How to Use Payment Options to stop the “Feast or Famine” (and make it easier on your clients)

May 14, 2014

It’s the worst part of being in business for yourself.   The financial instability.

I’ve spent years being totally stressed out and when and where my next payment would come in.

When I was doing more general coaching, I had my clients pay me monthly at the top of the month.  And that last week of the month I would be so stressed out wondering if they were going to continue and pay me the next month.  Mostly they did, but sometimes they didn’t.  It was incredibly stressful, and kept me from building my business because I was so stressed out.

Now, that’s not the case.  I know when my next payments are coming in, and I have eased the feast or famine roller coaster.  There’s a stabilization to my income that I am so grateful for.

I introduce to you, the payment plan.  Seriously, I’ve transformed my business with this two step process.

Step One: Create services that are bundled, not a la carte.
Of course selling coaching monthly on an ongoing basis was stressful.  Neither me or my clients knew what was happening or when we would wrap up our work together.

Now I have a clearly defined scope of service.  It’s very clear what it costs, and what it consists of – and it makes it MUCH easier for my clients to say yes to.  I’ve also got ongoing services available for my clients that want to continue our work together, but those are also sold in bundles.    No open-ended, unclear services around here anymore!

Step Two: Create a payment plan that works for you, AND your clients
This is key, even though you might want to make $500 a month for a $1000 service, that might be too big of a chunk for your clients to part with monthly.  You’ve got to pick a plan that makes it easy for your clients to say yes to.  

I am a big proponent of the 2 week installment plan.

So instead of $500 every 30 days, I would suggest $250 every 2 weeks.  For people with any kind of bridge job, or are still working full time, or themselves have clients they’re collecting payments from, it should fall into different pay periods and be easier on their personal budget than a larger chunk monthly.

The biggest concern with payment plans, is that people can cancel them after they’ve received the information or services.  Which is true, they can.  If this happens in your industry, I suggest you take and run the CC number yourself with a simple solution like square.   Or have a larger deposit with a lower, bi-weekly payment for the rest.

If it’s a monthly payment based on monthly services, I’ve noticed these have a higher rate of being canceled prematurely, because they are essentially paying as they go, which means that if things change and money gets tight, that ongoing payment is going to be the first to be cut.

But if it’s an every 2 week plan, it takes it out of the monthly ‘will they won’t they’ dance.  Your clients have paid more than they’ve used. And thus are way less likely to fall off the map.  It also means that you’re paid faster than monthly installments, even though you’re offering a payment plan.  

If you’ve got a bigger ticket event, like a retreat or summit, and you want to offer payment plans but you have to get the supplies and materials paid for in advance, offer a payment plan, but further in advance.  So they still get to pay it in more reasonable amounts, but you have the final say in when everything is due buy.  So if all payments need to be made by say July 1st, you  open enrollment 3 months ahead of that with a payment plan option.

Paypal makes setting up these payment plans easy, you don’t need to have a paid plan, you can create recurring subscriptions that end after a set amount of recurrences.   You can also run CC numbers yourself with something like square if you want to have more control over it.

It takes a bit of momentum to build your client roster, so that you can spread out their payments and still make good money.  But with solid strategy, marketing and copy (I’ve got you covered!), and of course hustle (you got this!) it’s completely possible.  And so much less stressful, which is what I really want for you.  To run your business not from a place of stress and fear, but from a place of ease and grace.

I’d love to hear how you’re going to stabilize your income! Leave a comment below and let me know how this changed your business.

Put more you in your business

(regardless of your myers-brigg)

2 thoughts on “How to Use Payment Options to stop the “Feast or Famine” (and make it easier on your clients)

  1. Great insight! I do payment plans for my one on one work but I will definitely consider this for some of my premium-priced products moving forward. 🙂

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