Sports Facility Start-up Tip: Accept Online Payments
You’ve heard it many times on this blog, but here it is again: Cash is king for new businesses. We’ve discussed how requiring upfront payments helps keep more cash on-hand. We’ve also talked about the importance of keeping electronic records. Any efforts you make toward improving cash flow can be essential to your sports facility start-up’s survival.
This week, we want to suggest one more cash-flow-focused idea: accepting online payments. Allowing your customers to pay online goes a long way towards streamlining your processes, saving money, and keeping as much cash on-hand as possible.
eSoft Planner was developed because software that allows clients to self-register, schedule and pay for their memberships online used to be non-existent. We saw the time-savings and convenience as a welcome benefit for staff, coaches, and parents.
However, some of eSoft Planner’s clients were still hesitant to give all the responsibility for payment to their customers. They didn’t trust their customers to make the payments correctly, or they thought that requiring more in-person interactions would promote a community feeling at their facility.
We always strongly advise them to reconsider, for these reasons:
Online payments reduce administrative costs
If you could cut in-store scheduling and payment in half, how much time would you save? Your front desk staff probably spends hours requesting money from clients and processing their payments. Why not use this time to build report with your customers?
The reduction in administrative tasks could save you money on payroll. Through self-service scheduling, your clients are essentially working for you.
Online payments bring cash in faster
When clients pay online and you get the payments upfront, you have more cash to work with. Electronic payments are deposited directly into your account and eliminates the need to visit the bank. Additionally, the money is often deposited days or weeks before the actual service that the client paid for.
Online payments are convenient for customers
Giving clients the opportunity to pay for services outside of regular business hours provides flexibility, and that convenience makes clients more likely to pay without constant reminders from you.
Online payments make accounting easier
Track online payments in real time. Depending on what payment processor you choose, this grants you the flexibility you need in your reporting and helps prevent human error.
If you decide to accept online payments, make sure that your system allows customized prepayment options or the ability to send online invoices. eSoft Planner automates these processes with a simple, user-friendly interface. You can’t cut down on administrative costs if clients continually call in asking how to use the software!