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    Preparing Your Gym or Studio for the Holidays

    by Kristin Weingarden


    March 02, 2023 | 1 minute, 54 seconds read

    Cozy home office : laptop and red cup with marshmallows close up. Festive working atmosphere with garlands.1st of December. Winter cozy home atmosphere. Top view.

    Running a business means there are a million moving pieces, especially around the holidays. Staying on top of it can be overwhelming, but here at SportsEngine Motion, we aim to reduce the stress and sprinkle the joy back into your Holiday season.  

    Check out a few tips we recommend for staying in front of it, so you can get time back to spend with your loved ones.   

    Holiday promotions 

    Setting up a holiday promotion is a perfect way to capitalize on additional revenue while people are ready to spend. From Black Friday pro-shop sales to private lesson deals or a priority registration promotion for future sessions — the holiday season is the time to offer something extra to your loyal membership.


    Communication is essential during the holiday season. You will likely offer day camps, communicate program offerings, or notify your membership (and staff) about facility closures.

    Luckily, there is no wrong answer regarding communication, and SportsEngine Motion has your back. Using SportsEngine Motion’s newsletter capabilities is an effective solution to communicate everything needed, from your holiday camp registrations to make-up day opportunities. Plus, unlimited SMS messages and social feed posts available at your fingertips will provide you with the additional tools you need to stay in touch with your entire membership.  

    Clean up your finances 

    Cleaning up your finances is always important, but there is no better time than when you’re heading into the new year to ensure everything is in order. This will help you start next year fresh, and you can hit the ground running without overdue balances weighing you down. 

    SportsEngine Motion’s financial reporting tools and capabilities will assist you every step. Using the Overdue Charge Summary report will help you reduce your overdue balances. SE Payments Payouts is the perfect way to reconcile your bank deposits, and switching to requiring auto payments will make the collection of tuition even easier in the future.  

    This is great, but I need help executing

    You’re in luck! SportsEngine Motion’s support team is available six days a week to assist you with anything – from your reporting needs to communication setup. Connect with our team directly using the Need Help button on your website.  

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How to Collect End of Season Competition or Recital Fees

by Kristin Weingarden


February 17, 2023 | 2 minutes, 15 seconds read

Businessman putting wooden cube box arrow with stack coins on desk. Saving money, bank deposits, interest collection and tax concept. Upward trend in business growth, financial management.

Congratulations, you are approaching the end of another successful year. That means it is time to travel to nationals or host your end-of-year recital. Using SportsEngine Motion features, collecting payments for these events is easier than you think. 

Use online registration

Providing an online registration link to collect participant information and event payment is the perfect way to stay organized and ensure everyone gets signed up. Promote your end-of-year show on social media using your SportsEngine Motion website. The Social Feed and Newsletters features will come in handy as they put your registration directly in the mobile app for your families to sign up.  

Another wonderful way to promote your registration is by hanging QR codes in your lobby so parents get a reminder to sign up while watching their star student in class. Try doing an early bird registration discount as well; it is a perfect way to provide urgency for a captive audience to register.  

Do not forget to use the Video Producer to send your athletes any choreography they need to practice at home!  

Team qualification  

If you had a team or individual qualify for nationals, adding additional charges to their accounts or payment plans is a simple solution to collect the funds required quickly. Parents and guardians can review and pay for any new charges through the SportsEngine Motion mobile app.  

Pro shop sales  

During the year-end show or recital, do not forget to capitalize on additional same-day revenue. A small pro shop for flowers, T-shirts, good luck grams, or snacks will bring in additional revenue for your business. SportsEngine Motion’s Point of Sale feature can provide you with the sales tools you need to generate additional profits from the palm of your hand.  

Clean up your finances  

Finally, cleaning up your finances is always important, but there is no better time than heading into the end-of-year event to ensure everything is in order. This will help you start next year fresh.  

SportsEngine Motion’s financial reporting tools and capabilities will assist you at every step. Using the Overdue Charge Summary report will help you reduce your overdue balances. SE Payments Payouts is the perfect way to reconcile your bank deposits, and requiring auto payments will make the collection of tuition even easier in the future.  

