The company specifically references affiliate gyms, dance studios, MMA gyms, personal trainers, and yoga studios, but can be a good solution for multiple types of fitness and membership-based businesses.
Zen Planner is a web-based app, so you can use it wherever you have internet access and an updated web browser such as Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. The software works on many types of devices, including laptops, PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. It supports both Android and Apple operating systems.
Zen Planner Features
The Zen Planner software offers a number of features designed to minimize time spent on administrative tasks and maximize productivity. You’ll be able to take advantage of billing services, marketing tools, integrated website options, workout tracking or martial arts belt tracking, online scheduling and attendance tracking, retail sales options, and business reporting. All features are included with your Zen Planner monthly subscription.
Zen Planner offers an integrated payment processing option through partner Gains allowing for quick credit and debit card payments. You may be able to use other processors as well, for an additional cost. (See the Credit Card Processing with Zen Planner section later in this review for more information.)
You can choose to set up automated billing to cut down on time spent collecting payments from customers manually. Additionally, your members can view bills online and make payments through a secure member services portal.
For marketing your business, Zen Planner offers email automation, Infusionsoft integration, and Facebook integration. You can include your class schedule directly on your Facebook page, track your marketing campaigns, and more. Additionally, Zen Planner can help with search engine optimization through its integrated websites feature.
These days, websites are necessary for even the smallest business. With Zen Planner, you can easily integrate your website with your management software. Zen Planner allows you to embed calendars, add posts to a built-in blog, and drive leads to your business. The company builds mobile-responsive sites, meaning your customers will see a clear, beautiful webpage whether they visit from their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Workout and Belt Tracking
For fitness-specific features, the workout and belt tracking options offer a streamlined solution to clunky spreadsheets. Members can view their workouts, log results, check a “leaderboard” for your gym, or use the built-in lift percentage calculator to determine percentages of maximum lifts. Percentages can even be calculated from previous personal records.
You can also see trends over time to track individual members’ progress or record sets and reps for particular programs.
Martial arts studios will find the skills and belts tracking system helpful for tracking students’ progress. You can enter belt details, set up belt test requirements, view all belts a student has earned at your gym, and keep track of uniform and belt sizes. You can even see which students are eligible for testing and register them for upcoming tests.
Online Scheduling and Attendance Tracking
The online scheduling feature lets you set class schedules and avoid double-booking your staff and teachers. You can also embed calendars in your website, enable members to sign up for classes from their smartphones, and view class attendees. A staff app lets your teachers see their schedule for the day at a glance.
Attendance tracking includes a quick check-in feature, automated emails to members who have missed several classes or sessions, and staff alerts to let your teachers know of important milestones like a student’s eligibility for testing.
Many health and fitness businesses sell products in addition to services and memberships. If that’s you, you’ll need a retail sales option in your software, and Zen Planner offers it. You can sell items online with an integrated web store and set up alerts to be notified when you have an order or when item are running low.
Zen Planner offers plenty of reporting options to help you more effectively manage your business. You’ll be able to track expenses, see your sales, and calculate taxes, as well as create custom reports, export them to a spreadsheet or email them to necessary staff, and more.
How much does Zen Planner cost?
Zen Planner offers a choice of three packages, ranging from a basic to a full service plan. The packages are called Studio, Engage, and Ultimate.
As you can see from the screenshot above, packages start at $99/month and go up to $298/month. The asterisk at the end of the pricing for Engage and Ultimate leads to fine print specifying that is the price for new customers until the end of February 2024.
Some services are optional add-ons, which would incur an additional fee beyond the package prices listed above. Optional add-ons include a custom website, WordPress hosting, full service billing, and integrations.
Zen Planner states that the monthly costs “includes payment processing” but this claim is a little misleading. What it actually means is that if you choose a preferred processing partner, there is no setup fee or gateway fee. However, the processor will still assess transaction charges in addition to your monthly fees to Zen Planner.
Credit Card Processing and Zen Planner
In the past, Zen Planner partnered with PaySimple. Presently, Zen Planner’s preferred payment processor according to its website is called Gains, but the company doesn’t provide much detail about its services or fees. It simply states that it works with an in-house option for payment processing.
It’s unclear if you’re able to use another processor. Previously, Zen Planner has published that it allows you to use processors with the Authorize.Net payment gateway, but that it will incur additional fees. The option of Authorize.Net is no longer readily publicized on the company’s website.
Zen Planner Reviews
While Zen Planner could be considered specialty software, it’s not so limited to a particular niche that it doesn’t have available reviews. In fact, clients talking about their experience are plentiful online. Capterra and GetApp have multiple reviews for the program, as does the Zen Planner website itself.
On Zen Planner’s Website
There’s no shortage of reviews about Zen Planner on the company’s website. In fact, it has an entire section dedicated to case studies. The case studies span a range of health and fitness businesses, including body boot camps, dance studios, martial arts academies, CrossFit gyms, yoga studios, and personal training businesses. Reviewers say that Zen Planner helped them grow their business and maximize productivity by cutting down on previously time-consuming management tasks. Many reviewers mention that the software is easy to use and praise the company’s helpful customer service team.
Capterra Zen Planner Reviews
Reviews on Capterra give Zen Planner an overall 4.3-star rating out of 5, although some of the text reviews seem to contradict the high ratings. For example, one user that gave the company a 5-star rating also didn’t express strong likelihood of recommending the software to others, and commented in the review that customer service was subpar, especially for the monthly fee. The reviewer also complained that the interface is confusing.
Other negative reviews mention that payroll options are complex and switching from MindBody was not a smart decision.
However, positive reviews state that Zen Planner is much better than MindBody for martial arts schools and features an easy-to-use interface. Some reviewers claim that Zen Planner has excellent customer service and that the software saves time and money.
Lukewarm reviewers state that Zen Planner is okay, but not excellent, referencing bugs and slow performance.
Related Review: MindBody.
GetApp Zen Planner Reviews
Users on GetApp give Zen Planner a 4.3-star rating out of 5 from more than 200 reviews. Positive comments stating that customer service is excellent, the app makes it easy to register for classes, and tracking and reporting functions are very helpful. Reviewers also appreciate the customization and integration options. The negative reviews focus on features the reviewer wishes were available, such as a way for instructors to leave notes for students or complain that the software is expensive and the interface is not intuitive.
Do you agree with reviewers who state that Zen Planner is a great, time-saving option for health and fitness businesses, or do you think it’s too expensive and has unhelpful customer service? Let us know in the comments!