It’s coming up to that time of year again.
Summer holidays are just around the corner and people start cancelling their monthly subscriptions because they’re off on their annual holidays and then at home with the kids and they can’t make their usual classes.
Plus, when it’s really, really, hot, like this weekend, the last thing people want to do is rock up to a class when the beer garden or BBQ is calling their name.
The general public is a very different species to the fitness professional.
I know you are rocking up to your class whatever is happening in the outside world.
But your clients do not have the same DNA you have – so there’s no point getting upset about it.
Admit it, it happens every year and nothing you do is going to change it.
Taking a dip in income every year when your members succumb to other temptations – well that you can AND SHOULD do something about.
It’s not just this time of year.
I remember our very first Christmas at Action Boot Camp. Everyone was on Pay As You Go or buying 12 session packs and ticking them off as and when they turned up. In December it snowed – there were Christmas parties and plays – the weather was still bad in January.
We had no real income for two months and only just scraped through.
After that I changed the payment system to monthly direct debits or subscription payments on PayPal.
I also offered an annual payment plan (with a 2-month discount) if paid if full and lots of people went for that as they just stuck it on the plastic. It was nice to get a lump sum of cash in every year.
Here’s what we told our regular clients when we made the switch – and all new clients HAD TO go onto this new system and had a welcome letter explaining how it worked.
“Your boot camp price is worked out annually and divided into 12 equal payments so there are no holiday breaks.
“Your price is fixed at this level for as long as you are a member. However, if you do leave and then come back you will re-join at the new rate and you will need to pay a £10 registration fee for us to put you back
onto our system.”
After that, we never had any problems.
We would get a regular income every month even in the hot summer months and the cold winter months and we could breathe a sigh of relief.
There were a couple of people who moaned about it but you’re always going to get that – no-one likes change. But then no-one likes it when their classes stop because you can’t afford to carry on either.
Just tell them you need to restructure the business model to give you more security and 99% will be more than willing to help you.
If you do use PayPal (I’ve used them for the past 7 years) then you need a Business Account and make sure you lift the limits as you are only able to trade £3,000/year unless you lift them.
It’s an easy process to follow and you will find all the details in settings.
Once you have a certain amount of money going through the business regularly you can also apply for Merchant rates and your fees are reduced the more you bring in.
They also chase any late payers for you – which is one feature I love, love, love. We used to spend days doing that.
I sound like an advert for PayPal don’t I? I’m not an affiliate or anything – maybe I should be – doh!
It’s just such an easy and professional system to use.
So, are you going to bite your nails again this summer or are you going to make those changes you so desperately need?
Every time a client of mine does this they are so worried but after the email goes out they’re really happy with the result and suddenly all that pressure is gone and they can sleep at night again knowing that money is coming in whatever the weather.
Are you using PAYG? let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to share x