One of the things that seems to be consistent across gyms is accounts being behind, especially this time of year. As an owner you have to keep overdue accounts under control in order to avoid paying for things your athletes are paying for and driving yourself out of business. Control starts with having a policy regarding overdue accounts. It could range from having a policy that prevents anyone that is behind or a certain dollar amount behind from participating to requiring a card on file, but regardless of the option you go with you must apply it consistently. The final part is applying it consistently to everyone. Firmly enforcing the option you choose will let your parents know you are serious about the business side of things and give them faith you’ll be around for the long run.
Letting an athlete get behind puts you in a bad position. If the athlete quits or you throw them off with an overdue account it will pretty much ensure you won’t be collecting what’s due. To mitigate this, the sooner the decision is made for the overdue account to no longer participate the better it is financially. On one hand you are no longer increasing how much you are owed and on the other hand you are no longer helping a family rack up debt they can’t handle. If you let the athlete continue with an overdue account, you are not just giving your service away, you are actually paying someone to take it. If you are paying fees, but haven’t collected the money from the athlete, you are paying everyone else in the industry, uniform companies, event producers, choreographers, music producers, but you haven’t paid yourself. You cannot stay in business this way.
I heard several reasons explaining why some athletes don’t pay. If you choose to allow this please understand the impact of doing so. On the positive side you usually get better athletes and can compete with closer to the maximum number of people allowed, increasing your chances of placing well. On the negative side you can offend the families that are paying, causing them to leave your program. Of course what is done is your choice, just make sure the decisions you are making are helping you accomplish the goals you have set.