Collecting Payment for Classes

This topic contains 11 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Profile photo of Janet Hanseth Janet Hanseth 5 years, 11 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Janet Hanseth
    Janet Hanseth
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    Originally posted by Raven on tribe.net.I generally have worked on the honor system for this. I have the sign in sheet at the front of the studio, students sign themselves in and pay before class. A few times when a student is late they will either walk their payment to me during class real quickly or they will attach it to the sign in sheet. Its worked until recently. I have a student that decided to leave me an IOU on the sign in sheet that I didnt see until after class and she was gone. br/br/How do you handle payments and sign ins?

    #76182

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Wendy on tribe.net.I have a table set up at the entrance to class with everything laid out, including a sheet with instructions for latecomers, and I leave an envelope there for people to put payment in. My classes are usually small enough that I can see if someone doesnt sign in. When I have them working in groups, I usually have a chance to glance at the sign-in to see if everyone has signed in and paid. If they havent, I can intercept them before they leave. br/Leaving an IOU is pretty cheeky, and would not be acceptable to me. Especially with newer students. Sometimes my advanced students may need to buy a new block of classes, but didnt bring payment, in which case Ill let them do it the following week. But those are my true regulars, who I know Ill see again. Thats definitely not the case for everyone.

    #76183

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Sandi on tribe.net.We used to do that at the FC studio, years ago. But as tribal became more popular, our classes grew and it just became a hassle to try to make change, keep people organized and have to remind them to sign in. We now have an admin scheduled to come on L1/L2 nights to get people to sign in, pay, fill out the new student forms, show them where everything is, ring them up for purchases, etc. Its made the teachers job so much easier.br/br/Tho, I suppose not every studio will be able to have an admin come in to help out. What if you had an int/adv student help out? Not sure if that would change their dynamic with the other students, but it could rotate amongst your loyal students. Just a thought.

    #76184

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Raven on tribe.net.Wendy, "cheeky" wasnt exactly the word I was thinking, esp bc this gal is a "professional" dancer in town. But I like the idea of an envelope and instructions. My other class is pretty small and very easy to manage. This one is much larger. The honor system worked well the first 4 weeks but now its probably a good time to get better organized. br/br/Sandi, thats a really good idea too. I do have some of my troupe members at that class. That would probably be helpful. Esp since at the end of class, many of the students will ask me questions and such. This way I could have someone elses eyes keeping the admin stuff straight. I like it. Thanks, ladies!

    #76185

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Hollie Schmidt on tribe.net.You know I have had this trouble also. I got an IOU tons of times and it is "cheeky" and sometimes I have not even had a IOU left....the balls of some people. I call it theft of services....legally that is what it is. Now that I am doing the no drop-in classes for level I, it is awesome because students pay me at the beginning of the session and truthfully this is the first time in 4 years I have not had to ride my students about where is my money for every class, now I did make payment arrangements for a couple of students and that is working. My husband has been after me about making people pay and stop social working people and feeling sorry for their financial status...he says if you cant afford it you dont do it =( I am slowly getting better. It is sad that the honor system does not work....I find it happening with the younger students to mid-twenties.br/br/Now on my other class...I am just doing a drop-in fee so I have set up a table before you enter the studio with a sign-in form and liability waiver and payment is taken there then I hand them a coin belt to wear in class so if you dont have a belt then I know I didnt get paid.....It is killing me doing the coin belt thing but I am hoping some of my more serious students will join my ATS session next go around and the coin belts draw them to the dance so I guess I am selling what makes the public happy and hoping to find a couple of serious students out of it that want to learn ATS....plus if you perform with me I only perform ATS.

    #76186

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.I dont do drop-ins, but sometimes someone who has done one session will ask "I have a friend who wants to try - can she come to the first class of the next session and then decide?" I dont like this, but I will allow it. Sometimes, the friend will say at the end of class "I loved it! Can I just pay you next week for the whole session?" (it is cheaper for the whole session than the drop-in fee), and I will agree, and they will never come again. I dont worry about it too much - I figure that someone who is dishonest like that, I dont want to have around anyway, so its no loss.br/br/I would hold on to that IOU, so next time she comes back, you can greet her at the door with it. 😉

    #76187

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Caroline on tribe.net.Hi Raven, bit the same as Sandi, there is an afternoon set aside for signing up for classes and as there are other dance styles at the studio this works really well. We dont do drop ins and they pay for the whole term (usually 10 weeks) in advance. There is and "early bird" special if they pay prior to commencement of classes or on the sign up day. Then all payments are done prior to class and we can focus on class without interuptions. ALso means dont have to worry about having money on premises etc.

    #76188

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Raven on tribe.net.I did an early registration rate for my Level 1 class and it went really well. I find that many of my students cant pay for more than 4 classes at a time, so I have a class card they can buy. This particular IOU student had paid for and completed the Level 1 but IOUd me for the first class in Level 2. br/br/Im curious about pricing per session. As a general rule, do you charge per session and if a student misses a class or two they lose the fee for that day(s)? Or do you do class cards that expire within a particular time frame so if they miss a class they dont lose the fee? And what would you see as the pros and cons to either approach? Thanks!

    #76189

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.I charge per session. 6 classes = $78. (My classes are 90 mins.) If you pay more than 10 days in advance, you save $10. If you miss a class, you can drop in to one on the other night (I have 2 each of Level 1 and Level 2), but only within the same session - after that, you lose it. Works out to $13/class, less if you pay early bird. If you want to do drop-in (which is what I offer if someone is going on vacation for 3 weeks of a session, for example), it is $15. If you are signed up for one class and want to drop in for a second time that week, it is $10 drop-in. If you sign up for 2 classes per session, it is $120, which works out to $10/class. (The more often you come to class and commit to it, the less you have to pay.) br/br/Benefits of session pricing vs. drop-in:br/ - I have more assurance I can pay my studio rent. I know at the beginning of the session how much money I have coming in (and early bird pricing also helps with this - lots of people want to save that $10, so I have usually more than covered my costs 2 weeks in advance, and then anyone that pays in the last 10 days is bonus).br/ - ATS builds so much on what was taught the week before - I find it easier to teach without having to review as much what weve already done, and can really focus on what we are doing that night.br/ - Students are more committed to coming every week (no lazy "I dont feel like it tonight . . . will skip tonight and go next week) because they want to get their moneys worth. br/br/I think it also helps build relationships in the class when it is the same people for 6 weeks straight. By then they are very chatty with each other before and after class, and I think that for a lot of people, this relationship-building is a large part of what brings them back for a second session, whether they are conscious of it or not.br/br/You can also see how the payment structure works for my students on the registration page of my website: a href=http://www.blackthornbellydance.com/register title=www.blackthornbellydance.com/registerwww.blackthornbellydance.com/register/a

    #76190

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Raven on tribe.net.Wow, Jennifer - your site is gorgeous! I like the idea of a comprehensive page for pricing, refunds, etc. 10 days in advance it a nice idea for a break too. It would free up some time at the beginning of time and then give me an idea of how many students Ill have for each month. Thanks for the info and the link!

    #76191

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.I know! Her site is totally kick ass!

    #76192

    Anonymous

    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Hah, thanks, ladies. Helps when your boyfriend is a graphic/web designer. 😉

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