This is great, but I need help executing   

You’re in luck! SportsEngine Motion’s support team is available six days a week to assist you with anything – from your reporting needs to communication setup. Connect with our team directly using the Need Help button on your website.

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How to Keep Your Classes Organized

by Kristin Weingarden


January 24, 2023 | 1 minute, 51 seconds read

swim class kids kicking

When was the last time you looked at your organization’s class structure? Whether you are looking to revamp your curriculum or launch a new program, having a well-designed class structure will guide parents to the correct classes and reduce the questions your administrative staff is fielding. Check out SportsEngine Motion’s expert tips on keeping your classes organized.  


Remember registering for classes in school? You found geometry and calculus listed under the mathematics program. Whether it is Beginner Swimming or Classes/Clinics, structuring your classes with other similar options will allow parents to find the correct one quickly.  

How to create additional Programs in SportsEngine Motion >


A parent or guardian will likely sign up their child for a class with kids close to the same age if they're new to a program. Adding age restrictions to a class is a great starting point for parents to know what class to register for their child.

Read more about SportsEngine Motion’s Tips, Tricks and Best Business Practices; check out our Blog >

Charge Categories   

On the administrative side, visibility into how much revenue each class and program generates will set you up for financial success in years to come. The easiest way to do this is using SportsEngine Motion’s Charge Categories. Taking the time to set up and assign the correct categories to the suitable classes means you can quickly view how much revenue your business generates by class, program, age group, competitive vs. recreational, etc. You can easily find all this information in a SportsEngine Motion Charge Category Report.


Once you create your classes, the next most important part is sharing them for all to see. By grabbing the direct Program URL, you can promote each aspect of your business via newsletters, SportsEngine Motion’s Social Feed, or even QR codes posted in your lobby.  

An organized system for your classes and an online registration platform allow for easy setup, organization, and sharing options. With recent updates to financial reporting tools and communication capabilities, choosing the right software allows your business to flourish and provides more opportunities for athletes in your community.  

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Website Do's & Don'ts

by Kristin Weingarden


October 24, 2022 | 4 minutes, 15 seconds read

designer drawing website development wireframe

What happens when you try to sell a house with bad landscaping, worn-out paint, and broken windows? No offers, right? That is exactly what happens when you have a bad web design and layout. Your Homepage design is critical, along with how you set up your navigation. Think of your website as your home’s curb appeal. Your website’s homepage is the first thing that people see when they visit.

It is not just the functionality of the site, but also the aesthetics that can convert visitors to customers. In fact, 94% of first impressions are design-related. Your first step towards increasing enrollment is to ensure that you create an awesome first impression because you will never have a second chance to create a good first impression. Here are the key ways to optimize your website.

Homepage Layout

Using each of these key components, you can welcome customers to your site with a simple, organized, and unique homepage.


At the very top of your page, make sure you include your branded logo for all to see immediately. By taking this action, you assure your visitors that they are in the right spot.

Easy navigation

You will also want to include an option to log in so your current membership can access their account quickly! Directly below your logo is where your website navigation should be. Having your navigation set up correctly will allow customers to find information on their own, which will reduce the amount of time you have to pay staff to answer questions on the phone. While deciding what is best to have in your website navigation for your business, try using the lens of “I am a brand new parent looking to find out information for my kid - what do I need to know?” With that in mind, here are some pages we recommend.


This page is the story of your business. Include your mission statement and maybe even a photo of the owner and their family. Give new parents reassurance that their child will be in good hands with you.


Don’t bury this information. Make it easy for people to find where to enroll their child with you.


If I am researching something new for my child to do, I want to know what you offer. While I might be looking for something for one of my kids to participate in, showcasing your programs effectively may help me find something for my second child (or more options for my first). This area should include descriptions and photos of each of your offerings.


Everyone is busy. You, me, and the parents that trust you with their child. Having a calendar so they can stay up to date on Closed Days, New Registration Sessions, or Events happening at your business will help them stay on top of everything.

News and blog

By posting your newsletter or blogs, new clients will have great insight into the experience their child could have with you. It’s also an amazing way to stay in touch with your current clients. As an added bonus, Google and other search engine companies really like when you have new information on your website. So this will also help you improve your SEO!


