Saving Time Processing Invoices Means More Money in your Pocket

By Olivia Gracey

Published 16 September 2020

As you grow your fitness business, and gain more and more clients, the tedious and time consuming tasks often take the back seat. The focus is on instructing rather than invoice management. Group classes, 1-1s, personal training – the more you offer, the more the invoices pile up quickly.

While invoice management and debt collection are top priorities for gym owners, there is sometimes not enough time in the day to follow up on each invoice. By automating this process, it means more time for you to instruct and more money in your pocket. If there was a simple solution that could automate your entire billing process from day 1 – how could you say no?

The process is simple – let’s see it first-hand!

In January 2016, Tom Frearson founded Be Fearsome, a London-based fitness company that provides fitness, lifestyle and adventure services to individuals, groups and businesses. His goal: to get people more active and to positively impact his community.

Be Fearsome grew to offer an extensive list of services including bootcamp, personal training, corporate fitness and teambuilding, nutrition coaching and endurance sport training (among many others).

As Be Fearsome’s client list skyrocketed, Tom needed a service that could step up his invoicing game beyond simply taking card payments with a mobile card reader – that’s when, three years ago, he found GoCardless to expand to Direct Debit and Credit Card payments.

GoCardless is a global bank debit provider that can be used for taking invoices, memberships and instalment payments. Since Be Fearsome was using GoCardless and Virtuagym’s all-in-one package, Tom could easily combine the two and start automating the entire invoicing process.

Let’s see how to easily set it up and start saving you time – which means money in your pocket!

In order to set up his Automated Payments, Tom needed to make sure he had an online payment provider enabled in his portal. Tom simply added his GoCardless account by going into his Virtuagym portal selecting System Settings in the side-bar menu, scrolling down GoCardless and adding his account. He also selected his preferred payment methods from the list and selected GoCardless as the provider.

In his portal, Tom toggled on “Automated Payments” and chose the frequency with  which he wanted the invoices to be sent automatically – daily, weekly, or monthly. The invoices were then picked up at 2 am UK time and sent directly to GoCardless. To see which invoices were sent, Tom went to the Financial module and selected Outstanding invoices + Direct Debit. GoCardless automatically updated the invoice’s status in Virtuagym from Pending to Paid or Outstanding if there was a failed payment or failed payments.

In this filtered view, Tom saw the first and recurring invoices that were sent to GoCardless and could check on any exceptions. All recurring payments were sent to GoCardless so the payment could be processed. Once a payment was processed, it was automatically updated in Tom’s Virtuagym portal.

In the UK, client mandates are mandatory in order to process direct debit payments. Tom’s clients needed to mandate that their payments could go through as direct debit, otherwise no bank or payment provider would be able to process these invoices. With Tom’s new clients that had used GoCardless before, their mandates could simply be imported into his Virtuagym portal. Alternatively, mandate requests could be sent to a new client from Virtuagym (on the client profile) or clients who purchased through Tom’s webshop could approve the mandate directly. Requesting these mandates was done in a single click through Virtuagym, saving Tom even more time!

Now Be Fearsome and Tom’s billing is hands-free and stress free. Tom has time to increase client experience, work on retention (which means more revenue for Tom and Be Fearsome down the road) and focus on his passion: fitness and helping people achieve their goals. The ease of mind alone of not having to manually process invoices was worth it to Tom. In his own words:

“I don’t know what I’d do without GoCardless, I couldn’t run my business if (the process) wasn’t automated.”

With all invoices, payments and tracking done in one place, it saves Be Fearsome and Tom time and money. What used to take him almost a full working day every month to export the invoices and review them, is now done in a few clicks. The entire process was automated from day 1 and there is no longer a need to track payments or send reminders. There is a simple interface which allows for oversight of who has already paid and what outstanding invoices are waiting.

Virtuagym’s all-in-one software suite offers a billing management solution but also boasts a ton of additional features that help you run your gym. Try it out in your own Virtuagym portal. Set it up, sit back and watch your invoices process themselves!

Olivia Gracey

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