Personal training used to be a cash business. Clients would turn up, get sweaty for an hour, and hand over a bunch of wrinkled £20 notes at the end of the session. Or crumpled $20 bills, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Maybe you’ll hand over an invoice or receipt, but probably not. Maybe you’ve got a safe in the office for all that cash your collecting, but it chances are it just lived in your wallet for a few hours until you got home.
When you’re done training clients it’s time to switch off PT mode and start getting comfy as a DIY accountant, updating your messy spreadsheet with ins and outs and cashflows and expenses and all sorts of numbers you never really intended to master when you qualified as a personal trainer.
It’s all about convenience these days. I don’t even carry cash anymore and I’ve got all my credit and debit cards conveniently linked to a single card in my wallet. If I forget my wallet there’s always Android and Apple Pay to keep me going in most places.
It’s probably time you started thinking about online payments for your personal training business. It won’t just make your life easier but your clients will love the added convenience.
1. Create a convenient experience for your clients
Cash is great, but carrying it around isn’t convenient. My nearest ATM is a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction to the gym. That’s outrageous. That’s like, 1,000 steps. And then 1,000 steps back, and I’m still not even at the gym yet. And now I’m tired.
I could drive, but then I have to pay for parking or memorise the attendant’s route so I avoid getting a ticket. I should drive though, because I’m already late for my PT session. I guess I could just not turn up. That’d be fine. No one would miss me. I’m sure there’s loads of other clients lined up to take my one hour session. It’ll be fine.
Cash is hard work and with an abundance of online payment methods there’s no reason you should force your clients to pay with this old school method.
Services like PayPal, GoCardless, and TrainerSync can make your client’s lives easier by taking online credit card payments. Many can even store their details online so if they forget their wallet the payment can still be made automatically. Just like Uber! There’s something satisfying about ordering a cab on your phone, getting in, getting out, and not having to remember to pay.
In fact, given how convenient and common online payments are these days your clients might expect to be able to pay online, in advance.
2. Take payments in advance and watch your no-show rate drop
We’ve all had a client, or two, or ten, who promise they’ll turn up to next week’s bootcamp with their mates only to never be heard from again. Or the client who turns up 20 minute late and still expects you to train them for a whole hour, totally not giving a crap about the rest of your schedule or other clients who actually turn up on time, ready to train.
Taking payments in advance can drastically decrease the amount of no-shows and cancellations. It won’t eliminate them completely, but when money’s already changed hands clients have an even greater incentive to turn up – they’ll lose money if they don’t. Not you. You’ll be fine. That money’s already in your account because you took payment at the time of booking, not at the end of a sweaty training session.
Good for you.
Setting up online payments with PT software like TrainerSync makes it easy for your clients to send over payment when they book a session with you. You don’t have to limit it to six week, $1,000 packages either. Missing out on $50 a week might not seem like much, but that can very quickly add up.
3. A convenient payment process makes it easy for clients to buy additional services
When clients store their payment details in a secure online payment provider you make it easy for them to buy additional services from you. Just take a look at Amazon’s payment process. Not only do they store your credit card details on their site, they show you related and recommended items when you’re ready to check out. Most of the time, admittedly, it’s trash. But your services are awesome and you should be encouraging your clients to buy more of them.
Setting up online payments with your favourite personal trainer software lets you build completely automated training plans which your clients can simple browse through and purchase. This can be super useful if you’re trying to transition into online personal training, or have some clients who are coming to the end of their one-to-one training package but still want access to your fitness knowledge.