Case Study: Association of Pet Dog Trainers


Unlike a dog, admin is most certainly not man’s best friend. In fact, in the working world, it is one of your worst nightmares. Not only is it boring and a chore, but it also takes up all your time leaving you with none to enjoy the things you are passionate about. Fortunately, here at Pay Subs Online, we’re in the business of reducing admin and we were able to help The Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK (APDTUK).

Founded in 1995 by a man named John Fisher, the APDTUK sought to educate people in the correct ways to train their dogs – with kindness and motivation. This was something they viewed as extremely important given the increasing use of harsh methods by owners to make their dogs obedient. Since 1995, because of APDTUK’s, and others’ tireless hard work, training methods have drastically improved making the lives of many dogs significantly better.

The Challenge

With just short of 600 members, however, APDTUK had their work cut out for them admin-wise. Talking to Stella Bagshaw, the APDTUK’s Office Manager, she said that before switching to Pay Subs Online, membership admin was their “one biggest nightmare”.

“Before Pay Subs Online, the membership was all taken in by filling out paper forms, storing forms in filing cabinets, collecting cheques, paying in cheques and chasing up people for payment – it was our one biggest nightmare in the whole office. It took up so much of our time… it was just unbelievable!”

Stella went on to discuss how taking payment specifically was one of their worst problems: “Although we only had one membership payment once a year (which would make you think it’d be easy), it took so long to collect it all, to then record it all manually, and to chase people up and then to eventually pay it into the bank – it took forever!”

The Solution

With their admin having just as much of a bite as its bark, APDTUK soon sought the help of Pay Subs Online. Due to our system being paperless by nature and with functionality that reconciles payments automatically, the choice was easy.

“Since joining Pay Subs Online, our membership admin has reduced by 90%. We used to have two huge filing cabinets in the office filled with records of payments and member information, and we’ve now thrown those away.”

Not only does APDTUK benefit hugely from the fact you can store member records and payment history online in our secure database (something that is also sensible in relation to the upcoming GDPR changes), but they also find the email tool very useful – something they used to pay for separately, per annum, with another company. With just under 600 members, being able to send emails to any one (or all) of them from within the system is invaluable – especially when it comes to payment reminders and the like.

The Result

Due to the versatility of the Pay Subs Online software, APDTUK no longer needs to dread their membership admin. Since joining, APDTUK has reduced their membership admin time by 90% and now collect payments roughly 80% quicker than before, radically improving their cash flow. Most importantly though, Stella said that it has freed up their time to focus on doing what they love best – educating people on how to train their dogs, and consequently, improve dog’s lives across the UK.

Pay Subs Online is proud to be partnered with APDTUK and we wish them continued success and an admin free future. (Ps. Our office dog, Lola sends her love!)

To find out more about APDTUK, follow this link – or email


If, like APDTUK, you are looking to free up time to focus on doing the things you love, book a free, no obligation tour of the software today – to book a tour, click here!

If you aren’t ready to take the plunge just yet, why not take a look at our free whitepaper detailing ‘Which Admin Tasks Can Be Done Quicker and Easier Online?’ – to download it for free, click here.

Case Study: England Touch

Reduced Transaction Fees and Administration Made Easy

Admin Management Software

Touch Rugby is one of the biggest sport success stories of recent years – experiencing a massive growth in popularity in the UK and across the world.

For those of you who don’t know, Touch refers to a game derived from rugby league that began in Australia and New Zealand. Players don’t tackle each other but instead touch their opponents using their hands on any part of an opponent’s body or the ball. It’s fast and dynamic and is one of the very few sports that are mixed-sex, meaning that men and women can play on the same team and against each other.

This gives it an added appeal making the game increasingly popular in schools, universities and amongst adults of all ages. Those retiring from rugby often take it up, as well as people with hockey, netball or football backgrounds.

Case Study: Witham Hill Gymnastics Club

A Success Story!

Membership Management Software

Founded by Alisa Saunders and her husband ten years ago, Witham Hill Gymnastics Club in Lincoln has more than 800 members and some 600 on its waiting list.

Gymnastics is already a popular sport, but Alisa attributes its increased attraction to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games of recent years. What the games (and specifically artistic gymnast and silver medallist Louis Smith and triple world champion Beth Tweddle) did was provide a greater awareness and appreciation of the sport, especially for those outside the gymnastic sphere.

Alisa’s club has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in 2007. At first, Witham Hill Gymnastics Club was involved with other clubs and started with only 70 children. It then moved to a leisure centre, needing to move yet again to its present venue some years later due to increased membership – the club now employs 20 paid coaches and 15 volunteers.

Organising Members? Our Club Membership Management System Can Help!

Club Membership Management System

Originally, our club membership management system solely dealt with the taking and reconciling of payments. It soon became very clear that our clients wanted (and needed) more management than that. One of the most frequent requests we got was for member organisation and the creation of groups – we agreed this was important and made it happen.


  • Sending targeted emails to groups of people, improving communication.
  • Makes it easy to categorise people (e.g. different teams or ages)
  • Allows for the creation of waiting lists – this means prospective members can register their interest, meaning you don’t lose potential members.
  • Makes it easy to filter members within the payment screen – this leads to improved admin efficiency and cash flow as you can see who has and hasn’t paid in what group.
  • There are no limits to how many groups a member can be put in – the choice is yours!
  • Once a group is made, our system can copy its properties meaning you can quickly duplicate groups and then rename them / make minor adjustments with ease.