Just in case someone has not found the answer they are looking for - show them how easy it is to get in touch with you!

Engaging Content

Now that your navigation is set, and your homepage is the first thing they see - here is how we recommend you decorate your site so you have the perfect ‘showings’. 

Photo slideshow

This is the perfect way to show kids with smiling faces enjoying your programs. Don’t forget you can add text and clickable links to promote your programs or calendar events as well. 

Command buttons

While it is very important to have informational text on your website, we all know there are a few parents that will not read anything.  By giving those parents some Command Buttons - you are providing them with the ‘picture book’ version to get them to where they need to go. 

Social feed & news

Having these displays on your homepage is a great way to quickly show all the great things happening at your business. That way if someone wants to dive deeper - all they need to do is click the MORE button.


You have already shown them the smiling kids in the photo slideshow, but now you can display what those parents think!  Having testimonials for other parents to view will prove that you are the right place to enroll their child.


If someone has made it all the way to the bottom of your page, they are interested in you. YAY! But, let’s provide them with ways to learn even more. Include your Social Media links here - along with your business address and logo!

Thanks for following along! These website “Do’s” will have people clamoring to sign up for your programs in no time. 

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Monthly vs. Session-Based Tuition

by Kristin Weingarden


August 11, 2022 | 2 minutes, 13 seconds read

Tuition spelled on cubes

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of both monthly and session-based tuition so you can make the most informed decision possible to run your business to the fullest.

When deciding between monthly or session-based tuition, the age-old question is: how do you structure your program? Well, there is no wrong answer or one-size-fits-all solution. And it’s possible to use both with great success. 

Monthly Tuition

While monthly tuition is most common for competition-based programs, it can also be great for recreational classes, making familiarity a primary benefit to your customers. It is similar to how they pay for many things in their everyday lives - like subscription fees for a streaming service or monthly dues at a fitness gym.

Another benefit of monthly tuition is the consistent flow of money collected every month. Some other things to consider with this option are that it can be harder to adjust class days and times if your staffing situation changes or if you raise tuition rates during the year. Pro tip: if you’re charging tuition monthly, make sure to charge everyone on the same day of the month to make it easier for you and other admins to stay on top of payments and track if dues are late.

Session-Based Tuition

Session-based tuition is a great option for many families.  It allows them to register with your program but also have the flexibility to easily change levels or class days or times to a new block. Additionally, this option allows for a more flexible class schedule when your coaching availability fluctuates. Businesses often say it is easier to manage their memberships with this method because it keeps their accounts more active with registrations and allows for more consistent profile management.

Frequently, there is a misconception that a session-based system makes it ‘easier’ for families or athletes to leave your program since they commit to a specific time block.  Instead, as long as you provide exceptional service, they will be happy to re-register with your program. Do not assume that just because an athlete played a Summer sport, they are automatically enrolled in the Fall program - there is no need to treat your payment option any differently.

SportsEngine Motion works with many organizations that will offer monthly tuition for some programs and 6-8 week sessions for others. So, it is possible to have a mix-and-match approach with both of these options. No matter what option you choose, we always recommend that you have a ‘new season signup’ at least once per year to make the necessary changes to your business and gather updated account information and waivers for continual success. 

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How to Set and Raise Tuition with Ease

by Kristin Weingarden


August 11, 2022 | 3 minutes, 1 second read

Admin at computer

When was the last time you took a good look at your tuition prices? Evaluating the cost of doing business and your revenue stream is important to ensure continued success. While it is never easy to set or raise tuition prices, the cost of doing business is not etched in stone. Taking the set-and-forget approach to your tuition prices could leave you high and dry – especially in periods of inflation.

Like lesson plans or streaming subscriptions—your tuition rates should be evaluated at least once a year. Remember, you're not taking money just for the sake of it – you charge tuition to continually offer a better service for your customers. 

Look at expenses  

Before you decide on a rate, the first step is to look at your business expenses. Have your utilities or rent gone up? What does it cost to pay your employees? Reviewing your monthly bottom line is the first step to setting your tuition rates because it establishes a baseline for the lowest amount of money you’d be able to charge and still break even.  

