Posted Friday, January 25th, 2019 by Akada
25 years! That is hard to fathom, but here we are. Akada started as a small home office business and grew to where we are today with seven full-time employees in two offices providing services to dance studios in all 50 states, Canada — and even a few in Australia! And we couldn’t have done it without you, our incredible customers. All of Akada’s success has been completely organic and through word of mouth — in fact, we didn’t hire our first salesperson until this past year.
That’s not to say that we can’t always get a little better. In December we surveyed our customers and received a lot of great feedback. We have listened and, more importantly, are ready to take action. So, in 2019 be prepared to see and hear a lot more from us. Below are some ways that we are looking to give back to you and areas of improvement that we will be focusing on this year:
- Referral Program – Word of mouth is the best advertising and what Akada was built on. But now we want to incentivize that. Starting now, when you refer someone to Akada and they put your studio name in the promo code box at sign-up they will receive their first 90 days free. Once they become a paying customer we will credit your studio for 3 free months.
- Scholarship Program – In 2018 we launched our scholarship program for the first time, and it was the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. But we think it can be a little better. So this year we will be moving up the timeline a bit so that we can announce our winners in June. We feel like this will help both the students and studios plan ahead a little better for the fall.
- Trade Shows – We sought your input on where you’d like to see us this year, and it all came back pretty spread out. So that is what we’re going to do. Spread out! We are already booked for the Dance Teacher Web and DanceLife Teacher conferences, and in the fall you’ll see us at multiple UDMA shows. We are also excited to announce that we will be a title sponsor of the Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, Ca and New York City — and the best part is we’ll get to invite some guests!
- Education – One of the most frustrating things we face in supporting customers is having a long-time user tell us they aren’t using a feature because either they didn’t understand it or were afraid/didn’t have time to call and ask about it. We want to change that! Starting in February we’ll be starting a series of webinars focused on a function that is specific to the dance calendar. February’s topic will be ordering costumes, and then in March we’ll talk about planning for the upcoming summer and fall. We’ll be sending out emails with more details as we get closer.
- The Studio Interface – We are developing a completely new interface that will be mobile-friendly and will have a much sleeker look to it (akin to the more recent version of the parent portal). We hope to have the new interface ready by spring 2020, but in the meantime, we are working to improve the existing studio interface. Based on your feedback, we are working to clean up a few minor quirks and limit the number of clicks required on tasks such as emailing or printing receipts.