note to let them know you care and that you want them to stay on track.
  • Use the Message ability in MasterVision to create these repeating messages so you can send them quickly without typing them up every time.
  • For the students who haven’t shown up for class in two weeks (“Retention” entry in the appointment book), send them a different, more urgent message. Encourage them to come in and talk with you. Maybe have postcards you mail these students and use MasterVision to quickly create a mailing label.
  • Use the email ability in the Selector to stay in communication with your students. Things you can email the students: Exam reminders, special summer classes, holiday sales, special training opportunities.
  • Use the anniversary feature when taking attendance to know when a student’s yearly anniversary with your school comes up. Be sure to point this out in class.
  • Use the Mail Merge features with Microsoft Word to create quality exam certificates.

In short, use MasterVision to stay in communication with your students so that they know you care, use MasterVision to alert you to any problems so you can head them off before it becomes a lost student, and use MasterVision to provide value to your students.

 

Next: Leadership Training

Growing Your Dojo – #3 Retention, Improve It

(This is a series of blog posts following along with Michael Massie’s Growing Your Dojo series of emails and how MasterVision can help with each of the steps. You can sign-up for Mike’s daily email list here.) Let’s talk about Step #3:

Step #3 – Retention. Keeping students around for the long haul. This basically amounts to two things – promise fulfillment, and customer service. This is another step many school owners skip, which leads to stalled growth and a poor community reputation.

Last time we talked about measuring your Retention (or your Attrition rate, they’re the same idea). But what do you do if your retention rate isn’t so good? How can you find and fix the problem? MasterVision will help with that as well.

Go into Reports (the printer button on the toolbar), the Retention section, and you’ll find a variety of “Retention By” reports (by Age, by Months, by Rank), etc. Each of these reports will show you exactly where you are losing students.

For example, the retention by rank shows you the percent of all the starting students that drop out at each rank. You might find that there are certain ranks where you retain students and they keep going, but that there are other ranks where a larger than normal group of students is quitting. You’ll want to look at those ranks and figuring out why you’re losing students at that point.

 

Or maybe it’s age that is a problem – you do great with young kids, but are losing teenagers? Or maybe it’s time that is a problem – students are happy for about 9 months, but then start dropping out?

Whatever it is, MasterVision will help you identify the problem spot. It’ll be up to you to then fix it.

Next: How MasterVision Can Help Retention in Other Ways.

Growing Your Dojo – #3 Retention

(This is a series of blog posts following along with Michael Massie’s Growing Your Dojo series of emails and how MasterVision can help with each of the steps. You can sign-up for Mike’s daily email list here.) Let’s talk about Step #3:

Step #3 – Retention. Keeping students around for the long haul. This basically amounts to two things – promise fulfillment, and customer service. This is another step many school owners skip, which leads to stalled growth and a poor community reputation.

First, I think Michael left out an important first step – Measure your retention. If you’re not measuring your retention, you don’t know if any of the other things is working or not. Calculating your retention manually is very complicated. Calculating it with MasterVision is just a couple clicks. Here’s how:

Go to Reports (printer button on the toolbar), go to the Retention section, and run the “Attrition Rate Over Time” report (Attrition is just the opposite of Retention – Retention is what % of students are you keeping while Attrition is what % of students you are losing).

This report is explained in more detail here. Run this report at the end of every month to see how your retention is doing and to know if the steps you are taking are improving it or not.

 

Next: How MasterVision Helps You Spot Retention Problems

Getting Started

Thanks for taking a look at MasterVision!

I know that trying out new software can be confusing. I’ve got several blog posts here that will walk you, step by step, through setting up MasterVision, entering your students, and starting to take attendance. Follow along and you’ll be up and running in no time!

Step #1: Install MasterVision

You should have gotten an email explaining how to download the MasterVision program and install it on your computer. If you haven’t done that yet, you’ll need to go do that first.

Step #2: Setup Items

To make entering data easier, there are a couple things you’ll want to setup first in MasterVision before getting to the more exciting stuff.

Step #3: Specifics About Your School

Now MasterVision needs to know a few things about your school.

Step #4: Start Entering Your Students

Congratulations! You’ve completed the setup items that needed to be done. You can now start entering your students.

Step #5: Attendance

Once all of your students are entered, you can start taking attendance.

Other Things

Now that you have the basics underway, here are some more topics you might be interested in:

  • Using the Find form to open Student records

Find Form

You use the Find form to open existing student records. To open the Find form, click the Find button (the binoculars) on the toolbar:
toolbar
The Find form looks like this:
Find
If you know a student’s PIN or Association ID, you can simply type that in and press the Find button (on this form, the  binoculars) and it will open that student for you.
You can also search for a student using the First and/or Last name boxes. Type in the first part of that name, click the Find button, and in the box you’ll get a list of every student that matches what you entered. Double-click a name in that list and MasterVision will open that student.
You don’t have to do both First and Last names and you also don’t have to enter a full name. Some examples:
  • You can enter just “A” in First name and it’ll find every student whose first name starts with A.
  • You can enter just “S” in Last name and it’ll find every student whose last name starts with S.
  • You can enter “A” in first name and “S” in last name and MasterVision will find all students who meet both of those criteria.

