10 important things to consider
1. DECIDE YOUR BUDGET
Chances are, if you’ve decided to try and find some sports team management software, you’ve probably evaluated the age-old battle of times vs money and decided on time. The majority of team apps for coaches do have a cost to use them (even if they advertise as free!), so you’ll need to speak with your committee and decide on a budget.
2. LIST YOUR CLUB’S NEEDS
The best tip we could give you at the start of your app search is to list the top 3 things you’d like an app to help your club with. Then you can develop your list from there. It could be things such as membership, automating registers, centralising payments etc. There’s no point starting your search if you don’t actually know what your needs are.
3. PRIORITISE YOUR CLUB’S NEEDS
Now that you have a list of your club’s needs, it’s time to sort them into 2 lists:
• Deal breakers
These are the main reasons that you’re looking for an app in the first place. The things that you simply can’t do without.
These are the things that would be amazing, but in comparison with your deal breakers, your club could manage without..
This will help you realise the features that your club class as a priority.
It’s worth noting that you’re unlikely to find one app that fits 100% of what you need. The chances are you may need to change a few of your club’s processes and/or think about a few workarounds.
4. GO DEEP WITH RESEARCH
Now that you know what you’re looking for, you can start making a list of the best sports team apps to consider. You may like to start with asking other coaches for recommendations.
After that, you can start searching for the best free sports team management apps. At this point, it’s a really good idea to search for sports team management app reviews as they can give you a good idea of what real sports clubs think of the app in question.
5. CHECK OUT THE APP’S FEATURES
Now it’s time to crossmatch your list with the apps’ websites. For example, if messaging is important to your club, you'll want to look for the best app to communicate with parents. The best sports team management apps will have easy to use websites with their features displayed clearly.
If you’re unsure about anything at all, get in touch with their support. They should be more than happy to talk through your club’s needs with you.
6. COMPARE FEES WITH A COST COMPARISON CALCULATOR
Things get a bit trickier when it comes to app fees. This is because lots of apps advertise as free to use but charge you money in other areas of the app’s use. A general rule of thumb when researching software is to get in touch with their support and ask if your club will face any of the below fees:
• Software fees
• Transaction fees
• Setup fees
You should also compare these costs with the other apps you’re reviewing. An easy way to do this is with a cost comparison calculator. It’ll become clear which apps are over-charging.
A test could be to pick what you think is the best free sports team management app, and then dig into their pricing to see if they’re really ‘free’. Also, it’s so important to actually do the maths on the app’s transaction fees to see what it’ll actually cost you… it may save you thousands of pounds per year.
7. TAKE A FREE TRIAL
When you’ve made your shortlist of the best apps that don’t break the bank, you can think about testing them. Most apps will offer you a free trial so that you can get some data into your account and have a play around.
Take advantage of this time and make a pros and cons list as you go along. If you have other coaches in your club, this is a good time to get their opinions too.
8. TEST THEIR SUPPORT
So, you think you’ve found the app for you; great! But what happens if you hit a problem a few weeks in and find out their customer support is actually terrible?! Exactly. If you have any questions, or things you need help with, be sure to get in touch with their team. Make note of the response time and how helpful they are; it’ll probably make an impact on your overall decision.
9. DECIDE ON AN APP
Now that you’ve done all the testing, it’s time to narrow it down! Gather your committee/coaches’ feedback and pick one app that covers all of your deal breakers and as many of your ‘nice to haves’ as possible. Once you’ve made a decision, you can make sure all member/class information has been imported and start to get things up and running.
10. CLOSE DOWN YOUR OTHER ACCOUNTS
Once everything is set up, don’t forget to close your other accounts. With GDPR being so important these days, you don’t want your member’s data lying around in an app that you’re not using. You should be able to contact each app provider and request that they remove the information from your account.
Once that's done, you can focus on your new app. You could even get your coaches together, order a pizza & do a brief training session!
At this point, it’s a really nice touch to give the other apps some feedback on why you chose to go elsewhere. Most apps develop their software around the needs of clubs like yours, so passing on 2/3 bits of feedback can be super helpful in them going forward.
Switching your admin from paper to a digital system can seem like a huge task, but the benefits it can bring in the long-run completely outweigh the initial few weeks of research. We hope this guide can you help you in completing a thorough review of all the apps you’re considering and assist you in making your final decision on the app that’s right for your club.