A topic that we see come up a lot in our Facebook Community Groups is monthly vs termly billing. Should you charge members every month, every term, or a different frequency altogether?
If you’re seeking insight into what other club owners are doing, look no further. We’ve reached out to our Community members and asked how they are managing their billing.
Do clubs charge monthly or termly?
The majority of club owners we asked said they charged members monthly (61.9%). The rest charged termly (23.8%), or another frequency (14.3%), such as half-termly or in weekly blocks.
It’s important to note that some clubs charge both monthly and termly. This seems to depend on whether the members are competitive or recreational.
“We charge termly for our non-competitive kids and monthly pro rata for our squaddies.” – Erin Pennthomas, Senior Coach and Club Secretary at Vivace Gymnastics Club
“We do by the term for rec and pre-school, and monthly for squads.” – Claire Hickson, Club Administrator at Darlington Gymnastics Club
Reasons for billing how they do
Club owners who charge monthly feel that this is more manageable for parents as they don’t have to pay a big bill in one go.
“Term time is too much for some parents.” – Bridget Hancock, Membership Administrator at Berkhamsted Gymnastics
Monthly billing can also be easier for the club to manage, especially if you have other monthly outgoings.
“Monthly is so much easier to manage alongside other bills!” – Emily Place, Owner of EP DANCE
“I’ve done both but monthly now… it’s so much easier for everyone!” – Ruth Illingworth, Owner of Jurassic Gymnastics (previously 360air)
Although monthly billing was the most common option, it’s not without its downsides. One of them is the increased amount of admin required to send out bills and chase payments each month.
“I do monthly! However, since I do my invoices manually, I’m considering swapping to half termly since it takes up so much of my time.” – Lucy Kind, Owner of Lucy Kind Dance Academy
This is the main reason why some clubs prefer billing by term or half term.
“I’d rather be teaching than chasing money monthly!” – Susanne Craske, Owner and Teacher at Froggy Legs Swim School
“I bill half termly but I always wonder if there’s a better scenario for cash flow. Monthly puts me off as you get people changing classes.” – Em Redding, Owner of The Emily Redding Dance Academy
Termly billing can also help clubs manage their overheads, with a half termly option to make it easier on parents / members as they can make a 50% payment.
“We chose termly so parents get an option to make full or half payment. That way, we secure the finances for overheads and coaches. Therefore, the budget is done and dusted (usually) by half term. It also makes it easier to spot non-payments.” – Karen Cheesman, Centre Manager at Faversham Community Gymnastics & Activity Centre
How to manage payments
Whether you charge monthly, termly, ask for the money upfront or at different times in the year, an admin management system like LoveAdmin can do the hard work for you.
For example, with LoveAdmin, you can set the maximum number of instalments people can pay by, allow people to set their own instalment dates or define when you want payments to clear by (like the 1st of the month).
You can also set up automatic renewal invites. When it’s time for someone to renew their membership, the system will send out an email. See more about how LoveAdmin can work for you.
By speaking with our communities, we found that monthly billing was the most common way to bill members. This was because it’s:
- Better for members as they can make smaller, regular payments
- Better for clubs as it makes financial planning easier
The downside of monthly billing is that the admin surrounding taking payments occurs every month too. However, this problem is solved by using an admin management system like LoveAdmin to automate tasks. So you can do less admin and more of what you love!
Got a topic you want to discuss? Get in touch on social media or join the conversation in our Facebook Community Groups.
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