Tag Archives: Membership Agreements

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Tired of Asking for Money? Why Membership Agreements Are a Must for a Members-Based Business – Steve Giroux

By Steve Giroux

privacy policy graphicI often hear membership business owners make the case for not using membership agreements. I’m always willing to hear them out, but always end up strongly advocating the opposite. You see, without membership agreements in place, and more importantly student commitment, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today … running a successful business.

Here I’ll cover the most common objections I’ve heard from business owners throughout the years — and I’ll speak my case … why I strongly believe in making membership agreements a staple in your business.
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How Membership Agreements Turned My Business Around – Steve Giroux

By Steve Giroux

describe the imageThis January marks 15 years of owning Giroux Bros. Martial Arts. It’s been an unbelievable journey to say the least. It amazes me that I even survived the first three years jumping in blind and knowing absolutely nothing about operating a small business. On top of that, I had no money and no credit. The lessons I’ve learned over the years from running my Martial Arts studio are priceless and will continue to help me as an entrepreneur forever.

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Term Vs. Ongoing Memberships – Which is Best for a Martial Arts Business? – Korbett Miller

By Korbett Miller

Client Question: I”m hearing that a lot of school owners are tossing the term contracts and going with 60-day rights to cancel. The driver behind this trend is to preserve long-term relationships. If a member leaves, the chance of their returning increases with a smooth exit. Also, most businesses don”t enforce the collections and/or court actions anyway. What are you seeing or hearing? What are the pros and cons of going with what is essentially a month-to-month membership type with a required notice of cancellation?

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6 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Membership Business – Michael Connor

By Michael Connor

sales_upWhen it comes to business valuation, you may be thinking: “Why should I even care about having a business valuation? I’m nowhere near retirement or looking to sell my business.”

While business valuation helps to circumvent “price shock” near the time of the sale, valuation isn’t just for retirement and planning your exit strategy. Smart business owners make the valuation process part of forward planning. Understanding the value of your business today will help you make informed decisions that positively impact the success of your business in the future.

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Best-Practice Tip: Go Paperless with Your Membership Agreements – Kristie Rhodes

By Kristie Rhodes

ShredderTechnology can reduce an extraordinary amount of paper, and at the same time, help preserve the environment. That is just one of the reasons why we strongly advocate entering your membership agreements online through our Online Contract Entry Tool.

By entering your agreements online, you’ll also save yourself a ton of time and eliminate delays in processing due to missing or illegible information. The Entry page is very easy to use, walking you through the steps with field descriptions and explanations throughout. The tool also confirms contract terms and validates your pricing data to prevent entry errors.

Perhaps the best benefits for you as a business owner, is that you will significantly reduce your operational overhead and secure your data by moving to online contract entry. No longer storing boxes of paper contracts and documents can save you thousands of dollars. And, if there was ever a catastrophe ― a fire or flood — you can rest assured knowing all your member information is safe and secure at Member Solutions.

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Membership Contracts: How to Properly Respond to Formal Complaints – Margo Stauffer

By Margo Stauffer

HandshakeA written billing agreement ― otherwise known as a membership contact — is a standard business document used by many membership-based businesses. Every day, Martial Arts schools, fitness clubs, yoga and Pilates studios, and MMA gyms establish agreements with their members. The membership business offers classes, lessons, equipment, and/or training in exchange for payment from the member. Through the membership contract, the member agrees to use services provided by the business and pay for them at an agreed price under certain terms and conditions.

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How You Handle Membership Cancellations Is Just as Important as How You Handle New Enrollments

By Margo Stauffer

Canceled20% of all calls that come into the Member Solutions‘ call center revolve around customer cancellation inquiries. It can be the most challenging type of call. A member has stopped attending class, has stopped making payments and wants out of the membership agreement.

