While individual lessons have generally been paid on amonthly basis, because group classes have set schedules and durations, the most common form of payment has been "Up Front", or a deposit and balance at first class.
Recently, in the music studio management world, there has been a lot of interest in moving classes (not just private lessons) to a monthly payment business model. It turns out it can have a very positive effect on your studio business, especially if you combine it with the benefits of a good management system.
We at YourVirtuoso have combined a few existing features with a new one to handle this requirement:
- Auto Payment Processing
- Monthly Tuition Fees
- Payment Notification Emails
- Website flexible fee display
- Classes run for a full School year (typically Sept. to May)
- Payment is primarily on a monthly basis (a deposit is also possible)
- Enrollment can happen at any time (but is concentrated in the months leading up to Fall start of classes)
- Pick your session dates and prices based on your costs and business needs. For example:
- If your tuition for 32 weeks needs to be about $450, and two sets of materials about $130, your total price for the year will be $580
- If you start in September and finish in May, YourVirtuoso will schedule 9 payments.
- If you want to charge a deposit deduct this from the total for the year, and then divide the total by 9. If no deposit just divide by 9 - In our example $64.44
- Set your price by picking the monthly price that works for you. Lets say $65, which means the actual total cost of the class will need to be 9*65 = $585
- Create a new pricing plan:
- Go to Setup/Pricing Plans and Add a Plan. Call it What you want, maybe “Subscription Pricing”
- In our example there is no registration fee or deposit, so just click on “Set Payment Schedule”
- Select “Payments divided up equally over Session”. This lets you have payments always at the start of the month by picking “Per MONTH” and “Payments due at START”. Note that YourVirtuoso will decide later how many payments there are, but as long as your class starts in September and continues through May there will be 9
- Save the Pricing Plan
- Go to Setup/Curricula and edit each of the curricula involved.
- In each curriculum, edit the curriculum details and pick your new pricing plan
- Note that the plan can be applied to any curriculum that is following the 9 month, monthly payment model, even if the amounts are different.
- Check the materials for the curriculum and make sure they are priced at $0 (All fees will be collected as simple monthly "tuition" charge)
- If you had already set up classes for the session, they will have picked up your old pricing plan, so you would need to select each of these classes and change the selection using the “Plan Details” link.
- Select ALL the units you will teach for the year (Cmd or Ctrl click to pick the extra units)
- Set the start date in Sept and the end date in May
- Set Tuition using the new option of "per month". Select per month and enter $65 in our example
Materials: If you need to track materials for sales tax purposes. I suggest you stay with the simple model above (including setting materials price as $0), and then just use the "Materials Required" report to identify what materials were sold during that month/quarter and doing calculating sales tax from that using whatever materials price you and your accountant think is reasonable (and legal) in your area.