The next question you’ll need to ask yourself is how much profit you want to make to invest back into your business. You built your business to improve and grow continually – but you'll need additional funds to achieve your goals. You’ll need to be sure you’re generating enough funds to begin budgeting for your next big project or improvement. Then, of course, you'll need to add in any additional profits you intend to collect for yourself to maintain your personal lifestyle.  

Learn how SportsEngine Motion gives you complete control to run your studio

Be unique 

My mother always told me to be you and nobody else, and that same rule applies to how your run your business. Don’t copy the business down the road. Your business is not the same as theirs, and while they might be good – you're better! But seriously, comparing what similar facilities do in your area is a great next step. However, remember that copying their tuition prices is not a fool-proof plan for success. Don’t be afraid to charge more than the neighboring facility. If you provide the best service – your customers will pay more.  


Raising tuition is okay; the cost of living goes up, and so does the cost of doing business. Isn't there some old saying... "timing is everything"? This phrase is also true when it comes time to raise tuition. Finding the right time to raise your rates is critical. As long as the new rates are communicated early and effectively, it is easy to raise tuition with the change of a calendar year or new registration cycle.    


There is no wrong answer when it comes to communicating with your membership. From social media posts to SMS texts, posting your registration and tuition to a website for easy sign-ups and price transparency is one of the easiest ways to get your message out. Another one of our favorite ways to communicate is through Newsletters. Sending a monthly newsletter is an effective solution to communicate everything needed, from registration sessions, FAQs, Athletes of the Month, or special events happening within your walls.  

No matter what steps you choose to follow to set your tuition, having an evaluation and communication plan is critical for you to maximize the success and growth of your business. Plus, SportsEngine Motion’s financial reporting tools and communication capabilities will be there to assist you every step of the way. 

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Building a Refund Policy for your Business

by Andie Ostrowski

Guest Author

July 01, 2022 | 2 minutes, 1 second read

Building a Refund Policy

Refund policies sound boring, tedious, and maybe to some, not necessary. But, with fairly minimal work and some key things kept in mind, even the simplest refund policy can protect you and reassure your families what they can expect should either of you be in an unprecedented situation. 

First, how can a refund policy help you?

  • It can save you from difficult conversations

  • It can help you budget for your year

  • It can help you market since it is attractive to families

Second, what should I keep in mind when writing one? 

Layman’s terms are always best.

You are probably not a lawyer (assumption), and most of the parents you are dealing with probably aren’t either. There isn’t a need to confuse anybody with your refund policy. Especially because an actual contract does NOT need to be written in complete legal terms in order to be legitimate. Write it how you and I and any parent would understand it. 

Make sure you are clear on situations that you will accept refunds for. 

For example, if one of your athletes breaks their leg and can no longer dance, that is probably a legitimate reason to give that family a refund. If one of your athletes decides mid-year that they aren’t interested anymore, that might not be grounds for a refund. Make a list- and add it in bullets!

Nail in that timeframe.

Using an example from the above. If that athlete broke their leg two days before the year is over, maybe it doesn’t make sense to give a full refund. Make sure it is listed that “refunds may be requested only during the first 60 days of the year” or whatever you think maybe an appropriate timeline.

Lastly, determine if you will honor full refunds no matter what, or if it may be less depending on the timeframe or situation that arises. 

Still not interested in personalizing a policy for your business?

RegSaver is a great option. Your families can buy their own registration insurance if they do so choose, so if their child is no longer able to participate they will work directly with RegSaver for coverage. 

Good luck!

*The information in this article is general refund policy information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. Please consult an attorney for any further advice*
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From Coaches to Office Managers: How to Recruit Strong Talent

by Kristin Weingarden


January 11, 2022 | 4 minutes, 39 seconds read

Dance coach

Hiring coaches and office managers are one of the most critical tasks to ensure a successful business. Depending on your structure, recruiting may look a bit different. Most organizations compensate coaches, but some rely on volunteers. Regardless of how you’re set up, here are some tips on hiring and onboarding your coaches.

