First updates of the new year!

Earlier this month we pushed out our first handful of updates for the new year, and focused our efforts on a few items that were causing some irritation for our customers. 

Fixing check-in flag bug

First, we had a bug that was at times causing the check-in flag to go off on some students when being checked in, even though it had previously been turned off by the studio. This was a bit of a difficult one to track down but ultimately figured out what was going on: we were inadvertently creating a duplicate record when the flags were being updated. The result was that at times the flag was falsely being thrown, while other times it was correctly NOT being thrown.  We've now updated this, as well as cleaned up all the duplicate records, and our customers shouldn't be seeing this issue anymore. A big "thank you" to those of you who wrote into support about this!

Series Registration from the admin side

We've long had a way for students to register for an entire series of events, such as a beginner series, on the web by way of our website widgets. What was sort of annoying though, is if a student was in your studio, and they wanted to register for a series, you either had to have them go to your website to register or you had to add them to every event individually. This is pretty suboptimal for obvious reasons, so we've updated things so you can now register a student for an entire series of events all at once from the event series page on the admin side of things.

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This is one of those "little big" updates I talk about sometimes because while it's a simple little addition in terms of using it, there's quite a bit going on behind the scenes with things like duplicate checking, proper error handling, etc.

Various system updates

In addition to the above we also took care of some general system maintenance and reliability items, updated a few things behind the scenes with our find-a-sub feature, and updated our server stack to address the meltdown security vulnerability you've probably heard about. 

So much more to come!

As usual we'll be pushing out updates all year long, and we can't wait to show you some of the other things we've been working on!

 

 

2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

I'm happy today to publicly announce what we shared with our customer base a few weeks ago, a new, simplified plan and pricing structure for all Tula Software subscriptions. 

 2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

As has always been the case, our aim with Tula pricing is to provide the greatest impact per dollars spent for our customers, while remaining competitive in the marketplace without necessarily trying to "compete on price".

As we all know, races to the bottom are rarely won.

This price change also reflects the first time in our six year history we are moving our existing customer base to the new pricing. We're proud that this is our first price change in six years, and importantly, only comes after we've driven our credit card fees to the lowest offered anywhere in the industry: 2.2% + $.30/transaction

No company is doing more to help independent studios succeed than Tula Software, and our new pricing continues to reflect this reality. 

Our new pricing is simple and clear: $85 per month gets you everything we offer with the exception of our add-on features. The Base Plan includes Custom Calendars, Custom Payment forms, registrations, member management, reporting, etc. All of it comes on the base plan.

Our Add-on Features are the Find-a-Sub functionality, Electronic Waivers and Retention Center. 

These add-on features now come on our new "Premium" plan, which is now $125/month. In addition, our customers can now choose a single add-on feature for an a-la-carte price of $20. This is great for people who might only want electronic waivers, or only the retention center for example.

Very lastly, we're retiring our "Mudra" plan which provided customers with custom iphone applications. Existing customers are not affected as of yet, but new custom app builds are not being accepted. We'll be posting more about Apple's decision separately, along with our view of the ramifications for the industry, but in the meantime you can get a good primer on the subject by reading this TechCrunch article.

To our customers, we want to say thank you for all your support and for choosing our company to serve you. We're proud to have you as customers. As you know, we shipped a tremendous amount of functionality in 2017 and we're even more excited about what we have in store for 2018!

 

 

You, Your Yoga Studio, and The Magical Powers of the Internet

In many parts of the tech world, there is a feeling in the air that the big opportunities have been missed. That market share, and power, have been consolidated amongst Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, and that the rest of us are fighting over scraps. At the same time, we’re starting to come to grips with the fact that we don’t really entirely understand the impact that the internet, and social media in particular, is having on us.

If you’re not careful, you can start believing that not only have we lost the magical powers of the internet, but that it’s turned against us as well. And while this probably could be the case, it doesn’t have to be, and there are important lessons bubbling up to the surface for those living in the world of brick and mortar independent studios on how to keep your business thriving.

Are there more distractions? Yes. Is there more competition? Probably. But these realities are merely a signal of the fundamental truth that we still hold the power and original promise of the internet in the palm of our hands. Individually, we are more empowered than ever to build the businesses and lives we want, and ultimately, we’re still the ones choosing how and where to spend our time on the internet.

Facebook has indeed wreaked havoc on countless publishers who believed they would always be able to reach their audiences through the network. But that needn’t lead you and your studio down the same path with Groupon, Classpass and Mindbody.

There’s a great cartoon by the Oatmeal (via daring fireball) the other day explaining the situation with Facebook, that could just as easily apply to your studio, swapping Facebook with any number of marketplaces vying for your studio's “inventory”.

