There are a lot of incredible clients and businesses we work with on a regular basis, but today I want to feature two that deserve a little attention – Fire Flower Apps and Jube School.
For those who don’t know, Jube School offers kids an array of arts camps and clubs taught by world class artists/performers from the Jubilee Auditorium. Fire Flower Apps is the team that recreated their entire registration system – and they also happen to be our favourite app/infrastructure development company.
Death By 1000 Papercuts
If you’ve ever felt like your business is drowning in paper and endless email administration, Jube School feels your pain. Prior to their new system, registration was a fully manual system, and in the worst way possible:
- Program registration was by email and phone
- Sign up forms were printed on paper *cringe*
- Registration reminders were manually sent out (and occasionally missed)
- Registrants and schedules were managed through a series of excel sheets
- The website showcasing their programs had issues every time it was updated
- And when Covid hit, staffing was reduced and the manual processes were impossible to maintain
As a side note, if your business operates this way, please believe me that life can be easier than this! Thankfully, Jube School knew very well that their staff (and sanity) was worth the cost of a new system.
Enter Fire Flower Apps
There are a few ways you could define “Apps”. For some it means Candy Crush, Pinterest, and Angry Birds; but for Fire Flower Apps, it means systems, infrastructure and solving problems within complex businesses.
– The Fire Flower Apps Business Plan
Application, or “App”
Makes processes more efficient, solves a problem, or collects new information.
When Jube met Fire, sparks flew.
Right from the start the two knew they were meant for each other – values aligned, business needs met business solutions, and new futures were forged. It was beautiful.
More importantly, Fire Flower Apps was able to improve the lives of Jube School staff, parents and their kids:
- Integrating online payments, discount codes and automated payment receipts
- Automatic email reminders a few days before the course you signed up for
- (When Covid hit) Including Zoom links for online classes
- Automatic email survey after the program ends, building in a habit of improvement and giving parents a voice in how programs are shaped
- (Finally) The ability to manage programs, registrants and schedules from a simple online interface custom to their organization
The new system transformed Jube School operations entirely – both for the staff and for parents registering their kids. Disney, take note because happy endings like this aren’t just a fantasy!
Why This Matters So Much
Jube School represents more than kids’ summer camps and arts programs. They work incredibly hard to bring equal access to their programs and to impact the lives of those who attend.
- Jube School actively finds funding for “sponsored seats” in their programs which allows underprivileged kids to attend for free
- All of their programs encourage inclusivity, never labelling a cooking class “for girls” or light saber battles “for boys”
- Even internally, in their initial discussions with Fire Flower, the Jube School team made use of inclusive language in the wording and pronouns they used
Our world is changing, adapting, and becoming more open to everyone in every walk of life and expression. Because of organizations like Jube School, we’re also able to teach this acceptance and openness to our next generation.
Along with giving Fire Flower Apps and Jube School a big pat on the back, there are a couple lessons every business can take away from these two.
The first is that every business needs to search for ways to improve the lives of their staff and clientele. Making lives easier and more efficient, the tools nicer to work with, and even cosmetic improvements can make a big difference. Most businesses see these improvements through saved money/time, or increased revenue, but the core principle should be caring for people. When we improve people’s lives, staff perform better, stay longer, and treat customers better; it also means your customers sign on faster, build loyalty faster, and tell their friends sooner. But it starts with caring about people.
The second lesson is that building a business around “social good” isn’t just a marketing tactic. It needs to be reflected internally as well as externally, and it changes how (and with whom) you operate. Our first-world countries are crossing the threshold into a new era – a breed of capitalism that’s built not just on economic capital, but also social capital. Customers are shopping based on value and values. It’s no longer enough to just “do a good job”.
We also need to grow into good people.