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WEBINAR (Transcript included) – Grow Your Profits without Raising Fees or Signing Up New Students

By clubworx | Jun 06, 2016

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Watch the webinar here:

Payments Webinar: How to Grow Your Profits without Raising Fees or Signing Up New Students

[Start 0:00:00]


Hi! Welcome to the Clubworx webinar, How to Grow Your Profits without Raising Fees or Signing up New Students.

I’m Emily Smart, the CEO of Clubworx, and I’ve got Matt McGown here who is going to be my copilot for the webinar and moderator for any questions. If you do have any questions for us, just raise your hand and send them through, and we will address them at the end.

Just before we start, I want to give you a quick background on Clubworx for those of you who haven’t heard of us before. Clubworx is an online martial arts management software platform that helps martial arts studios all around the world to streamline and manage their day-to-day admin, so they can get back to doing more of what they love, which is training students and their community.

A little about me, I have been CEO of Clubworx for the past two years. Prior to that, I have always worked with small business, specifically fitness businesses with payments in mind as a national sales manager for PaymentHub, which is a payments company in Australia. That’s just a little bit about me and my background and why I’m going to be talking about automated payments with you today.

Today, we are going to be talking about ways to grow profits at your school or dojo, and I know what you’re thinking… you’ve probably heard this before, and there’s a lot of standard advice out there about how to do this. Typically, you’re going to be told to try and grow your membership base and get more students, raise the prices for your tuition fees, and reduce your expenses. All of these are definitely ways that you can increase your profits.

But today, what we’re going to be actually talking about is a little bit more simple than that, so there’s some good news there. We’re going to show you how we can grow your profits simply by implementing the right systems and processes in your business so that you can ensure that you are collecting all the fees currently owed to you by your existing student base.

These schools are run by really experienced teachers, masters, and coaches and they do provide a valuable service. But for a variety of reasons, they’re just not getting paid, and the result is that they’re losing thousands of dollars each month and each year potentially.

We’re going to look at the automated payment process and automated payment systems, and the really cool thing about that is just sort of going back to what we spoke earlier is that when you do have those in place, you will work faster because you will be able to sign up students more easily. It is more simple or easy to adjust your fees. If you need to, put those up in the future or adjust them, that’s something that you can actually facilitate without too much pain. And of course, you have more information about what you are collecting and what you forecast to collect in payments, so you can make more informed decisions about what you are spending money on as a business.

Before we jump into the how to’s of managing this process, I just want to go through some of the reasons why a lot of really great businesses do find themselves in the position of losing money.  The number one reason is that they’re not collecting the fees that are owed to them. This comes about because you are collecting your fees through lots of different systems. You may be collecting cash; you may have some people who have transfers that they organize with their bank back to you, but it’s not something that you control. Your customers may be paying by e-payments or point of sale, or something that we do see a lot of is IOUs that are all over the place. There’s a disparate number of systems that are being used, and reconciling all of those payments becomes very difficult on a month-to-month basis.

Some businesses we speak to have simply stopped trying to track their payments because they are across so many different systems. And it does become almost intimidating to have a look up the payments status of members when it is so much work. They just don’t follow up on those failed payments and they’re writing them off because basically the work in identifying these missing payments is too difficult.


The final reason that we’ll look at is around basically to do with students missing classes one week, using those classes in another week. A lot of people have a certain number of classes that they will allocate to a student per week or per month and then navigating how that is managed once you’ve missed a class and trying to use makeup classes can often become really complicated, hard to manage, very busy, and often it just gets fall by the wayside. Often it just falls by the wayside.

There is often a misconception that you will just get away with a few write-offs here and there, but ultimately it does catch up with you.

The truth is that a lot of these things do happen because many schools are run with just one or two people, so that’s a lot on everyone’s plate every day so things do become difficult to track. You do deal with a range of different demographics in your martial arts community and simply trying to be accommodating to those can result in making allowances that may not be the best for your business.

Ultimately, your job is to train students, and many people didn’t get into the business for the administration side of the business. It’s more to be involved with the students be on the mats training and working with them. But ultimately, the truth of it is you can’t train and support your students through your practice and your school without a healthy, stable, and sustainable business model, and so that’s what we’re really going to take about today. The good news is it’s not too hard to build that if you don’t already have it or to make it better if you’re on your way.

Now that we’ve had a look at what the problem is and how people get into that situation, we’re really going to go through how to make automatic payments work.

Obviously as Clubworx, we’re going to show you how you can do this through the Clubworx in our integrated payment providers, but the process really is the same and can be applied universally. Ultimately, you’ll be able to go out and choose the club management system that suits your needs and just ensuring that you have all the pieces in the right place, and this is to show you what your day-to-day admin of payments could look like if you did have those payments automated and working in a system for you.

Here’s how it works in Clubworx. Again, if you have any questions, please send those through.