What is truly fascinating today, is the degree to which the tech industry has turned it’s sights to the brick and mortal world. Amazon has acquired Whole Foods. Warby Parker has retail locations. Instagram celebrities promote clothing lines and YouTube celebrities go on tour. Google and Facebook are doubling down on Events (with Google Reserve and Facebook Local) and Facebook’s new mission is to "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." (Protip: Your studio is better at building community, bringing people together and holding space for transformation than Facebook could ever hope to be.)

The lesson is that over a long enough time horizon, the internet alone is not sufficient. 

We want, crave and need physical places with physical interaction. The biggest, most powerful players in the industry know and understand this fundamental truth, and they are all actively working to expand their physical footprints with massive investments.

Your independent studio is now the holy grail over which billions of dollars of investment money are battling, and you should be fiercely be aware of any internet company that tells you it is you who needs them. 

Indeed it is they who needs you. 

They need your schedule, your classes, your instructors, your website traffic, your customers, your desk staff and your physical studio itself. And the truth is, a lot of studios (of course, not the smart studios using Tula software) are giving all of this away for $0 per month in exchange for the false promise that giving away your students and control of your pricing to a billion dollar software company is somehow going to be good for your business.

What does seem to have changed with the internet today, and what I do agree is happening, is the sense that internet companies are no longer working to serve and empower us. It feels in a lot of ways like they’ve all become a newer, grosser version of Comcast.

The internet is still serving us. But a lot of Internet companies, have started serving themselves.

What always has, and what always will separate Tula from everyone else in our space, is the degree to which our only aim is to provide you with the most modern tools available so you can manage your studio, grow your business and maintain high quality relationships with your students and customers. 

It probably won’t turn us into the biggest company serving independent studios, but our bet is that it’ll continue to make us the best.

And with this as our goal, the future for our customers - and for us - has never been brighter. 


Has the software your studio uses stopped serving you and started to serve themselves? Check out tulasoftware.com and see why we’re the best software in the world for independent studios.

Event Tags and even more custom calendar options!

We're thrilled to announce another new feature, this time focused on events and calendars, allowing our customer to tag their events and create custom calendars based on these tags. Let's say you own a studio and you're thinking about opening a second location, but you're still running everything as one business, well now you can simply tag your events and have a specific calendar for each of your locations.

Of course, that's just one of many ways you can use tags. Maybe you'd like to create a separate calendar dedicated to allowing people to sign up for a private yoga lesson, or maybe you want a separate calendar for your SUP yoga classes, or maybe you teach both yoga and pilates classes and you'd like a separate calendar for each. Maybe you're doing a teacher training and you want to have a calendar specifically for your teacher trainings. You get the idea!

Like a lot of features we build for Tula, our aim is to make things powerful, flexible and customizable for your specific business needs.

Adding a tag is super simple - simply create your events like normal - and you can add a tag to an individual event page or to an entire series of events when your on the event page. You'll notice a few additions to some existing pages, as well as a few new pages to help you easily manage your tags.

Easily add tags to events

Manage your studio tags

 View your events by tag

View your events by tag

 Create custom calendars by tag

Create custom calendars by tag

We're thrilled to add this powerful new feature for our customers, and if you need any help getting your tags set up just reach out to us through the support channel!

Introducing email triggers on pass purchases

I'm excited to share with you a new, powerful feature we've released this week: The ability to set multiple custom emails on pass purchases! With this new feature, our customers can do things like:

  • Set up a drip welcome email campaign for people who purchase an intro pass
  • Send instructions for a retreat your planning, when people purchase a pass to the retreat
  • Give people instructions for where to meet you on the beach for your SUP yoga classes
  • Remind people about the benefits of your memberships when they purchase a non-membership pass.

As an individual feature it's a quite simple concept: when people purchase a pass, you can send them a custom email, or a group of custom emails, set to a time delay of your choosing. But as the above list shows, there are a number of different uses for this feature. 

How to set it up

To start using this new triggers feature, simply create a new pass, or edit an existing pass. On that page you'll see the option of adding a trigger to a pass:

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If you want to add another email, simply choose to add another trigger, and write that email...

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And if you want another email, well you get it. :)

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Once you've added triggers to a pass, you can easily see what passes have triggers on them by way of the little lightning bolt that will now appear next to the pass name.

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This new feature is available on any plan with the retention center enabled and is available at no extra cost for people already on those plans. We're excited about this extra bit of power we're able to put into the hands of our customers, and we hope you like this as much as we do!