Software Review: ClassBiz by ThinkSmart Software

I came across this bit of software last night and it intrigued me to download and try it out. I’m always on the lookout for something new, and particularly Australian made software. ThinkSmart Software have a range of programs to enable small business owners to manage their business more effectively. Class Biz is designed for those who teach classes, be it swimming, music, dance or anything you can think of.

There’s a 14 day trial available from their website – which requires a simple registration. You get an email in return with your username and password, so make sure you use a real email address.

On launching the program, you are faced with the login screen like below. Simply copy the details from the email and you’re good to go.

You are faced with other screens as a kind of quick guide to using the system – which doesn’t appear to do much. I found it was easier to close that screen after a rough read through and click onto the SETTINGS screen (second link from the bottom)

It’s recommended from the Quick Start that you start by adding a LOCATION. Click the LOCATION button and then click ADD to add the information.

This LOCATION only allows for name of town/suburb, State and Post Code.

Recommend that you then add a VENUE. Click on the ADD button at the bottom of the screen to add the information.

 

You can add as many venues as you like and even add custom rooms and names to your rooms.

 

Lesson Formats

To add classes, you need to go to LESSON FORMATS. Here you can add different classes, groups or private. You can even colour code the different classes.

The colour code you choose here will be reflected in the SCHEDULE

Adding Students

To add students to the classes, you first need to add a CUSTOMER. This program is designed for those working with children rather than adults – as it’s assumed the adult may be paying for more than one child.

From the main menu on the left choose CUSTOMERS.

This screen is divided into two sections – the top section is for the customers (child’s parents), while the bottom half of the screen is for Students. Click the ADD button in the appropriate section to add the required information.

Adding a Customer

To add a customer click the ADD button in the customer section of the screen. You can then choose between PERSON or ORGANISATION. PERSON is selected by default. Type in the customers details.

You will find that when you get to putting in their address details, you cannot add the Suburb without clicking on the arrow to the right – this allows you to choose a LOCATION that was set up earlier.

Financial information such as payment history and outstanding invoices can also be viewed from this screen.

Adding a Student

To add a student to the database, ensure the correct CUSTOMER is selected in the top part of the screen and click the ADD button in the appropriate section from the STUDENT screen. Here you can add details such as

  • Birthday
  • Mobile Phone
  • Email

You can also add any known medical conditions, and school referral or contact details as well as any student packages that may have been purchased (you will need to set up these details to be included in the registration).

Additional options allow for you to access the courses that the student is enrolled in – for example, a student may have enrolled in a number of classes.

Scheduling A Class

To schedule a class, from the SCHEDULE menu, double-click the start time for the class. You can choose to run the class over the term, or on specific dates. Set your start and finish time and the Teacher. You can also choose which training room the training will take place.

Enrolling a student in a class

To enroll a student in a class, access the SCHEDULE from the menu on the left. Find the class you wish to enroll the student and double click it from the schedule. Click the ENROLL button and find the name of the student you wish to enroll.

Payment Options

By default the payment options are

  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Credit Card
  • Internet Transfer

You can of course add your BSB and account details in this section.

 

Invoicing

I must admit it took me a little while to figure this one out. Using the Auto generate Invoice option brought me to a subtotal of over $1600 for one student for one class – which was waaay out. As I had set the fee for the class to $75. The invoice tab allows you to create custom invoices, where you can add the students, the courses they enroll in and manually enter any sum. The invoice automatically calculates the GST for you, and there are additional options such as being able to take payment on the spot.

Summary

All in all, not a bad system. I have only looked at it for a couple of hours – enough time to fiddle and write up this blog post. The costs for the system are based on a subscription per month – based on the number of students enrolled. The smallest package is for 50 students which is $25 per month – which works out to $0.50 cents per student for the month (for the maximum amount of students).

I would like a little more colour in the interface, the grey squares can be a bit bland. Perhaps have slightly different colours for the add-on interface items than the standard included items.

As always, this has been an unpaid and unsolicited review. I do search for software, particularly business software that may help small business. If you are a software developer and would like me to check out your stuff, please contact me.

 

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