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One of the biggest challenges for a small business owner is making sure billing processes are in order. This includes everything from managing the incredible amount of tedious paperwork to accurately accounting for each client’s monthly invoice. The billing process is a constant and essential part of owning and operating a martial arts school.

We had the opportunity to talk with Rodger Pyle, owner of USA Seibukan Martial Arts Training Center, based in Columbus, Ohio. He has owned his business for 27 years and has great insight into what works to simplify billing and maintain a successful business.

“When I first started my company, I had several challenges with member billing and payment collection. To start, I couldn’t accept credit cards, so some clients couldn’t become students. Then I never knew when I was going to get paid, which led to poor cash flow,” said Rodger. “Having my billing streamlined was a priority of mine from the beginning, and I knew I had to look at software to help me accomplish it.”

If you are spending hours on your billing, it may be time to look at a software solution. In fact, according to Inc. Magazine, the more professional your billing system, the more likely it is your clients will pay on time. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when researching software providers.

Research compatibility

Review all your options and look for software that offers customized, intuitive features that will save you time. Seek out straightforward software designed by fitness pros in the industry.

Must provide security

Find an integrated payment system that will protect all your financial data and process member payments more efficiently. You will also want to make sure that your payment information is secure and confidential with reliable data protection features. Look for software that is PCI-DSS Compliant and uses leading security methods to keep financial data safe.

Tracks expenses

Find software that can easily track expenses, calculate taxes and simplify your financial transactions with auto-payment integration.

Automatically deposits member payments

Look for software that will let you automatically deposit member payments into your business bank account. This is important because over time it will save you money on transaction fees. “I’ve learned that having the ability to deposit directly into my bank account is key,” added Pyle. “Don’t go through a software provider’s own ACH, its cumbersome and time consuming. Automatic deposit has worked great for my clients. I know when I’m going to get paid and if I need to add a client or stop payments, it’s easy to do. I can take care of it in minutes,” added Rodger.

Easily creates reports

Make sure your software can access complete and up-to-date financial reporting that is user friendly and always at your fingertips – from your laptop and tablet to your smartphone.

Improves client experience

Look for software that will allow members to view their bills and make secure payments online with a member self-service portal. “I like how the software I use streamlines the billing process for my customers and my business. I also know when a credit card is about to expire. The software will automatically send an email to the client letting them know they need to update their credit card information,” said Rodger.

It’s important for Martial Arts business owners to look at simplifying their billing processes from the start of their business. It will free up your time and allow you to focus on your unique style of Martial Arts instruction.

Financial management is a key component to running a successful school. Get your copy of our guide, 6 Building Blocks to Financial Health for Your School, to get advice from successful school owners, industry leaders and financial management experts.

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