Nov 26, 2018
In the tutoring world, it’s an unfortunate reality that getting paid can be a challenge. Because of the split-client nature of the business (the tutor works with the student, but more often than not it’s the parent making payments), there can be room for confusion, and letting late payments slide can quickly become a habit that hurts your bottom line. In fact, 75% of tutors say that they’ve been a victim of late payments—or of not getting paid at all.
The good news is that there are a few easy steps you can take to protect yourself, whether from clients who try to stiff you on purpose or those who just get busy and forget.
1. Set policies at the start of the tutoring relationship
Establishing clear ground rules at the beginning of any business engagement is key. Let clients know your policies upfront (along with the consequences of not following them) to set expectations and give your company an extra level of protection if clients don’t uphold their end of the deal.
2. Accept credit card payments
Take cash out of the equation and your payment system becomes leaps and bounds more secure. Accepting credit cards from clients lets you keep a method of payment on file that you know is authorized and valid, whether students pay session-by-session or purchase prepaid packages.
3. Send formal invoices
Formal invoices are key to good accounting. They enable you to track what payments have been made and are still outstanding, and are a professional and official reminder to clients that money is due. They’re also a place where you can restate your policies around payment to clear up any confusion.
4. Send payment reminders
Like invoices, payment reminders are a good way to keep clients on track without having to have an awkward conversation about overdue tutoring bills. You can send payment reminders when an invoice is close to being due, or afterward if a payment has been missed. Again, these communications are a good place to restate your policies—does a fee apply for late payments? Will future sessions be cancelled until payment is made? Make that clear, and stick to your own policy.
5. Enroll customers in auto-pay
Take the forgetfulness factor out of collecting payment from clients by enrolling them in auto-pay. If you’re set up to accept credit cards like we suggest, you can charge clients at the intervals that you agree to, whether that’s session-by-session, monthly, or in advance for a given period of time.
If you need a hand keeping track of invoices, processing payments, and handling accounting, Clark for Business can help. Our tools track session payments and manage prepaid packages with integrated invoices. And, we keep payment methods on file and handle transactions for you, so no money’s ever exchanged between students and tutors.
Learn more about managing payments with Clark for Business today.