Build your coaching checklist

Sit down and put together all of the requirements needed for your coaches. Do they need specialized coaching clinics, certifications, background checks, waiver forms, etc.? Do you have particular experiences required? Make a list; you’ll be referencing it plenty later.

*Note: be sure to check with your national governing body if you aren’t familiar with their requirements.

Build a dedicated webpage

Recruiting coaches will be different based on your requirements. Recruiting is pretty straightforward if you’re a recreational club that has only in-house teams with volunteer parent coaches. However, if you need to go out and get coaches, it can be a little more complicated. Either way put together a web page that lists all the steps and requirements needed to coach.

Set up your screening and education resources

You may be directed by your national governing body (NGB) to use a particular screening service or training program like SafeSport. They may have it set up for you already. If you need guidance or need to set up your own, do your research. (Hint: SportsEngine Motion partners directly with NCSI. It is used by dozens of NGBs and Abuse Prevention Systems and is considered the gold standard when it comes to safety.)

When you have this all organized, you’re going to need to set up a registration process for coaches to go through, so they can provide their information, complete forms, and initiate background screenings and training programs.

Promote your coaching search

It can be argued that the Social Feed on the SportsEngine Motion platform being able to post directly to Google and other social media outlets is the most valuable feature that is often underutilized. If you don’t advertise that you are looking to hire talent, nobody will even know to apply. So get the word out to your accounts and the world that you are looking for new staff.

Create custom filtered groups

Saving filtered member lists is another highly valuable feature that’s often overlooked. Still, it’s a slick tool that allows you to save members based on specific criteria into a single list, allowing you to communicate with your staff more effectively. Here’s how I recommend creating them.

Selecting Your Coaches

Going through your coaches’ applications is not much different than going through an athlete registration for your upcoming season. Assuming you had the potential coach candidates fill out all of the information you requested, you’ll see who has registered, the programs they are interested in coaching, and what certifications they have completed. Before moving on, make sure you have enough coaches to appropriately cover all of your classes, and if you have gaps, resume the search to engage more coaches. For-profit and non-profit organizations may have different requirements for their coaching staff. Many utilize paid staff hired on a part or full-time basis. Many others may use volunteer parents to coach, or work the desk, in which case, an email to the youth athletes’ parents may really help you bridge the gap in your staffing needs.

Ensure Coaches are Compliant

Your coaches’ registration sessions will do a great job collecting documents and information from coaches on their certification status (training, education, seminars, etc.). NGB’s may have other portals for you to visit to confirm this information. Since you’ll be the one on the hook to find someone else if your staff aren’t compliant, be sure to communicate early and often with coaches what they need to complete to be eligible to coach.

As a general rule, try to complete your coaches roster at least 30 days before your deadlines. There are inevitably going to be some who you’ll need to follow up with to complete their documentation. Additionally, if anyone is disqualified, you’ll need additional time to find a replacement.

Abuse Prevention Training for Everyone?

Athlete safety is one of the most important conversations we all should have in youth sports. However, it's not just coaches who could bring harm to athletes. Unfortunately, abuse can surface in many ways - from other athletes and even parents. It’s becoming more common for parents to go through abuse prevention training as a condition of their kids participating in programs. This additional training makes sense for a couple of reasons: first, most abuse prevention training helps educate us all on recognizing signs of abuse so we can be vigilant in protecting kids. Additionally, hazing and emotional abuse are sometimes simply brushed off as “part of sports” or “encouragement.” Having parents recognize this behavior allows them to either step in and create teachable moments with their kids. It also may help them recognize when some of their own behavior crosses the line.

It’s all about safety

The most important thing we can do is create a safe environment for young athletes to strive. For most, athletics provides structure. B on a team is a fun part of growing up. It allows athletes to make new friends, all while learning life lessons on empathy, compassion, and respect. If you follow the process outlined above, you’ll be well equipped to have a respectable staff that are skilled but also understand the key fundamentals of the advantage of participating in youth sports.

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6 Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

December 10, 2021 | 4 minutes, 43 seconds read

Performing on stage, a group of young dancers show off their talent and bright costumes

When the leaves begin to change, pumpkin spice fills the air, and flannel jackets make their return, you know fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner. Whether you are hosting a holiday showcase, practicing as normal, or cutting back during the holiday season, you want to finish the year strong.

