Tula Software Launches GoFund Me Campaign to raise money for Bridges Through Yoga



I'm excited to announce today that Tula Software has launched a GoFund Me campaign to support Bridges Through Yoga, an organization based in Minneapolis, MN that brings yoga to people of color, and that uses yoga as a catalyst to facilitate conversations about race. 

This campaign will run for 30 days from September 6th through October 5th. 

We're asking friends, customers, vendors, and yoga instructors we've worked with to consider helping us support Bridges Through Yoga by making donations, sharing the fundraiser with your networks, hosting donation classes, and anything else you may feel inspired to do.

This is the second fundraiser we've worked to help organize, and as I've written in the past, we hope to make fundraisers a part of our DNA - allowing us to gather as a community and make a significant, positive impact for an organization. 

I've had the pleasure of working with James Orione, the founder of Bridges Through Yoga, through producing the Minneapolis Yoga Conference. I can say with certainty that the funds we raise through this campaign will help make a positive impact in our collective community, and that they will be used well. Read more about the use of funds on the GoFund Me page

Ideas and Inspiration for Participating

To help you, and in particular our customers, find some inspiration I wanted to outline the ways in which Maile and I plan to participate in this fundraiser:

  1. We'll be making donations throughout the campaign.
  2. Maile is hosting a "donation day" on the 7th Anniversary of Tula Yoga Studio. On October 1, all classes at Tula will be donation classes, and all proceeds will go towards the GoFund Me supporting Bridges Through Yoga.
  3. We're releasing 50 heavily discounted full weekend passes to the 2019 Minneapolis Yoga Conference for $295. 15% of all sales ($45) from these passes sold will go directly to the GoFund Me.
  4. And lastly, we'll be working with Bryant Lamont and Robert Clark, the two artists who participated in the 2018MYC creating the artwork, to host an event/auction to sell the artwork they created, and here again with all proceeds going towards the GoFund Me campaign.

We're asking for your help. We need your help!

We learned a lot after we did our first fundraiser in 2016, and we hope by choosing the GoFund Me platform and making the campaign last for 30 days, that many of our customers will find a way to organize their own communities for a class, a day, or whatever is right for them, to help with this fundraiser. 

Please read more about Bridges Through Yoga and consider making a donation at https://www.gofundme.com/bridges-through-yoga

Thank you for your help and support!


Enhanced Waivers Functionality Now Available!

Update: 9/6/18

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This feature is no longer in beta, and can be activated at any time on the waivers settings page.


I'm excited to announce a big update to our Electronic Waivers functionality, which now allows your students to sign waivers in the browser when registering for classes and when purchasing passes.

On-line Acceptance

Historically, our waivers system was designed in such a way to mirror the paper and pencil process: students would sign waivers on an iPad or iPhone apps when they came into the studio for the first time. And of course, this still operates and functions in exactly the same way. 

Understandably though, many of our customers also wanted students to be able agree to their liability waivers when making payments or registering for classes. Now, our customers can optionally turn on "online acceptance". When enabled, Tula will present your students with a checkbox next to a link taking them to your electronic waiver, which they'll have to agree to before proceeding. 

 When registering...

When registering...

 When purchasing...

When purchasing...

In addition, when online acceptance is activated, we'll also require acceptance when creating an account or setting a password for the first time. And of course, we'll only present this checkbox to people when we should. Students will see the checkbox when they're logged out, or when they're logged in and they don't already have a waiver on file. Students that are logged in and already have a waiver on file won't be presented with the checkbox as they will have already agreed to your policies.

New Design

We also used this as an opportunity to enhance the design of the signed waiver PDF files themselves, adding more information about the student as well as the document id.

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Beta Period Now Open

We've decided to release this initial round of updates in a closed beta - if you'd like to begin taking advantage of this new functionality just shoot us a quick note through the in-app support channel, or send us an email and we'll activate online signatures for you.

We have a number of other enhancements around the waiver system following this one, and we look forward to showing you more updates in the weeks ahead!




First updates of the new year!

Earlier this month we pushed out our first handful of updates for the new year, and focused our efforts on a few items that were causing some irritation for our customers. 

Fixing check-in flag bug

First, we had a bug that was at times causing the check-in flag to go off on some students when being checked in, even though it had previously been turned off by the studio. This was a bit of a difficult one to track down but ultimately figured out what was going on: we were inadvertently creating a duplicate record when the flags were being updated. The result was that at times the flag was falsely being thrown, while other times it was correctly NOT being thrown.  We've now updated this, as well as cleaned up all the duplicate records, and our customers shouldn't be seeing this issue anymore. A big "thank you" to those of you who wrote into support about this!

Series Registration from the admin side

We've long had a way for students to register for an entire series of events, such as a beginner series, on the web by way of our website widgets. What was sort of annoying though, is if a student was in your studio, and they wanted to register for a series, you either had to have them go to your website to register or you had to add them to every event individually. This is pretty suboptimal for obvious reasons, so we've updated things so you can now register a student for an entire series of events all at once from the event series page on the admin side of things.

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This is one of those "little big" updates I talk about sometimes because while it's a simple little addition in terms of using it, there's quite a bit going on behind the scenes with things like duplicate checking, proper error handling, etc.

