3 min read
Being a music teacher can be one of the most rewarding ways to share your talent with the world, pass down skills to the next generation and make a tidy sum in the process. However, for natural creatives such as musicians, finances are often an afterthought, and you should never forget that being a music teacher means you’re effectively running your own business.
With that in mind, today we’ll be exploring how to receive timely and hassle-free payments from your students, whether you’re running a music school or just setting up as a music teacher at your living room piano. Accepting payments in a convenient and efficient manner not only ensures a steady income stream but also enhances your professional image and helps you share your knowledge and talent to mould more young minds.
Music teacher payment methods
Offering diverse payment options to accommodate the preferences and convenience of your students will not only make you a more popular music teacher but a better one too. Let's explore some common payment methods.
Peer-to-peer payment services offer a convenient way for students to transfer funds directly through services like Venmo or PayPal. This allows for speedy and generally secure transactions, typically linked to a bank account or credit card. It’s easy to set up too. Just let your students know your preferred peer-to-peer (or P2P) payment method and provide clear instructions on how to make payment. The easier you make it for them, the faster you’ll get paid.
This is a process that involves generating invoices, either manually or through an invoicing software solution, and then sending them to your students, specifying the amount due and the payment due date. Include payment details such as your preferred payment method, account information, and any additional instructions. This works a lot like any business invoicing clients for services rendered and might come across as too formal for some. If you do decide to go the invoicing route, tools like Xero and QuickBooks can simplify the process of creating and managing invoices.
Card machine payments
It’s never been easier for individual operators to accept contactless card payments thanks to the advent of portable point-of-sale systems like SumUp. They offer affordable card readers that can be connected to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to accept credit or debit card payments. These systems often come with additional features too, such as inventory management and sales tracking. They will, however, charge either a subscription fee or a percentage of each payment.
To ensure a consistent and predictable income stream, consider offering recurring payment options to your students. This will allow you to set up automatic deductions from their bank accounts or credit cards on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. GoCardless is the perfect solution for collecting recurring subscription payments. Using Becs Direct Debit through GoCardless allows businesses to receive payment on time, every time, while connecting to their existing financial software (such as Xero).
As learning a musical instrument can be a costly endeavour, some students may prefer to spread the cost with a pay-as-you-go model, paying for each lesson individually. While this method requires more manual tracking and administration, it can be a flexible option for students with varying schedules and commitments and can be processed through peer-to-peer payment apps, cash or even personal checks.
Ensuring timely payments
Being paid on time is something all businesses should strive for and, as a music teacher, you are a business. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to ensure your students pay when they’re meant to.
Be clear and transparent with your preferred payment methods and your general payment policies. This includes everything from due dates to late payment consequences. Because if they don’t know, they can’t be expected to adhere to them.
Automate payment tracking and reminders with software like MyMusicStaff, simplifying administrative tasks and allowing you to focus more on teaching.
When it comes to payment reminders, keep them friendly and don’t go overboard. Send them a few days before to jog their memories (even automate the process, if possible) and, in the event of late payments, tread carefully. But not too carefully. If you’re too persistent you could scare away your student but if you’re not persistent enough they could feel as though they’re “getting away with it”.
Offer as many payment methods and options as possible and communicate these options clearly, including any associated fees or instructions.
Encourage students to pay in advance or for the whole term by offering discounts. This might make you slightly less in the long term but will ensure regular payments and make your students feel like they’re getting a good deal.
By implementing these strategies, you can streamline the payment process and encourage your students to pay on time, ensuring a stable income and a professional image for your business.
We can help
Remember, a smooth payment experience not only benefits you as a music teacher but also enhances your students' overall satisfaction and commitment to their music education journey.
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you completely automate the payment collection process, cutting down on the amount of admin and allowing you to get on with doing what you do best – teaching. It can also integrate natively with Xero to create a complete accountancy solution, collecting payments automatically from customers.