YogaOne is a cornerstone of Cedarburg, WI. But as a studio that prides itself on unwavering support and deeper connections, owner Meg found that the software running her studio was complicating how her students engaged with her brand. A confident entrepreneur who isn't afraid of change, Meg knew there had to be a better way to run her boutique business. What she found with Walla was streamlined, modern software her clients love and a community that encourages her to continually grow.
What was your biggest operational hurdle and pain point before Walla?
My biggest pain point was client complaints about my previous studio check-in software. My staff and I received a lot of complaints about how to navigate our software, how to find information about their profile, and how many classes they had left in their pack. So much time was spent doing administrative tasks, updating their accounts, and assisting them.
One reason I switched to Walla was because my clients were unhappy. That was the biggest thing. Our previous software became such a headache for us—and YogaOne’s students. With Walla, it’s all about the consumer experience. It’s so intuitive, which immediately changed how I run my studio. It will be one year since I made the switch in September, and the feedback about Walla has been amazing. Our clients absolutely love it!
What gave you the confidence to make the switch to Walla?
Actually, it was your co-founder Laura Munkholm, and I wanted to support another female leader. I also made the jump because I love how innovative and transparent Walla is. Everything was on the Walla website I needed to know in my decision-making process. Before I made the switch, I interviewed three other platforms, and one of Walla’s competitors recommended your software. His software was for brick and mortar and was not set up to do Zoom, and he said, “Nope, go with Walla,” and he’s been in this industry for a long time. It was obvious all signs were pointed toward going with Walla; I realized what you offered and how it could impact YogaOne—and I said let’s just do this!
How was your migration experience—and what surprised you?
Honestly, the migration experience was smooth. That’s because my transition was based upon the mutual understanding that you will be going through change, right? And as an entrepreneur and business women, you realize and need to be prepared to make a major shift that will benefit the studio and our students. I was with Mindbody for 14 years, so I had 14 years of data, client information, and all that needed to be migrated. So, of course, you’re concerned, but the migration just moved so smoothly. All our previous information came across to Walla—no glitches at all!
As I said, coming into Walla was a big jump, but I was ready for a shift. Ready for change. And again, as an entrepreneur, when there is difficulty, whenever there’s a challenge or bump in the road, it’s an opportunity to grow. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to be able to handle the bumps. I have been dealing with my old software for a long time, so obviously, you’re used to doing things a certain way. Making a change to Walla will be different, and it's about thinking differently and accepting that difference. I chose to make a change; at its core, it’s just learning a new, easier way to manage my studio.
Plus, the amazing migration gal? Charlsie! She was fantastic. And the data migration guys Ed and Logan were awesome. At the end of the day, switching software is just like how you approach everything in life with change. I felt so supported, and the Walla team had their eyes on everything and anything. There were no surprises! With Walla, it’s all about the growth mindset.
Now that Walla is part of YogaOne’s every day, what are your top favorite features—and how have they positively impacted your studio business?
I love how user-friendly Walla is. At YogaOne, when we get people that walk through our studio door and sign up for a class on the spot, we can instantly create a new account. And everything is on the phone—even the liability waiver. We used to be old school, like, “Here’s a clipboard with a waiver; please fill it out.” Now with Walla, it’s about saving time with front desk type of administrative things, and creating accounts is so easy. The information is entered into Walla, and bam! They are in!
The Walla platform is also really streamlined. By being streamlined, it’s allowed me to have less staff for the front desk. Walla empowers the teacher’s role at my studio to be in charge, and they don’t have to spend time behind the computer. And even if we catch a student at the end of the class, it’s simple how you can enter a new student and get them started.
Another thing that streamlined? It’s how we see the data in Walla, and now that I've been using it, it's so much easier. I feel like I don't waste as much time doing studio reports. It's all a fingertip away. The guest pass option is another great feature and a big sell for me. At YogaOne, we have a lot of people that bring their guests to our studio, like a family member visiting. That quick link to add them to class just by adding the email and their name was a fantastic addition and experience. Now that students can self-check-in for class at the front desk is going to be huge, too. It saves so much time!
