As a fitness business owner, you work hard to keep your overhead costs low. That means you take advantage of opportunities to invest sweat equity in your business. From cleaning the bathroom to teaching classes, you do what with takes to get the job done. However, not all aspects of running a fitness business can be managed well when done by hand, and the key to success is in knowing when you should automate some of the work.
If you want your business to be successful, your billing, collections and payment processing are some of the first areas to automate. As a business grows, it will reach a point where collecting checks, cash and payments through PayPal and Square just won’t cut it anymore. Manually collecting and processing payments is a time-consuming burden that leads to uncollected revenue and members who get tired of handing over their credit card every month. We know this because we hear it all the time.
Brian Lelli, the owner of Forge Fitness, started out collecting payments manually. In the beginning, when he only had a handful of members, it was a manageable process. But soon it got out of hand. Brian ended up having to “corral” members after class to collect payments, which was a complete waste of time. And because it was so difficult, Brain soon realized he was losing revenue by letting payments slip through the cracks.
Fortunately, Brian automated his billing and payment processing and saw a significant increase in his monthly collections. Plus, he now has more time available to work on other parts of their business.
Benefits of Automated Billing and Payment Processing
Implementing an automated billing and payments system is a wise business move because it will increase revenue, help you bring in a predictable amount of money and save you precious time. Here are the key benefits explained in depth:
Saves You And Your Members Time
Once recurring billing is set up, the payment process happens automatically without any work on your part. That means the system will generate automatic payment reminders, invoices and receipts. Payments will also be posted to your members’ accounts.
Automating your payments makes it easy to budget and manage your finances because automated payments are recurring payments. That means you know you are going to collect your earned revenue each month, at the same time each month.
Eliminates Lost Revenue
Not only is all the hard work done automatically, but you and your members will be notified when their credit cards are about to expire. Then you can collect the new card information and change out the card you have on file. From there, payment processing will resume automatically.
It will be easy to be your member because they can use any type of payment they want. Most payment processors accept all the major credit and debit cards, as well as ACH payments and eChecks.
Putting your members’ secure payment information into a management system that meets payment security standards, allows you to securely manage member financial information and accept payments from anywhere.
How Automated Billing and Payment Processing Works
If you’ve never used automated billing and payments processing, it can seem confusing. But it’s simple, and we’ll run through it step by step now.
- Using your member management software, you connect the recurring automated payment to the members’ account.
- Whether on a monthly, quarterly or annual (pre-determined) payment cycle, your software will automatically initiate the payment request through your integrated payment processer.
- Your payment processor will charge the method of payment established upon set up, deposit funds into your bank account and send the payment information back to your member management software.
- Your software will notify you that the payment has been processed and posted to the member’s account. (You can even see these deposits in your daily reports)
- An automated email will be sent to your member notifying them of their payment’s status.
- The process repeats when the next billing cycle occurs.
If for some reason the payment cannot be processed, an automated email is sent to the member and a (follow up) task is sent to you. This allows you to immediately contact the member to collect a new credit card. But this type of occurrence is rare since you and your member are both notified weeks before a credit card is going to expire.
When we talk to gym owners about the benefits of using automated billing and payment processing, we hear over and over that you simply cannot afford to work harder for less money in the bank. If you want your business to grow and be successful, you need to automate this critical financial function.
To find out how you can easily automate your billing and payments with our helpful Essential Guide to Automated Payment Processing. Download your copy today!