Personal trainers are in a highly competitive service business that presents its own range of special challenges. As a trainer, you might find yourself spread thin between visiting clients with sessions in their homes and meeting clients for workouts in various gyms, not to mention keeping up with the latest fitness and nutrition trends. As a result, the bookkeeping for your business may be suffering. That’s where payment processing for personal trainers and gyms can give you a competitive edge.
Provide Several Ways for Your Clients to Pay
None of us loves paying bills, but people are much more likely to do so in a timely fashion if they have a range of ways to pay and if the process is simple and straightforward. When you sign up with a merchant provider, your customers gain access to several ways to fulfill their financial obligations to you.
If you have an internet-based payment terminal, you can provide customers with a number of payment options including credit and debit cards, e-check, by phone or even by fax. In the end, your client is happy because the billing process is so seamless, and you win because you receive your money quickly and easily without needing to have an awkward conversation.
Another choice that merchant account providers furnish to personal training businesses involves upfront versus recurring payments. With upfront payments, the client is forced to pony up the entire cost of all upcoming sessions in one single payment. This can often be daunting and can lead a person to buy fewer sessions than they might have if the charges were more manageable. In addition, when the sessions are done, customers often do not renew.
A second way of financing is to allow people to pay on a recurring basis, providing smaller payments on a pre-agreed time schedule, usually automatically withdrawn from a credit or debit card account. This method spreads out the financial burden for the consumer and gives you a steady and dependable source of revenue over a longer period of time. You can ask your merchant provider about enabling you to bill in a variety of frequencies and even on the day of the week of your choice.
Customizable Solutions to Match Your Business’ Needs
Whether you are just starting out and have five clients or you have a flourishing enterprise with a staff working for you, there is a merchant account that can fit your company’s needs. Once you become acquainted with a merchant account provider that you trust, you can begin to tailor your website. Include a payment portal that makes billing easy, and be sure to prominently feature your complete list of services so that your new and existing customers have a comprehensive idea of what you have to offer. Consult with your merchant account provider to be sure that you understand all of the features available to you so that you can select the ones that can help you run your business more smoothly.
No one wants to be the victim of fraud or a data breach; the damage can be enough to send a fledgling small business straight into bankruptcy. When you sign up with a high-quality merchant account provider, you can expect to have a system that makes data security a priority. Look for one that is PCI compliant, freeing you from the burden of being exposed directly to clients’ sensitive debit or credit card data.
Bring Your Marketing to the Next Level
Marketing is one of the most overlooked yet crucial parts of most fitness businesses. The problem is that mounting a successful campaign requires time and persistence, two things you may not have in huge supply as you scurry from working with one client to the next. Luckily, a good merchant services provider can give you the tools to market your business with far less effort. Imagine having a reliable partner or tool to compile client databases and send out promotions to your loyal customers.
Everyone loves loyalty benefits, so why not set up and implement special promotions for customers who refer others to your business or who have perfect attendance at all of your sessions? Combine what your merchant services provider can do for you with a little social media presence and some positive reviews from your happy customers, and your fitness business can virtually market itself.
Harness the Power of Gift Cards
Did you know that payment processing providers can generate customized gift cards that you can sell to your customers? When you recognize that most people spend more than the amount on the gift card when they redeem it, this is a win-win for you. In addition, gift cards are a very effective way for happy customers to spread the word about your personal training business to their friends and family. So often, the hardest part about becoming physically fit is going to the gym or to a personal trainer for the first time. Gift cards provide huge incentives that can get even the most hesitant couch potato off the sofa.
Your payment processor can also help you pull reports about your sales and what products and services are selling at what times. Is your business slumping when summer comes and more clients are spending time outside with family and friends? Maybe that’s the best time to send an email blast with an enticing boot camp promotion.
After the holiday rush, you might want to take advantage of the New Year’s resolution craze by providing loyal customers with a free aerobics workout included in the purchase of three sessions. When you know where your successes and weaknesses lie thanks to your merchant account software, you truly can make decisions that benefit your business.
As a personal trainer, you might often see clients who have ambitious fitness goals so daunting that they feel paralyzed. Believe it or not, the same thing can happen as you seek to grow your business. Fortunately, a high-quality merchant account provider can give you the tools and support to help strengthen and expand your company. As with becoming physically fit, it takes time, work and persistence, but in the end, you will be glad you put in the effort.