FEES!!

Certainly a stress for many dance studio owners. Always best not to take it personally. I don't imagine Mr Telstra or Ms AGL are getting upset when their customers don't pay on time. They just implement a system and take action one step at a time to maximise the rate of payment without alienating the customer to the point of them taking their business elsewhere.

Email is best. It's professional and avoids confrontation. However if email is ignored after 3 times, it's important to call - just incase the emails aren't being received, and also because some customers will respond with more urgency when faced with the awkwardness of a direct phone call from the owner. Phone calls take time though, so system of emails that are sent out at fixed intervals is an efficient way to *hopefully* get most customers payments in before having to resort to other measures.

Remember it is us as the owners of the business and the directors of our dance schools to SET FIRM EXPECTATIONS. People get away with what they can get away with. What stops you from ignoring your phone bills? The fear of your phone getting call restrictions. What makes you pay your electricity bill? The fear of coming home from work one day to a house with no power. Consequences are important.

Some studios use the threat of late fees as incentive to make their customers pay on time. Others question the legality around this. Some insist on full payment before a child even steps foot into class each term or month or whatever billing period you use. Others accept payment by week three of that term (which can quickly become week 8).

I'd love to know more about what everyone else's fees policies and procedures are. Write about them in the comments so we can learn what is working for others.

And here are 4 copy & paste emails that you are welcome to use / adapt etc.

FEES EMAIL #1:

Dear [PARENT NAME]

Please find your invoice attached, for classes at [STUDIO NAME] for Term One. Payment is now due. For your convenience we accept several methods of payment: (delete the ones that don’t apply)

Cash or card at reception. We are open [RECEPTION HOURS]


Internet transfer into our account - you will find our account details at the bottom of your invoice. Please be sure to use your child’s full name as the reference for the transfer so that we can reconcile the payment with your account


Online through the payment portal of [STUDIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE]


We appreciate prompt payment and thank you in advance for paying by the due date. [WRITE SOMETHING EXCITING HAPPENING THIS TERM AT YOUR STUDIO]

eg. This term we are working on our new dance routines for the upcoming concert, and the students are very excited to show their friends and families how much they have improved this year. Our teachers are so proud of the dedication, hard work and awesome progress being demonstrated across all of our classes this year. We are really enjoying the energy in class.

If you need help understanding your invoice, or you believe that there is an error, please contact us on [CONTACT DETAILS].

Kind regards, [NAME] [TITLE] [STUDIO NAME] FEES REMINDER #1: Dear [PARENT NAME]

Please find your invoice attached - for classes at [STUDIO NAME] for Term One. This is a friendly reminder from our office that payment was due on [DATE IT WAS DUE] and is now overdue. Please arrange payment ASAP. For your convenience we accept several methods of payment: (delete the ones that don’t apply)

Cash or card at reception. We are open [RECEPTION HOURS]


Internet transfer into our account - you will find our account details at the bottom of your invoice. Please be sure to use your child’s full name as the reference for the transfer so that we can reconcile the payment with your account.


Online through the payment portal of [STUDIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE]


We would appreciate immediate payment, so that your account with us can be up-to-date by the end of this week. Thank you for your urgent attention regarding this overdue invoice.

If you need help understanding your invoice, or would like to discuss this with one of our team, please contact us on [CONTACT DETAILS].

Kind regards, [NAME] [TITLE] [STUDIO NAME] FEES REMINDER #2: Dear [PARENT NAME]

Please find your invoice attached - for classes at [STUDIO NAME] for Term One. This is your second reminder from our office that payment was due on [DATE IT WAS DUE] and is now overdue. Please arrange payment ASAP as a matter of urgency.

For your convenience we accept several methods of payment: (delete the ones that don’t apply)

Cash or card at reception. We are open [RECEPTION HOURS].


Internet transfer into our account - you will find our account details at the bottom of your invoice. Please be sure to use your child’s full name as the reference for the transfer so that we can reconcile the payment with your account.


Online through the payment portal of [STUDIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE].


We require immediate payment, so that your account with us can be up-to-date by the end of this week. Thank you for your urgent attention regarding this overdue invoice.

If you need help understanding your invoice, or would like to discuss this with one of our team, please contact us on [CONTACT DETAILS].

If you are experiencing financial hardship and would like to request a payment plan, you can email [CONTACT DETAILS]. Kind regards, [NAME] [TITLE] [STUDIO NAME] FEES REMINDER #3: Dear [PARENT NAME] ***FINAL NOTICE*** This is your third and final reminder from our office to let you know that payment was due on [DATE IT WAS DUE] and is now [AMOUNT OF TIME] OVERDUE. Please arrange payment ASAP as a matter of urgency.

We have attached another copy of your invoice for classes at [STUDIO NAME] for Term One.

Payment can be made: (delete the ones that don’t apply)

Cash or card at reception. We are open [RECEPTION HOURS].


Internet transfer into our account - you will find our account details at the bottom of your invoice. Please be sure to use your child’s full name as the reference for the transfer so that we can reconcile the payment with your account.


Online through the payment portal of [STUDIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE].


We require immediate payment, so that your account with us can be up-to-date by the end of this week. Thank you for your urgent attention regarding this overdue invoice. As per the terms and conditions of your enrolment


[INSERT THE SECTION FROM YOUR TERMS AND CONDITION ABOUT PAYMENTS RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDING IN THE CASE OF NON-ATTENDANCE AND FAILURE TO NOTIFY OF CANCELLATION].

If you are unable to make FULL PAYMENT today, please contact us URGENTLY on [CONTACT DETAILS] so that we can discuss a payment plan and make arrangements to get the account finalised ASAP so that your child doesn’t forfeit their spot in their classes. If payment is not received within the next 72 hours and we don’t hear from you, we will have no choice but to take action by outsourcing this matter to our debt collection agency [NAME OF PREFERRED DEBT COLLECTION COMPANY], which will incur additional costs to you.

Kind regards, [NAME] [TITLE] [STUDIO NAME]

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