4 Reasons to Require Advance Payment
I know I don't have to ask if you've ever had a no-show. It's happened to everyone - a lot. Which is why you should be requiring advance payment when people schedule their appointments.
It might feel weird at first because it is different from what you've always done or different from how other service businesses run. But who cares?! Even though you are offering a service, your clients are buying your time and they should pay for it before they gain the benefit. Would you ever expect people to pay for groceries after they had been eaten?
4 reasons to require advance payment
- Better financial planning. You can actually do financial planning because you'll have a better idea of when money is coming in
- More time to do more important work. If all of your clients have paid in advance, you will have no wasted time chasing down unpaid invoices. We often underestimate how much time we waste with follow-up emails, calls, and dealing with no-shows (see below).
- Decreased no-shows. Of course, some people will still not show for their appointments. And it is up to you how you handle this. I typically recommend a "no refunds" policy with rescheduling or exchanges up to 48 hours in advance. Again, they have purchased your time and without 48 hours notice, it is hard to sell your time to another client.
- No money exchange during the healing session. I often recommend that clients set up a payment method that sets them outside of the payment circle. I don't think there's anything wrong with accepting money (that's why I am here!) but I typically do not think it is a good idea to mix healing and money handling. I think it mixes two different energetic components that are better left separate. When I finish a reiki session, I prefer to leave the session on my own terms and not be jolted out of my upleveled state to count bills.
This can be difficult
When I started my business, I was given this same advice, and I ignored it. I didn't follow it because I came from the agency model in which invoices were sent and followed up on. I didn't know anything else. Even after months of chasing multiple clients for payment, changing this policy was really hard for me. I was dumb for wasting so much time and effort to get money that was technically mine.
Don't make the same mistakes I did. Require advance payment - your life will be so much easier.
*The cover image is from a trip I took to Amsterdam in 2018. It was fantastic. I was alone and enjoying one of the most beautiful cities in the world... except that during the trip I had to put my own bliss on hold to follow up with clients about unpaid invoices. Never again!