The problem with being a service provider is not knowing when or how much you’ll get paid each week. Practitioners who bill insurance or invoice clients after treatment risk not being fully compensated for their time. Even if you know you’ll be paid in full, it doesn’t feel good wondering when those funds will land in your bank account. Not to mention all the work to keep your books up-to-date. You didn’t choose this profession to be a bookkeeper, yet here you are with that tedious, time-consuming responsibility in your lap.
We get it. You’re busy. You work hard for your money, but you don’t want to work hard to keep track of every sale and payment. Good news: you don’t have to. This article will show you how simple it is to get paid upfront for your services, with little to no effort.
Not knowing when or how much you’ll get paid week to week is often the norm for small business owners. Health and wellness practitioners have their own set of unique payment challenges that are easily overcome with these tips.
Get paid upfront for your services. It’s completely reasonable to require clients to pay at the time of service. When you bill clients for your services, you run the risk of not getting paid or having to wait longer than expected for that payment. The best invoicing process is to not have to send invoices at all, just receipts.
If you bill insurance, there’s no guarantee you’ll be paid in full, and it will take time and effort to get paid at all. Cash-based practices are becoming more common for practitioners who want to set their own rates and have fewer restrictions on how they can treat patients. With a cash-based practice, patients pay for their own treatment at the time of service. Many people are willing to pay out of pocket for PT, OT, and massage for the benefit of a more customized service and more one-on-one time.
Make it easy for people to pay you. Hint: It’s far easier to hand a credit card to your receptionist than it is to get a bill in the mail and make a payment later. If you don’t accept all major credit cards, you should. People expect to be able to use it. Square makes it easy to set up a payment terminal in your clinic.
Accepting gift cards, HSAs, and FSAs also makes it easier for people to pay, who might not otherwise be able to afford your services. Don’t forget about cash. Not many people carry a lot of cash on them these days, but for some that’s still a preferred method. When you offer every option, it’s easier for people to pay on the spot.
Online appointment booking is great. It stops the phone from ringing, while also filling up your schedule. Streamline your appointment booking process by integrating your stripe or square account with your scheduling software. Once you open a merchant account, all you have to do is link it to your scheduling software to accept online payments.
This will allow people to pay for their service before their appointment. Even if you don’t require payment up front, collecting credit card info at time of booking helps enforce your cancellation policy and decrease no-shows.
You can securely store clients credit card information with your merchant account. Whether you collect that info when they book online or when they swipe their card at the checkout counter, you can save it with their permission.
Having credit cards on file makes the checkout process seamless. Who wants to dig through their purse looking for the right card after a massage or a tiring workout with their PT? When you have a card on file, you can take their payment with just a click of a button and a receipt is sent to them automatically. How easy is that?
Selling packages is a great way to increase revenue and get paid in advance. You can bundle several services together to create a package, or you can sell treatment packages of prepaid sessions. This is an underutilized strategy for increasing sales and getting clients to rebook appointments.
When you create a treatment plan for clients, sell them a series of treatments as a package to ensure they follow through. Offering a small discount for packages makes it easier for them to commit. When the sessions are already paid for they will be back! In fact, many therapists will tell you that clients who prepay for sessions come more frequently. That’s a winning strategy.
What’s better than getting paid at time of service? Getting paid in advance. Selling online gift cards is a way to literally make money in your sleep. Run a sale at Christmas time, and just watch your sales explode in the 4th quarter.
If you offer a gift-worthy service, promote gift cards at every holiday. You’ll not only increase sales, you’ll get new clients. Online gift cards are the way to go if you want a convenient, hands-off experience. If you’re not ready to sell online yet, you can download a free gift certificate template that you can sell to clients in-house.
Retaining clients is much easier than attracting new clients. That’s a fact. A single client who returns every month, for years to come can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the revenue from their referrals. That’s why a big part of your marketing budget should be spent on retaining and staying connected to existing clients.
Creating a membership program is an easy way to do that. Many franchises adopt the membership model because it works. Make an offer that clients are willing to pay for every month, like a monthly massage or access to group training classes in your physical therapy practice. Create a contract and sign up form. Collect members credit card info. Then charge it on a set date each month. This is the easiest way to predict future revenue and to ensure payment.
ClinicSense can streamline your entire process from booking appointments, collecting payments, to tracking sales. ClinicSense is practice management software designed to help grow your wellness business with tools that help manage admin tasks and increase productivity. Here’s how it works:
Link your merchant account to ClinicSense. Turn on online booking. When an appointment is booked, an invoice is automatically created for the service. Collect payment information and accept online payments through the secure payment portal. Keep credit cards on file for easy checkout. Want to see how you’re doing? Generate up-to-date sales reports with a click of a button.
Ready to start automating your bookkeeping? Start a free trial of ClinicSense today!