Various system updates

In addition to the above we also took care of some general system maintenance and reliability items, updated a few things behind the scenes with our find-a-sub feature, and updated our server stack to address the meltdown security vulnerability you've probably heard about. 

So much more to come!

As usual we'll be pushing out updates all year long, and we can't wait to show you some of the other things we've been working on!



2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

I'm happy today to publicly announce what we shared with our customer base a few weeks ago, a new, simplified plan and pricing structure for all Tula Software subscriptions. 

 2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

2018 Plans & Pricing for Tula Software

As has always been the case, our aim with Tula pricing is to provide the greatest impact per dollars spent for our customers, while remaining competitive in the marketplace without necessarily trying to "compete on price".

As we all know, races to the bottom are rarely won.

This price change also reflects the first time in our six year history we are moving our existing customer base to the new pricing. We're proud that this is our first price change in six years, and importantly, only comes after we've driven our credit card fees to the lowest offered anywhere in the industry: 2.2% + $.30/transaction

No company is doing more to help independent studios succeed than Tula Software, and our new pricing continues to reflect this reality. 

Our new pricing is simple and clear: $85 per month gets you everything we offer with the exception of our add-on features. The Base Plan includes Custom Calendars, Custom Payment forms, registrations, member management, reporting, etc. All of it comes on the base plan.

Our Add-on Features are the Find-a-Sub functionality, Electronic Waivers and Retention Center. 

These add-on features now come on our new "Premium" plan, which is now $125/month. In addition, our customers can now choose a single add-on feature for an a-la-carte price of $20. This is great for people who might only want electronic waivers, or only the retention center for example.

Very lastly, we're retiring our "Mudra" plan which provided customers with custom iphone applications. Existing customers are not affected as of yet, but new custom app builds are not being accepted. We'll be posting more about Apple's decision separately, along with our view of the ramifications for the industry, but in the meantime you can get a good primer on the subject by reading this TechCrunch article.

To our customers, we want to say thank you for all your support and for choosing our company to serve you. We're proud to have you as customers. As you know, we shipped a tremendous amount of functionality in 2017 and we're even more excited about what we have in store for 2018!



You, Your Yoga Studio, and The Magical Powers of the Internet

In many parts of the tech world, there is a feeling in the air that the big opportunities have been missed. That market share, and power, have been consolidated amongst Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, and that the rest of us are fighting over scraps. At the same time, we’re starting to come to grips with the fact that we don’t really entirely understand the impact that the internet, and social media in particular, is having on us.

If you’re not careful, you can start believing that not only have we lost the magical powers of the internet, but that it’s turned against us as well. And while this probably could be the case, it doesn’t have to be, and there are important lessons bubbling up to the surface for those living in the world of brick and mortar independent studios on how to keep your business thriving.

Are there more distractions? Yes. Is there more competition? Probably. But these realities are merely a signal of the fundamental truth that we still hold the power and original promise of the internet in the palm of our hands. Individually, we are more empowered than ever to build the businesses and lives we want, and ultimately, we’re still the ones choosing how and where to spend our time on the internet.

Facebook has indeed wreaked havoc on countless publishers who believed they would always be able to reach their audiences through the network. But that needn’t lead you and your studio down the same path with Groupon, Classpass and Mindbody.

There’s a great cartoon by the Oatmeal (via daring fireball) the other day explaining the situation with Facebook, that could just as easily apply to your studio, swapping Facebook with any number of marketplaces vying for your studio's “inventory”.

What is truly fascinating today, is the degree to which the tech industry has turned it’s sights to the brick and mortal world. Amazon has acquired Whole Foods. Warby Parker has retail locations. Instagram celebrities promote clothing lines and YouTube celebrities go on tour. Google and Facebook are doubling down on Events (with Google Reserve and Facebook Local) and Facebook’s new mission is to "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." (Protip: Your studio is better at building community, bringing people together and holding space for transformation than Facebook could ever hope to be.)

The lesson is that over a long enough time horizon, the internet alone is not sufficient. 

We want, crave and need physical places with physical interaction. The biggest, most powerful players in the industry know and understand this fundamental truth, and they are all actively working to expand their physical footprints with massive investments.

Your independent studio is now the holy grail over which billions of dollars of investment money are battling, and you should be fiercely be aware of any internet company that tells you it is you who needs them. 

Indeed it is they who needs you. 

They need your schedule, your classes, your instructors, your website traffic, your customers, your desk staff and your physical studio itself. And the truth is, a lot of studios (of course, not the smart studios using Tula software) are giving all of this away for $0 per month in exchange for the false promise that giving away your students and control of your pricing to a billion dollar software company is somehow going to be good for your business.

What does seem to have changed with the internet today, and what I do agree is happening, is the sense that internet companies are no longer working to serve and empower us. It feels in a lot of ways like they’ve all become a newer, grosser version of Comcast.

The internet is still serving us. But a lot of Internet companies, have started serving themselves.

What always has, and what always will separate Tula from everyone else in our space, is the degree to which our only aim is to provide you with the most modern tools available so you can manage your studio, grow your business and maintain high quality relationships with your students and customers. 

It probably won’t turn us into the biggest company serving independent studios, but our bet is that it’ll continue to make us the best.

And with this as our goal, the future for our customers - and for us - has never been brighter. 

Has the software your studio uses stopped serving you and started to serve themselves? Check out tulasoftware.com and see why we’re the best software in the world for independent studios.