"People check out our website and app and become paying members without even us talking to them. This is how easy getting business has become for us with Bookee."
- Malaurie Barber
My partner, Holly, and I started this studio because we wanted to build a place where everybody felt welcomed. The studios around here are about hot yoga, power yoga, etc. Most of these places only focus on workouts and having the perfect bodies and end up leaving out the true essence of yoga.
We started Soul Movement Yoga to stand for people who have normal bodies. We hoped to build a community of people who didn't want to be intimidated by intense workouts. We wanted a build an open, safe, and welcoming place for people of all religions, races, and sexual orientations for them to rejuvenate themselves.
We started in Oct 2019, which was a really bad time to start a business. We shut in March 2020 and reopened in June 2020 with various restrictions and mandates. We were only allowed to have 10 students in a class at that point in time.
We shut down again in Nov 2020 and finally reopened in Mar 2021. It’s almost magical that we are still here and our business is thriving. Currently, we have about 150+ memberships and 50+ packages that are being sold every month. Our revenue is hovering over USD 20k. We have also hired about a dozen of teachers.
We started with Mindbody since it is the most known software in the industry.
In no time we realized that it was old and junky. The software is outdated and unintuitive. Mindbody is a jumbled mess. We had to go to 10 different tabs to set up one thing. It took a really long time to do anything. We didn’t see ourselves working with this software for another 10-15 years but we still stuck around to see if things improve.
After a point, their customer support went down and they started charging for everything.
There was once a time when nothing was working and we couldn’t get hold of anyone. We couldn’t get anybody to tell me what is going on. It is probably because they were cutting down on their staff.
Moreover, the add-on charges were impossible to keep up with. Every little feature came with an extra charge. It was annoying and we ended up paying a lot of money.
The ultimate tipping point was their app. If you don’t pay for their app, they listed your studio on their marketplace and they would advertise other businesses on top of your business who paid them to advertise on their app. It is a horrible thing to do to your client base. We would just end up losing our clients to other businesses.
We thought there has to be something better out there.
We were considering Wellness Living but it was also outdated. It was cheaper than Mindbody though but we did not want to go through the trouble of dealing with another old software.
Finally, we zeroed down to fitDEGREE and Bookee. We spoke to the fitDEGREE team and they didn’t seem like the nicest people. It seemed like a very sales-heavy company and we felt like we won’t matter to them.
Bookee, on the other hand, was pleasant and the team seemed like they care about us and our business.
We ended up choosing Bookee and we don’t regret it a single bit.
We found Bookee through a Google search.
Bookee looked very clean, beautiful, and very intuitive. The user interface was wonderful. We got on a call and got to know more. The best part was that Bookee was always there to answer our questions. Although it was a risk, we wanted to give Bookee a chance only because of how nicely the team interacted with us. We felt safe investing in them.
Bookee has created a very positive impact on our business. There are some features that Bookee has that are absolutely essential for us and we use them every day. One is of course, checking clients in. This is very important to know if someone who has entered the class has paid or not.
Calendar is a feature that has become a part of our lives. We open the laptop and the first thing we check is the calendar.
Analytics is something that we check every single day to check where we stand financially. It is a good feeling to see where we have reached. We tell each other - Oh, we have reached to xyz value today. It is nice. Setting tasks is another extensively used feature. We set our tasks and get reminders. It really helps us not miss out on anything. Additionally, we sell stuff. Bookee takes care of our retail as well.
Overall, Bookee has made our lives a lot less frustrating and given us a lot of extra time in hand. It is so easy to use that we don’t spend time figuring things out. Bookee has really reduced the barrier to entry. People check out our website and app and become paying members without even us talking to them. This is how easy getting business has become for us with Bookee. Our students are also very happy with the app. It is easy to navigate and is very user-friendly.
Even after growing, the team is still accessible. We feel heard. We are not just numbers to them.
Ever since we started using Bookee, our revenue has gone up by 128% and our bookings have gone up by 124%. We are very satisfied with Bookee’s product and their team and we will continue using it for Soul Movement Yoga.