5 Ways to Structure Payments for Clients

May 11, 2020

With all that’s going on in the world, your clients and potential clients may require some flexibility on how they can work with you. One of the biggest potential barriers they may be facing right now is their finances. This is a great time to think outside the box when providing payment terms, so you can continue to support your clients and provide the help they need but also maintain and grow your business.

The first thing to consider is the minimum amount you need in order to cover the costs and time associated with offering your services. Firstly, you must set out a plan that allows you to keep your business afloat. Secondly, you must have a solid and positive energy exchange between you and your client, and that comes with you feeling your best. Make sure you don’t set up a payment situation where you feel over-worked and underpaid, or even taken advantage of. Once you’ve got that down, open your mind to some new ideas on how to charge for your services.

We’ve got some ideas to get you started! Here are 5 ways to structure client payments using Practice Better:

1. Pay What You Can

This option will allow the client to choose if they can pay or not, and how much. As long as you are comfortable with the risk of not receiving anything for the service, this may be a great choice. Perhaps you set this up for your offerings that have low overhead, or require little time from you such as a pre-recorded workshop, or piece of content such as an e-book that you’ve repurposed from past materials.

You can set up your service, package, or program to have no payment required at booking, and then link a short form asking them what they would like to pay. From there, you can send them an invoice with that amount, or you could simply process the payment yourself if you’ve asked for their credit card information at booking.

2. Sliding Scale

Another way to provide clients the flexibility to pay what they can afford is to offer a sliding scale. This will give them a range of price options, requiring them to choose one. This is similar to the ‘pay what you can’ option, however, in this case, the client would be required to pay at least the minimum amount. This is a good option if you have services where you aren’t comfortable asking for no compensation, but still want to offer your clients flexibility.

Although Practice Better doesn’t include a true sliding scale payment option for clients, there is a great workaround using the display fee. By changing your displayed fee field to include a price range (ex. $20 – $100), you are essentially overriding your fee amount on your booking page. You can then set up multiple payment plans with deposit amounts that correspond to each payment level you want to offer. Once the client chooses how much they can pay, you can then write off the remaining balance.

3. Payment Plan

Payment plans allow your client to choose which structure works best for them, while still ensuring that you receive full compensation. In this way, payment plans are a fitting option for your high-ticket offerings that demand more of your time and resources. In the end, clients will be paying the same total amount, but you can split it up into customizable intervals or amounts.

Another way to get creative with payment plans is to offer an incentive for paying in full. With this, you could set up a coupon code to offer a discount for clients who are paying the balance upfront. Remember to add a note to your package description or booking page which highlights the discount code – but don’t worry, coupons can only be used on the pay in full option, so clients who choose the payment plan won’t have the option to redeem it.

4. Larger Deposit

If you are worried about clients falling behind on their payments, consider asking for a larger deposit upfront as a safeguard. Requiring a deposit only means that an invoice with the remaining balance will automatically be generated for you to process or send to your client at a later date. If your client is unable to pay on time, at least you’ve received a larger part of the payment upfront to ensure your minimum costs are covered. You could then write-off the balance if needed.

5. Time-Sensitive Offer

Consider offering a discount to clients who sign up for your services within a certain period of time. This supports your clients by offering them your services at a reduced rate and is a great strategy for your business since it encourages the client to commit. This could be something you do once, prior to the launch of a new program or service, or perhaps you even consider running time-sensitive offers for short periods of time, a few times a month.

In Practice Better, set up a coupon code for a percentage or dollar amount off the total price of your service, and set the expiry date. Share the coupon code with your clients and potential clients via your newsletter, social media, or website, and be sure to highlight that this is a time-sensitive offer!

These creative payment options could make all the difference for your clients and may give them more opportunities to work with you right now and long term.

Remember, it’s also important that you feel good about the payment situation. Don’t be afraid to try these out and see which work best for you and your business!

Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.

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