The StudioBridge Blog
Ask any successful dance studio or music studio owner of a large, thriving studio about how they grew their studio and more often than not, you’ll hear them mention something about studio billing software. Tuition is the lifeblood of any studio. As so, it’s important for you as a studio owner to do whatever is necessary to streamline your billing process by fully automating it. Our team has worked with numerous studios to help them fully automate their billing with studio billing software. Here are our top 5 reasons to help you see why you should never manually bill your families again.
Before we get into the advantages of automating your tuition payments in your studio, we wanted to clearly define what we mean by “automated (or automatic) studio billing software,” as well as the definitions of “manual” vs. “automated” billing:
By far the most important advantage to automating your tuition payments is an increase in income for your studio. Now, at first that may sound like a stretch. But there are actually several practical ways that you can increase your income simply by automatically billing your families. Studies have shown that the average studio increases their overall income by at least 10% within the first few months. So, let’s say your studio is generating $15,000/month in income. You might be able to see an increase of $1,500/month just by automatically billing your families! Here’s how the increase happens:
No matter how many different reasons there might be out there for studio owners getting into the business of running a studio, we’ve never heard this one: “so I can charge and collect money from my students.” You’ve no doubt had the awkward “this amount is due (or past due)” conversation at the end of countless lessons and classes that you’ve taught. When you are in charge of manually billing and collecting money from your families, you are not only the teacher, but you also have to be “the tax man,” so-to-say. No matter how you look at it, you hate doing it and it’s awkward. With fully automated billing, you never have to have that awkward conversation again. With your studio running 100% on fully automated billing, you can now focus on building trust with your students as their teacher (or just the studio owner) – and not “the person to whom I owe money.” It’s a huge difference. The best part about it is that anything having to do with money can be blamed on the system! Separate yourself and who you are as a person from billing entirely by automating your tuition payments.
Believe it or not, your families will actually prefer the ease of getting automatically billed for their classes and lessons each month. When a family is manually billed every month, the amounts can often change (due to human or staff errors, and other factors). Families hate the inconsistency. If you are still manually taking checks, cash, and manual in-person card payments in your studio, it’s just a hassle for families to have to remember and deal with it every time they show up at your studio. All it takes is for one instance of a forgotten card or checkbook, or a bounced or lost check, and your families now have to remember to bring payment next time they see you. Our studio owners tell us overwhelmingly that families largely prefer being billed automatically for classes and lessons each month. It saves time all around and will make for smoother relationships with your studio families overall.
Time is money. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 100 times. This one is pretty simple. Studio owners spend 5-7 hours on average manually billing their clients. With an average lesson or class being billed at $50-$60 per hour, that’s over $250 per month saved just by automating your tuition payments. Most studio owners don’t value their own time. Don’t be one of them! Not to mention – imagine the fun (non work-related) things you could do with those 5 hours every month!
As most studio owners know, staff turnover is high. It’s hard to find good people that will stay loyal and get their work done on time. Billing and posting tuition can often be the majority of what a studio admin or assistant might spend his or her time on each day. By using software to automatically bill your families, you can significantly reduce the need for an admin or assistant in your studio. Automated billing does not require time-wasting interviews and it also presents no additional security concerns for your studio. Turnover is low with software because it always does what you tell it to do.
Family balances. Overdue tuition. Late fees. “Tax collector” phone calls. Badgering. Headaches. Late payment emails going un-responded to. Lost revenue and income. Unfortunately, these are all things that come to mind when you think of “overdue tuition,” or the amount of money that goes unpaid or late in your studio each month. Fully automating your tuition payments completely removes the concept of both late fees and overdue tuition, reducing all of the above headaches to only one item to keep up with, and that’s declined credit cards. And even then, most quality fully automated billing systems will automatically retry declined credit cards, or at least make it easy to see which ones declined. No more badgering. No more phone calls. No more late fees to calculate or worry about. With fully automated billing, every family can be required to have payment info on file, and then required to pay in advance for classes and lessons…automatically. This means that no fees are even able to be “late.” There’s no such thing! Imagine that – no late fees or delayed tuition payments for your entire studio!
Manually billing your families for classes and lessons (even by manually “posting fees” at the end of the month through software) is a thing of the past. It’s outdated and overused. It’s time to grow your studio by putting your billing on auto pilot with fully automated tuition payments.
StudioBridge is the only studio billing software for dance studios and music studios offering true 100% fully automated billing, scheduling and registration. To learn more or to schedule a demo of what automatic billing would look like for your studio, use the “Schedule a Demo” button at the top of this page!