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Membership Contracts: Do Your Agreements Include Standard & Material Terms? – Andrew Kasmen

By Member Solutions

g--marketing-blog-all_blog_images-tandc_istock_000018355578xsmallIn an earlier blog post I discussed a number of contract issues which could lead to problems in your customer relationships (See: Membership Contract Issues to Keep In Mind). However, well before you reach those potential pitfalls, you should know that the contract you are presenting to a customer is a valid, enforceable, legal document containing all of the required “bells and whistles.” What must or should be included in the contract? This article we will examine the “bells and whistles” that make up a valid, enforceable, legal contract.

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Contracts or No Contracts? … That is the Question – Allie Alberigo

By Member Solutions

g--marketing-blog-all_blog_images-yes_no_istock_000016901711xsmallTo many Martial Arts school owners, using membership contracts is the only way to do business: to others, the word “contract” is feared like the plague.

When I began teaching Martial Arts in the early 80’s, the very thought of having yearly contracts was taboo. The talk among owners was much different back then. If you had binding agreements as did health spas and clubs you were “selling out” as a commercial school. This mentality amazes me to this day! The truth of the matter is that if you charge a single penny for your services, you are, in fact, commercial. So, why not be professional about it? However, the question still arises in a school’s business planning: “Contract or no Contract?”

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The Importance of Using Student Membership Agreements – Barry Van Over

By Member Solutions

We often try to think of the fastest, quickest way to get new students, but what we don’t often think of is the information we forget we need to make their experience as pleasant as possible. The way to do this is to provide the best service we can while teaching our classes, and to make their experience as smooth and convenient as possible when dealing with our billing company or any other companies involved with our school’s contract agreements.

It is important for every successful Martial Arts school to have contract agreements for several reasons. The most important being, COMMITMENT! Signing your students to an open ended agreement is not recommended for cash flow. These are not contracts you can rely on for monthly income because they can give a thirty day notice, and cancel any time. Open ended agreements also hold no outstanding balance value for your school, which will highly decrease your chances of ever getting any type of loan to remodel or open another location. Also, open ends usually can not be sent to any type of further collection efforts once they have defaulted three or more months.

Using term memberships gives you the commitment you need from your students to give you some type of projected total for your cash plan to budget out your month. It will also give you an outstanding balance and give value to your school for bank loans or if you wanted to sell your location. Their commitment also allows you to better monitor their program for upgrades and renewals, so your students don’t just fall off of your outstanding balance by expiring. You must make sure you are effectively filling out your contracts to insure there is no delay in processing, and you have all of the correct information needed for follow up.

Here are some tips to help with contract procedures:

  1. When filling out a membership agreement, make sure it is legible. If you’re unable to read it, nobody else will be able to. Make sure you get all of the addresses, and phone numbers required, so that you are provided with good contact information to include your students in your mail outs, e-mails, and attendance follow-ups.
  2. The most common mistake is the payments do not equal. Make sure when you submit a contract that the total monthly amount times the term equals the note balance. You would be surprised how many contracts are calculated incorrectly.
  3. Make sure the responsible party signs the contract. If they do not sign it, you may find yourself refunding the entire agreement.
  4. Always try to attach a voided slip for the checking and savings, or credit card information. It is so easy to transpose numbers. This will give accurate banking information to input and avoid delays.
  5. Make sure all of your dates are correct, i.e. begin date, expiration date, and first due dates.
  6. The most important: Have some type of renewal information. I suggest once the term expires, roll it over. This way if your staff has not yet worked the student for an upgrade, they will not fall off your monthly income, and will buy you some time to get them to renew. The other option would be to send them a renewal form around thirty days prior to their expiration date. This will not automatically renew them, so if they do not fill it out, you will lose the income once it expires.

Whether you are keeping track of your contracts yourself, or submitting them to a billing company like Member Solutions, you must have some type of verification process. You must make sure that your contracts are being entered in correctly, and that they are paying you on time. Term contracts are the best way to put some value into your school, build up your contract amounts, and make sure you are verifying the information is correct. Once you have built so much value in your school, make sure you are not jeopardizing your receivables by selling your paper, or cashing out too many agreements at one time.