CrossFit Fever GamesManaging a fitness business is a highly rewarding but time-consuming endeavor, especially when it comes to member management and billing. Ask any gym owner and they will tell you they would rather spend their time and energy teaching classes, increasing membership, and building relationships with current members than laboring over a monthly billing spreadsheets and files. Here are five ways that using fitness billing and management software can help you manage your business:

Schedule & Process Automatic Recurring Membership Billing

Nothing is more frustrating than chasing down members every few weeks to collect their monthly dues. Not only is it mentally taxing, but late payments affect cash flow. An easy way to overcome this issue is to set up automatic recurring payments. No more asking for payments! Have your members provide a credit card at the start of their membership and set-up a monthly payment schedule on the spot. Most software will also email automatic pre-notifications or receipts of the automatic monthly payment.

Collect & Process ACH/EFT Direct Debit Membership Payments

If you are looking for an even more cost-effective way to collect monthly membership dues, consider setting up and accepting ACH payments using an ACH transfer. An ACH transfer is an electronic funds transfer (EFT) that automatically debits your member’s dues from their bank account each month. Setting up an ACH transfer is as easy as having members bring in a voided check and signing up for recurring payments with you. Once you input their bank account and routing number into your online management software, their monthly dues will be automatically debited on the day of your (or their) choosing. Where a credit card transaction rate on a $30 payment might cost you $1, at only 55 cents per transaction, ACH payments can be a very cost effective solution.

Track Monthly Membership Payments & Accounts Receivable Revenue

Now that you’re automatically collecting monthly membership dues and one-time payments, you need a way to track and manage your income stream. Any fitness management software worth their weight will have an interactive dashboard that gives you the ability to monitor your cash flows in real-time. Simply log in every night (or while you’re eating lunch or waiting for a bus – depending on how often you like to see those payments come in!) to see how many payments were processed that day, how many are planned for tomorrow, and if you had any failed payments. Your life is busy; management software will give you time to breathe and enjoy your business again.

Sell Merchandise Using an iPhone Application and Mobile Credit Card Swiper

From martial arts uniforms to CrossFit shirts to yoga mats, most fitness businesses sell some type of merchandise at their facility. Can your business accept credit cards on-the-spot? Or, even better, accept credit cards on-the-spot AND connect the transaction to your customer’s existing account? Make sure your software provider has mobile credit card swipe capability so you can ramp up your merchandise sales and generate a new monthly income stream. A smartphone application and mobile credit card reader lets you easily collect and process payments right on your phone.

Manage & Store Member Information Securely in “The Cloud” Instead of on Your Computer

Strong member relationships ensure long-lasting clients. Make sure you can securely manage all your member information in one place. There’s nothing worse than erasing that all-important spreadsheet or miss-placing a file or note. Even more important, if your business has children or youth memberships, you need a way to safely store parental contact info, drop-off and pick-up schedules, as well as allergy and medication info. Just enabling customers to pay automatically without asking for a check or credit card information each month will make you the most convenient yoga class in the neighborhood!

This article was originally published on the PaySimple blog.

Image Credit:
CrossFit Fever Games by CrossFit Fever, on Flickr