My simple answer is this…
“Market and manage them like you do a gym membership.“
Here’s why and how:
- No more terms! I ask you to challenge yourself; why you need your parents to pay on a term-by-term basis. Sure the kids may still learn on a term-by-term basis but what’s stopping you from billing them over the course of a full year? No need to re-sign them either.
- No more sign-up lines! What a pain! Every term you need to brief the staff, do an advertising campaign, set up a separate enrollment area and have parents queuing for days. Get them to enroll once and you are done.
- Ezy payment solution! Everyone likes to pay things off. Provide your community with an Ezy payment solution to get their children enrolled in swimming lessons. Make paying for a lump sum a lot more affordable with direct debit.
- Add-value! Paying year round for swim lessons that only occur 40 weeks of the year can be a hard sell so ad-value with extra free swimming for the kids or a swim progress book or one or all of the these;
- Swim goggles
- Swim lesson plan / progress / certificate book
- Discount voucher on new swim costume (do a deal with the shop)
- Make-up lessons voucher over 12mths (limit 2 or 3 a year)
- Guaranteed place in holiday intense lessons
- Free swimming (practice time) when not in lessons
- Free parent spectator entry (if charged at your centre)
- Swims voucher for parents (5 or 10 -encourage repeat business)
- Photographic/video pass
By allowing payments on a year round basis, you increase the amount of payment periods available to you and your customer. It also affords you the following selling and marketing abilities that may be unique in your specific area:
- Drop your price but allow you to collect the same amount if not more.
- Increase the amount of sales through a cheaper price perception.
- Create more marketing opportunities.
- Have a no contracts policy. However I would impose a cancellation fee for early exit of a term. Don’t forget you can always replace them.
The benefits are endless:
- Increased Sales
- Increased Revenue
- Better market perception (marketability)
- Huge savings in administration (no more queues each term for renewals)
- Enhanced, smooth cash flow
- Allows for better distribution of human resources
- Better retention