Another big feature and a game changer for YogaOne? Sub management (one big reason I made the switch). Years ago, sub management was a closed Facebook group at YogaOne, and the teachers would post there asking for a substitute. It used to be someone’s duty to go in there and make sure the class or classes were covered. And no one could ever remember who agreed to do it! Now with Walla’s automated sub management, YogaOne teachers put in their requests through the software, and I can see exactly who put it in and who offered to teach it. I am kind of a control freak and want to see—so I can instantly approve the request. And the sub reminder before class is fantastic, so no one forgets who is teaching.
Payment processing is so much better now, too. I have no issues with Stripe, and I love seeing exactly how much payouts are. Money comes quickly, which is fantastic. From a studio booking perspective, YogaOne clients love how the branded widgets integrate into our studio website beautifully—and the Walla app. I love how there’s always a growth mindset at Walla, too. The platform, the product are constantly growing, improving, and Walla is taking into consideration what features and functionality studio owners like me are asking for and need, helping me succeed!
Can you quantify the impact of Walla on your studio? Any improvements in numbers and metrics since making the switch?
To be honest, I'm not a numbers girl. I like interacting with my clients—and that's what’s important to me. I don’t need to be in the data because I can log into Walla, and the numbers I need are right there for me. I can immediately see an increase in new students, for example. With Walla, I don’t get bogged down with the statistics, the analytics, and pulling reports. Knowing the KPIs and being able to compare YogaOne’s data easily allows me to show up at the studio and be able to interact with my students. They love seeing me at the studio, and I love being there. It’s also easy for my teacher to understand how to work with Walla and integrate the studio and class insights into their classes. But there are times that I need to analyze class performance, and Walla enables me to tell right away if a class is or isn’t doing well.
The staff profile and instructor dashboard are wonderful, too, and how they have improved the studio schedule. I can look at a teacher's performance, and if it’s not great, I’m not making quick judgments but informed decisions, seeing really what’s going on, and choosing to have that dialogue. Or make a shift in our schedule based on the data.
The other thing is I have time because Walla makes running the studio more efficient. I can answer my emails while Walla does its work so I can tune in, tap into the reports or the dashboard, see what's going on, and do my other work. Recently I had the time to return a potential client email thanks to Walla. She was interested in becoming a student and wanted to see the studio. And so she came to YogaOne, met me, we toured the studio, and she says, “You know what? You were the only studio to return my email.” It’s like, wow! That’s why Walla is a game changer for my business.
How has client and staff reception been to Walla?
That's what the business is all about—connection, community, and support for your clients—listening to what they want. And at YogaOne, we want to make signing up for class as easy as possible. To purchase a plan and to come in. Walla delivers that. Also, our clients love the Walla app. I've been sending notifications on the app, and I just had people sign up for class, which is excellent! They love that feature, and so do I!
Would you refer Walla? And what would you tell another studio owner who is considering moving to a new software and looking at Walla?
Walla isn’t just a studio software; it’s a growth mindset—and I remain in this mindset all due to Walla. I feel so supported as a business to be successful, to thrive. For my studio to be fresh, new, and exciting. And as a studio owner, to be acknowledged. Where else do you get that out of a software company?
Also, with Walla, you’ll make amazing connections that further your growth mindset. When I signed up for Walla last September (almost one year ago!), I was introduced to my business coach, Michael Jay. And I keep making these fantastic connections through the Walla team and Laura—like Nina Israel, who Walla hosted a webinar on financial wellness. Now I am working with Nina to improve my financial knowledge at YogaOne. I even met Connie at Pixality Design, who helped me with a beautiful new website! The connections are truly powerful!
And finally, a personal question—how has Walla impacted your life as the owner of a busy, successful yoga studio?
Walla is beyond software. It's a community—and there's no ego. It's simply just supporting each other. I love it! I spend more quality time at the studio than being stuck behind the computer, and I can not describe how important that is for me and YogaOne.