Online invoicing – the easier mode of payment

by admin on June 2, 2009

When it comes to tracking the parents and their children, and getting paid, it does not matter whether you just started your day care service or you have already been running it for years. While simple bookkeeping is important, keeping of records is not the only answer.

In managing your daycare business, the best way to go it to have an easy system where parents can easily know exactly how much they owe you, and where they can easily pay you. Also, you should have a mode reminding those parents who have yet to pay their bills. The ideal system is an all- in- one system so that there will be no need handwritten reminders and so that personal discussions with every parent who owes money will already be unnecessary.

In the past few years, there have been “online invoicing” websites popping up that are ideal tools in such cases of managing day care operation issues. They allow you to easily track at any given time the list of parents/ children who have not yet settled their parents and the amount they owe you. Also, they let you send through email presentable- looking invoices to your parents and the parents can just click the email link so they can pay you online. Better yet, for an amount which is mostly the same for every month or week, an “automatic billing” system can be set up so there is no need to manage it at all. Sounds complicated? Not really. These websites already manage everything for you like sending emails, invoice formats, accounts, payments, and even letters reminding the parents to pay. At the end of the day, what you get is a faster mode of payment with a lot less effort.

Aside from tracking parents/ children, sending invoices through email and getting payments online, payment reminder letters can also be send to parents through email using the standard letter format. The payment reminder letter is a letter intended to discreetly remind the parents to give you their payments without being too harsh, and without you doing the hard work for yourself. Of course, before sending out the letter, you can always modify it so it will better suit your needs. This is an ideal way of getting the payments of parents who are just too busy that you need to keep hounding them so they will pay.

See, there can be an easier way of managing your day care business without putting too much effort in doing so. For smoother operations of business, I do recommend that you try using these “online invoicing” websites. Now you can pay more attention to the children!

How to deal with late payments
You deal with parents with consistently late payments, quite a few of those with outstanding amounts that are two to three weeks overdue. Then you feel so stressed out about the situation and you feel like everything is already out of your control, and you can’t find a way out of it. So what do you do when you see yourself caught in these situations?

More often than not, child care business owners end up in these situations precisely because they do neither formulate nor enforce an efficient payment policy. For those still starting their child care businesses, you have to start doing this now if you intend to go on with your business. The parent handbook should already indicate and clearly explain all your policies including your payment policy. A simple way to do this is by asking everyone to pay a week (or if possible, a month) in advance. Set a day where they can pay, for example Thursday, and your policy should clearly state that fees for the coming week are due on Thursday.

You should also set the maximum number of times each parent can give late payments before you will take an action. You should be firm and consistent with your dealings since we are talking about your livelihood here. You should insist that arrears should be paid and you should present a new policy to offending parents to explain to them why you need to enforce the same in the future. With starting this positive action and being consistent and professional, parents will respond accordingly.

Suggest direct debits and have envelopes preprinted with name, date and amount stamped so parents can more easily pay you. Have a safe box in the hall where parents can just deposit their payments without needing to see you.

How to Earn Extra Income for your Day Care
If you are running a day care or a child care business (or if you are thinking of starting one), one way of improving your service is to consider putting in extracurricular activities. An example of which is a Stretch n’ Grow sessions (or you can try other exercise franchises) where the franchisees come to the facility once a week so they can do they tailor- made activities with the children. All you need to do is post a notice, list down the names and get the payments of those who are interested in the program and allow them to use your room. A member of your staff should always be present in the room to supervise the activities. Remember that the franchisees are not part of your staff so you should not leave the children with them. In my case, I take a percentage of the total amount earned though this is something that you can negotiate yourself.

Another way to add variety to your list of physical activities at your child care center is to hold yoga classes for the children. Once again, you can ask a yoga teacher in the area to agree to hold classes in your child care center and you can take a percentage as payment for the room and the business.

Drama classes, basketball, basically it can be anything under the sun. Just don’t forget to maximize the talents of your staff first before you consider outsourcing. You can also ask local experts to come visit your day care, Montessori, playschool or child care service and give a speech. You can also try asking a local college history professor to come and speak about the history of the area, or maybe a local artist who can hold workshops. All these resources can be easily found in your local community and you just have to find them.

See: How to start a daycare business

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Tom Shieh has written 323 post in this blog.

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