Here are our six tips to stay organized, be prepared, and get ready to pick back up even stronger after the New Year!

Eat the frog

No, we don’t want you to eat a real frog! This expression actually refers to a productivity technique. “Eating the frog” means putting the hardest, biggest, most important item on your to-do list at the top and prioritizing getting it done first.

Use the Eat the Frog technique to start identifying and tackling the big tasks you need to get ahead of before the holiday season. If you “eat the frog” now, you’ll be better equipped to stay flexible and adapt to obstacles the holidays will inevitably bring.

Use a holiday showcase as an end-of-year fundraiser

Regardless of the sport, a holiday showcase can be a great way to raise extra money for your business and highlight your athletes' hard work. Holiday dance recitals, sneak previews of this year's cheer competition routine, or intrasquad gymnastics meets are all great ways to send off your athletes for the year and fundraise at the same time.

To boost showcase attendance, take an “opt-out” approach instead of an “opt-in” approach when inviting parents to the event. An opt-out structure prompts parents to respond only if they are not attending, which eliminates an action item if they do plan to attend. Instead of requesting an RSVP or due payment to track attendance, for example, you can automatically charge tickets to your parents' SportsEngine Motion accounts. Many parents will be more likely to participate in the showcase if they don’t have to take action to purchase the ticket on their own time. And, of course, you can still sell guest tickets at the door using the point of sale system in your mobile app to raise even more funds!

Delegate day-to-day responsibilities to your staff

As a small business owner, you may find it easier to complete tasks yourself, but delegating certain tasks to your staff allows you to spend more time focusing on your largest initiatives and goals, which ultimately help your business long term. Have your office manager, coaches, and assistants tackle the smaller, daily responsibilities like social feed posts, email reminders for schedule changes, and website updates. Delegate. By doing so, you will open up more time to pursue passion projects, like creating new choreography, planning that end-of-year showcase, or hosting a holiday celebration.

Stay on top of communication

The holiday season is the busiest and most hectic of the year; this means good communication is essential. Between showcases, staff parties, holiday closures, or extra practices, make sure your parents and staff are aware of and can stay up-to-date on the schedule for the next few months.

Take advantage of SportsEngine Motion tools like the News Center that allow you to create custom email communications. Build and send out newsletters to promote what’s going on at the gym or studio for the holiday season. Make sure you use eye-catching visuals instead of just text. This draws parents into reading your content. And don’t miss any critical updates! The Social Feed is a great tool for quick reminders and updates like an unexpected studio closure due to weather. SportsEngine Motion even has a filter feature so you can reach specific groups or communicate with individual classes when doing outreach.

Give your brand a refresh

With all of these holiday events on the horizon, more people will be coming to your website seeking the information they need. Take this time to revisit your website design and confirm that you’re putting your best virtual foot forward. Make sure your branding is consistent. This means everywhere from in-studio (or gym) to online. Think about elements like logo size and placement, sponsorships to promote, messaging on your website, and activity on your social channels.

The new year also brings new families! Potential customers may come to your website for the first time to look for information to sign up for a class, purchase a gift card, or use your contact form for information about your programs. It is your responsibility to ensure they can find that information quickly and easily.

Keep morale high

Teachers, coaches, instructors, owners, parents, and athletes have been busy all year and may feel a bit burnt out by the time the holidays come around. After a year of hard work, ups, and downs, and continuing to manage COVID-19, find ways to keep the momentum going and lift morale as the end of the year approaches. Brainstorm new and effective ways to show love and appreciation to your staff and families. Consider sharing your appreciation for your staff both in-person and online, find a time for your organization to volunteer together, and ensure everyone has time to spend with loved ones.

It can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed in the holiday shuffle but set yourself up for success by following some, or all of these tips. Don’t forget to start small! Pick one goal or task, put your focus there, and take it one step at a time. Remember, SportsEngine Motion is always here to act as your business consultant so do not hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager to discuss these tips and brainstorm other ways to have a successful and stress-free holiday season! 

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