A Sports Club’s Guide to GDPR Compliance

GDPR Compliance

In April 2017, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It will take effect in 2018. This law doesn’t only cover businesses, but sports clubs as well, since clubs, too, handle sensitive personal data their members trust them with. Here is a guide to GDPR compliance and how it will impact the way your sports club needs to handle data:

How Your Sports Club’s Members Will Benefit from the GDPR

The GDPR will harmonise the data regulations from all its member nations, better protecting EU businesses and organisations from data breaches, all too common in today’s digital environment.

What Does the GDPR Require of Sports Club Administrations?

Starting from the 25th May 2018, your club must have a secure way to archive your members’ sensitive personal data. You also must track your audits of these data. If a breach occurs, you must notify your nation’s data authorities within 72 hours. For UK residents, the proper authority is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). If your club fails to follow these regulations, you may be subjected to GDPR fines greater than €20 million or four percent of your club’s previous year’s revenue – a hefty sum.

If your club handles a lot of sensitive data, you must appoint a data protection officer. It will be important for your club to provide that officer with effective tools for proper data governance.

Product Update – December 2017

New Features and Product Tweaks!

So, here it is, our latest product update! This month we’ve been working on new and updated features to reduce and simplify your admin within our admin management software. Here they are!

New Feature: Advanced Search Tool

What’s New…

We have now added an advanced search tool so you can easily query your membership database. This new feature is in BETA testing and can be found under Members > Master Membership List BETA and Members > Membership Categories.

The search criteria depend on the type of fields searched upon. As follows (pictures in order):

  • Text fields: Contains, Does not Contain, Is known, Is unknown
  • Numerical fields: Is equal to, Is not equal to, Is greater than, Is less than, Is known, Is not known
  • Date fields: Is equal to, Is before, Is after, Is between, Is known, Is unknown
  • Age field: Is equal to, Is not equal to, Is greater than, Is less than, Is known, Is unknown, As of date
  • Multiple choice: Is equal to, Is not equal to, Is known, Is not known – after selecting the criteria, you’ll be presented with the list of answers (as defined when you created the field)



Why it’s Better…

    • Searching within the system eliminates the need to export information into an Excel spreadsheet to run queries which improves your data security. It’s also more convenient and reduces time spent on admin.

Coaching Advice: Are You Creating Robots, or Building Relationships?

Fear of consequences influences an athletes' behaviour

Coaching Advice

We’ve often said that any training plan should focus on building positive relationships, through communication, trust, and engagement.

In a previous coaching advice blog post, we talked about how great student-coach relationships do not happen organically. As with any other kind of relationship, they develop over time and often require work to make them great.

A love for their sport is what drives many coaches, along with valuing the time they spend with their young, budding athletes. Why? Because they discover coaching children is fun! As the years go by, many fond memories are linked to times of happiness and laughter with these athletes, and not just when they have achieved something great or won medals.

This is why it can be hard to understand why some coaches choose to develop a training plan which sees their athletes train like robots. It may not be a deliberate act but is often inevitable under the coaching regime and conditions their training plan provides.

Here is our coaching advice…

Coaching Advice: Helping Athletes “Be More Confident”

How good are you at giving your students feedback?

Coaching Advice

It may sound like a strange question, but when it comes to coaching, this is something I think about often…

…helping athletes “be more confident.”

On its own, telling an athlete to be more confident is not going to magically flick a switch which will make them immediately feel competent enough to perform skills they previously struggled with.

As a form of feedback, “be more confident” is useless! Outlined below, I’ll give some coaching advice to remedy this.

Tackling a Lack of Self-Belief

By definition, confidence (or self-confidence in this case) is ‘belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.’ Ask an athlete to perform a skill they lack self-belief in, and their chances of performing it with ‘confidence’ are limited.

Could confidence be something someone could fake? Could it be something they can simply ‘switch on’ when asked?


Coaching Advice: What Does Great Coaching Look Like?

Creating a positive working environment is a great motivator for both athletes and coaches alike.

Coaching Advice

In one of our recent coaching advice posts, we discussed the importance of coaching the mindset, not just technique. Closely aligned with this is the importance of developing a strong coach-athlete relationship.

Creating a positive working environment is a great motivator for both athletes and coaches alike. As our previous post suggested, coaches who approach training through military style ‘shout and command’ tactics will quickly find their students demoralised and motivated only by a fear of failure.

Let’s look at this from another perspective.

Imagine sitting in your workplace each day, with your boss shouting at you for the entire day? How long could you last? How long before your motivation wanes and resentment towards your employer builds?

In such an environment it doesn’t take long before your performance levels drop as your self-esteem hits rock bottom. The same is true in a coaching relationship.

Case Study: Wise Players Choose Wisewood

The pride of Sheffield is a marker for football clubs across the UK

Wisewood Football Club

There’s a special football club born on seven hills with an ethos as strong as the finest Sheffield Steel. Wisewood is a source of great local pride, helping youngsters learn what being part of a team is all about. It helps to shape members’ character whilst being extremely well disciplined and inspiring. For anyone looking to start their own club, this is the beacon to follow. The club can boast more than 300 male and female players ranging from ages 7 – 18, and have two disability teams involving players from 16 to 64. Brian Smith founded the club in 1988, and he’s still an integral part of the setup, having seen steady growth over the years.

FA Chartered Club

Wisewood is a Registered FA Chartered Standard Community Club playing in the Sheffield and District Junior Leagues, Sheffield and Hallamshire Girls County League, and DB Bud Evans League. This visionary club has two main sites near to each other, though a local school pitch can be added to the five in regular use.