Attendance

Before you can start entering attendance, you have to enter your students and setup your class schedule. With that done, you can start taking attendance. On the toolbar, click the button “A” button to take class attendance. The toolbar looks like this:

toolbar

Clicking the A button opens the Attendance form:

Attendance

Date: Today’s date has already been entered, but you can change it if you need to.
Class: The classes available for this date are shown here. If something is wrong, you can add/edit to the class list at File > Open > Attendance > Classes.
Instructors: Select the employee that is teaching the class. Employees are setup at File > Open > Employees.
Next you have to select the students that are attending this class. There are several ways to do it:
Enrolled: The Enrolled list gives you a list of students that you indicated should be in this class. You can double-click a name in the list to move the student to the attending side (and double-clicking on the attending side will move them back). A student will appear in this list if you selected this class for them on the Student form, Classes tab.
PIN: The PIN section will let you type in a PIN number to add a student Attending section. If you don’t know the PIN numbers (and you probably don’t), you can double-click the underlined “PIN” label to open the Quick Find form:
FindStudent
On the Quick Find form, you can lookup a student by First or Last name (just type in a couple letters, you don’t have to do the full name, then press enter). A list of matching students will come up. Double-click on the student you want put that student in that class.
Warning Messages: You may get a warning message as you add a student to the attending list. MasterVision warns you if their is a situation where you might now want that student attending class (expired contract, hasn’t attended in two weeks, has money due, etc.). You can just OK those error messages for now.
When you’re all done with Attendance, click the green checkmark to show that you are done. The attendance screen will close and you’ll get the option on whether or not to print the instructor’s report.
You can now start taking attendance for all of your classes.

Entering Students

To add students, you go to the Find form. On the toolbar, click the binoculars button:
toolbar
That opens the Find form which looks like this:
Find
Most of the time you’d use the Find form to lookup a student. You’d enter something in first name or last name and click the Find button. But, we haven’t entered any students yet so nothing cool will happen if you try that.
To enter a new student, you click the Add button (the plus sign). That will open the student form that looks like this:
studentTab1
We’re ready to start entering our first student! There’s a lot of information there. If you don’t have some of that information, don’t worry about it. You can leave it blank for now and do it later. Here’ s some help on entering information on this first tab:
  • PIN: Is an ID number that MasterVision assigns automatically. I’d recommend you leave it alone.
  • Status: The Student form is used both for Students and Prospects. Since we are entering students, set the status to “A” for active student.
  • Assoc: Is for any association ID, if you have one. If you don’t, leave it blank.
  • Picture: That big X box is where a picture of a student would be shown. Let’s deal with pictures in a later email so don’t worry about it.
  • First, Last: I think you know what to do there
  • Salutation: The name that appears on a letter after the Dear —, part. If they have a nickname or something they prefer, you can enter that here.
  • Address: The full name you’d put on an envelope. MasterVision defaults in what you typed for first & last. You can get fancy and put a Mr. or Ms. on that if you want, or just leave it.
  • Address, City, State, Phone, Email, Birthday: If you have this information, great, go ahead and enter it. If not, leave it for now.
  • Last Contact, Callback, Bookmark: Ignore all of these for now.
Once you have the above information entered, click on the Student tab. You should see this:
StudentTab2
We’re not going to enter much on this tab. Ignore everything except the following:
  • Exam section, Next Exam: We want to enter a date here. Take your best guess at what the date would be for this student’s next exam.
  • Rank: Enter the student’s current rank
  • Stripes: If you do stripes, enter them here. You’ll have to right-click it to set up the stripes you use.
Everything else gets ignored for now. Click the Classes tab. You see this:
StudentTab3
We need to put the students in the classes he attends. Double-click the class in the “Classes” section to move them to the “Enrolled In” section. Put the student in every class they could potentially comes to. (If you put them in the wrong one, you can double-click in the Enrolled In section to move that class back to the Classes section).
Ignore the Groups and Intros at this point. We’ll also ignore the Contacts tab at this point. All of that you can come back to do later if you want.
That’s it, you’ve entered your first student! Congratulations! Click the X in the upper right of the student form to close the student. All of your information is saved automatically.
You’re now back on the Find form where you can click the Plus button again to add another student.

Class Schedule

MasterVision needs to know about your class schedule. You can open the Class form from the menu at File > Open > Attendance > Classes (or double-click the Setup Classes in the Getting Started window). It looks like this:
classes
Description: Is simply the name you give the class. It can be anything you want.
Day & Time: Are the day and time this class occurs.
Type: Is a list that you can setup to be whatever you want. It comes in handy later on when you’re running reports. To change this list, right-click it. You can then setup whatever types you want. But, Todd, you’re wondering “What types do I want?” Here are some ideas:
  • Maybe you have adult & child classes that you want to track separately? Setup a type of Adult and one of Child.
  • Maybe you have a Regular class and a Weapons class you want to track?
  • Perhaps you have multiple styles of martial arts and want to track them separately?
  • Maybe you just don’t care about that at all. That’s fine, leave it blank. You can always change it later if you want.

Next: Enter Students