Clubworx integrates with, a number of payment providers, so we have Ezidebit in Australia, Bluefin payments across Canada and the US, and Stripe payments that work globally. What I’ll show you today is we’re just going to walk through jumping into Clubworx, linking your Clubworx account with Stripe payments as an example, and then showing you how you can set those payments or recurring payments up for a student.

Let’s just jump straight in and take a look.

The first thing we’ll do is link our Stripe Payments up, and you’ll see here at Clubworx, it is made quite simple. From within your Clubworx account, you’ll be redirected. You can actually create your own Stripe account on the fly, or if you have an existing Stripe account, you can actually link that to your Clubworx account, so it makes it just really, really simple. For the purpose of today, we’re just going to link this to an existing Stripe account.

As you can see, with a couple of clicks there, we’ve been able to link the external Stripe account or the existing Stripe account to your Clubworx. Now that’s happened, any payments that we scheduled through Clubworx will be automatically processed through the Stripe engine.

Let’s take a look at the basic process of taking a student and applying some payments and seeing how we would manage those going forward.

We will take a look at Matt Montgomery. In Clubworx, all payments are tied to memberships so we’ll go down here. Again, you do need to get a system that allows you to set up memberships the way that you work, so if you have recurring memberships, so if you have punch passes, these are all things that Clubworx allows you to set up. We’ve got a few preset memberships here, and I’m going to set Matt up on an adult monthly membership, so that’s a recurring payments each month.


You can see because we’ve preset these memberships, it’s pre-filling here, get to choose your access, choose your membership start dates, as you need. We’re just going to let this start today. You can see here it’s $40 recurring once a month, so we’ll just save that in.

Now that we’ve set the membership against Matt, you can see he’s an active member. I mean we can go across to his payments tab and if we open up this payments window here, what Clubworx allows you to see is up to 12 months of payment in advance, so that you can start to see and forecast what you’re recurring revenue will be over the coming months as well as understand what you collected.

With Stripe connected basically, each of these payments will be processed automatically on their due dates, so you can see the very first payment here is for the 26th of May for $40 and that will run through automatically.

One of the important things about having a system that is integrated with the payment provider is to make sure that it also provides you with some flexibility. While it’s great to be automated, you still need to be able to accommodate students if things change. For example, if one of the students decide that they’d like to pay in cash on one of these days, it would be nice to accept that and you can with Clubworx, you can at least mark something as paid manually and that allows it to be marked off and will not be processed automatically.

Likewise, if you are looking to waive fees for one of the students for a month, with Clubworx, you can skip that month’s payments. We’ll actually just skip it, so that’s skipped.

Again, every payment has a status. You can see what is not paid and what now skipped one now has paid, and one now has skipped, so it’s really simple but it’s lets you be that little bit more flexible and that’s a lot of what you find in Clubworx in particular is around letting you be flexible with your students.

Now while automating payments, we do talk about the collection of payments. The other side of that is that ultimately every now and then payments will not be successful and that’s to do with insufficient funds, bank accounts changing. There’s a lot of different reasons why an automated payment might not be successful, so it’s also as important as it is to automate the payments, it’s really important to have reports and systems that help you manage the failed payments without causing too much extra admin.

What Clubworx allows is apart from the member view of the payments, you also get an overview across the whole school of all students’ payments and again we can set that window out.

We can also filter by status, so status becomes really important at any time you can filter down to just see your failed payments and of course here we’ve got none. You may wish to only see paid payments and you can do all that and manage all that through the filters.

Again you can see that’s just really simple to do.  It doesn’t take a lot of training or a lot of time to achieve. That gives you that granular view.

What Clubworx also offers is a few financial reports; in particular just around managing failed payments is a debtors reports, so that’s a rolled-up view of all the students in your school and the number of payments that have failed for those. If you do have some serial defaulters, you’ll be able to see that straightaway here, and it’s a really great bird’s eye view of your system, students and their payments, and helps you manage those pretty quickly or at least lets you highlight any problem students really quickly.

That’s a little bit about how simple it can be.

If you ask somebody who does manage your payments manually, collects cash, uses multiple systems, and you’re watching this, the thing that’s probably standing out to you is that by having a system like Clubworx or any system out there that can help you with this, that is integrated with the payment provider and does automate your payments, you’re no longer chasing say you have 500 payments a month that you’re chasing, you’re no longer chasing those. You are really only managing the exceptions, and those exceptions are those failed payments. You’re managing a handful of payments every month and so it becomes really obvious just how much time you can save each month.


That’s the big takeaway from what we’re showing here today and where the real timesaver is. Apart from collecting your payments on time every time, you’re all saving a lot of time in your day-to-day processes.

Hopefully, some of the some of the things you’ve gone through today have been helpful and maybe made you think a little bit more about how you’re managing your dojo or school.

Obviously, if you don’t have any questions, and you want to speak to us directly, you can contact us at [email protected], and we will be more than happy to discuss your situation and how we can help you as well.

[End 0:15:48]




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