When I was a personal trainer I thought using cash was the best option because I thought it was going to be easy and I had the money immediately. After a while, I realized that my process was messy and inconsistent. From cancellations to awkward conversations, I have learned that the direct debit process saved me time, money, and I got to be a better personal trainer.
One of the first things I noticed was with cash I started to become an accountant/bookkeeper. I had to keep track of everything from people coming in and out to cash coming in and out. I did not want my life to revolve around trusting that people will show up and with cash, I wanted to make people feel good about themselves and get a good workout in. Changing to the direct debit system saved me from that extra stress because it was an extra thing I had to think about.
The most uncomfortable part of the job is having those unwanted conversations. Saying things such as “ you miss-paid me” or “you owe me this much” was not how I wanted to start or end my session with a client. Not only an uneasy situation, it would waste my time and my clients time dealing with something that should take no time at all. I did not want to ruin my relationship with the client but I needed to make sure I had money flowing in. Small things that I did not realize would occur, happened and it did not make my business the business I wanted it to be.
People have lives, and cancellations are going to happen. So not only do you have a cash flow system that is inconsistent you are in a business that is inconsistent because people are unpredictable. It does not matter how many policies you have or cancellation rates you need it will not make up for what you have lost in the mean-time. Using a debit system, you can charge your clients the correct fee for canceling or attending the session and everything is tracked for you. You are living in the age of technology, use it! You can now focus on the task at hand which is your client getting fit and feeling good about their workout.
Lastly holidays, my personal favourite. You will not be able to make money throughout the holidays because people will cancel. As mentioned before people have a life and will cancel. The holidays are the peak at which people find the excuses to cancel a session which is where we all have been. However, in order for you to keep track of your finances and have the ability to take a holiday yourself changing to a direct debit process is going to make sure either of those things happens. You will have money flowing through and be able to take that wanted holiday.
When owning a business, whether you are a personal trainer or own a shoe store, one has to make changes and not be fearful as to what the outcome will be. Changing your system from a cash system to a direct debit system will save you time and money, which are critical traits in the business. I made the change and I could not have been happier, I saw myself become a better personal trainer through that change which helped me immensely throughout the years in the future.