Which Studio Software Works Best for Which Type of Studio Offerings?

article Apr 22, 2023

Once upon a time, boutique fitness studio owners had little choice when it came to booking and management software. Now the industry has exploded with options. 

This makes it challenging for any studio owner that is looking to bring studio software into their business for the first time or is thinking about changing studio software platforms to something that will work better for them and their studio business. But with so many choices, it can be confusing to decide which is best! 

As the founder of Spring Three, I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of boutique fitness studio owners all over the world as a marketing strategist and business coach. The topic of studio software is one that comes up–a lot! Members of our Thrive and Marketing Intensive group-based programs and studio owners that I coach 1:1 all have the same question: what studio booking and management software is best for my studio?

To help clear the confusion for studio owners, Spring Three decided to provide comprehensive content and resources on studio software. To begin, our team conducted research on things like features, price point, integrations, and analytics, for a wide variety of available platforms. But we didn’t stop there. 


We also asked YOU, the studio owners and software users, to take a survey that gave us invaluable information about what system you are using, what you like (or dislike!) about your studio software, and which features matter most to you and your business. 


This article is the second in a series that will reveal the results of that comprehensive process. (See the first article, Studio Software: What Matters Most To Studio Owners here.)In this installment, we are going to help clear up the confusion about which studio software works best for different types of studio offerings. 


Four Different Types of Studio Offerings 


First up, let’s get clear on what we mean when we say “different types of studio offerings.” Of course, every studio has their own unique classes and schedules and teachers and above all, value that they offer their clients. That is incredibly important, to be sure, but that is not what we are getting at in this discussion of studio software. 


One of the primary roles your studio software plays is to allow your clients to book into the different services you offer. And not all studio booking platforms can handle all the different types. For example, some studios only offer private sessions, while others only have group classes. Throw in on-demand versus in-studio sessions, and you have a set of offerings that need to be handled seamlessly by your studio software. 


For the purposes of this analysis, we are focused on the following four types of studio offerings:

  1. Group Classes
  2. Appointments (Privates and Duets)
  3. Online Sessions (on-demand or live)
  4. A combination of any of the above


Studio Softwares that Work Best for Group Classes


Group classes are a common offering for boutique fitness studios. Schedules change periodically and teachers come and go, but for many boutique fitness studios, group classes are a mainstay and a major source of studio revenue. 


Here are a few options that work really great for studios that offer group classes, in no particular order:


Studio Softwares that Work Best for Appointments


Many studio owners offer 1:1 private sessions or duets exclusively. This could be because they are operating out of a home-based studio or they simply prefer the dynamic of working with individual or partner clients. Either way, these studio owners are going to want a booking system that meets this need and doesn’t offer a litany of features and capabilities that their business may not need. 


Why? The more options your studio software system has, in general, the pricier it will be. If your business is just starting out or is being kept intentionally set up as a solopreneur, you will want a studio software that keeps your budget and your unique needs in order. 


Here are a few studio software options that work great for solopreneurs or studios that only offer appointment-based classes, such as privates or duets.



Studio Softwares that Work Best for Online Studio Offerings


Thanks to the tremendous pivot to online everything during the pandemic, studio software platforms prioritized making this option available to their studio customers. You will find this capability in virtually every platform on the market but our list includes the ones that (in our opinion) do it best. 


What does that mean exactly? It means they offer live streaming and on-demand booking capabilities, do not use a third-party streaming service like Zoom, and in a couple of cases (which are noted), they offer unlimited video file storage. For studios that are operating exclusively online, this is incredibly important.


Here are a few software system picks for studios that offer live stream and on-demand video offerings. 



Studio Softwares that Work Best for Combo Offerings


If you have a studio that offers a combination of privates, duets, group classes, in-studio, on-demand, and everything in between, you are going to need a studio software platform that can handle it all, seamlessly. 


MindBody is the OG when it comes to studio software and of course, that platform can handle it all. But they are not the only ones! Also, many of the studios we work with and public responders to our Spring Three Studio Software Survey let us know that having a capability in the studio software platform does not necessarily mean it’s easy to use! We have included a note to some of those reported concerns. 


Here are a few software system picks for studios that offer a combination of group, appointment, and on-demand and live online offerings:


  • MindBody (survey respondents and members report that it can be cumbersome)
  • Momence
  • Fitdegree 
  • Walla (appointments are a new addition as of publication of this article and users report it has kinks to work out, but they are confident it will get better)
  • Bookee


When it comes to studio software for your boutique fitness studio, you have lots of choices. Be sure to evaluate all the options you need to fit the types of offerings your studio provides to your valuable community of clients. 


Stay tuned for the third article in this series: Software Features That Will Help Your Business Grow. Interested in working together? Book a complimentary 20-minute chat here


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