Low-Ball Dance Studio Software Pricing Masks True Costs

Have you considered the real cost of your dance studio software? Not just the upfront sticker price, but the full cost of running your studio using one of the popular studio management providers. Because there’s often a big difference once you factor in all the fees not included in the low-ball figure they advertise.

At the July Dance Teacher Web Conference in Las Vegas this summer, I had the opportunity to talk to a number of studio owners about their current studio software providers and why they chose them instead of ClassJuggler. Most said it was because they were charged a low, flat monthly fee of $30 or $45 regardless of their studio size, versus a higher tiered fee structure from ClassJuggler, based on the number of students.

Being in this business for over 20 years, I know it isn’t that simple. Given that almost 100% of owners I spoke to also use merchant services (credit and debit card processing) from their provider, I took a deep dive with each of these dance studio owners to help them realize the REAL cost of their studio software. And quite often, those same studio owners couldn’t tell me how much they were paying on processing fees. They only considered the cost of the software.

The Hidden Costs and Where Software Providers Are Hiding Them

Let’s break this down into real numbers. When sitting down with one dance studio owner at the conference, I learned that hers is medium-sized dance studio with 320 students in their database. So, her dance studio would pay either:

  • A flat fee of $45 monthly for the competitor’s studio software she mentioned; or
  • $74.95 for ClassJuggler with our tiered pricing (based on the number of students).

On the surface, this looks like she is saving $30 a month or about $360 a year in fees if she went with our competitor’s dance class software. Not a ton of savings, but surely a smart financial decision, right?

But wait; to truly compare apples to apples, we also need to add other monthly costs, such as merchant processing.

The same dance studio had 150 active enrolled students with each averaging $100 a month in tuition fees. When I looked at her monthly merchant processing statement, I found she was paying on average 3.2 percent plus 50 cents per transaction.

That adds up to a total monthly merchant processing cost of $75 in per-item fees, plus $480 in processing fees.

So, beyond the competitor’s attractive $45 a month fee, she is also paying a total of $555 a month in debit/credit card processing!

How do we compare cost wise to competing dance studio software?

ClassJuggler clients average between 2.6% and 2.7% for our competitively priced merchant processing, plus only 20 cents per item. So that would come to $30 in monthly per item fees plus $405 processing for a relatively modest total of $435.

That means the studio owner I spoke with is paying $120 more in processing fees every single month than she would with ClassJuggler.


Apples to Apples: Who Wins?

Now if we go back and look at the REAL cost of studio software, we can see what her studio is really paying when factoring in merchant processing fees:

Photo by Tara Williams
  • To run their studio with their current dance class software: $45 + $555 = $600 a month ; or
  • With ClassJuggler: $74.95 + $435 = just $509.95 a month.

Summary: ClassJuggler’s dance class software is actually $90 less expensive per month. That’s a savings of $1,080 every year.

Now that’s a big difference!

While our competitors’ low monthly software fees seem great, these dance school software companies are just using that low sticker price to reel you in, and then they more than make up for it in their higher processing fees.

If you think you might be in the same boat as the dance studio owner I met with at the conference, contact ClassJuggler for a free no obligation review of your merchant processing to see if you are really getting the deal you think you are.