Having started your surgery business successfully, you’re definitely poring over how to make the venture more profitable. On your bucket list are items like creating a marketing plan, improving customer service, developing your salesmanship skills, increasing leads, boosting customer loyalty, and decreasing operating costs, among others.
In the long run, all these efforts will be supported by the revenue generated by the business. In other words, you have to charge your customers an amount of money that covers all your expenses and leaves you with some profits. And of equal importance is the system with which you receive the money, otherwise known as a payment plan.
Here are the top considerations you ought to take into account before settling on any payment plan:
1. Customer’s Preference
The need to be customer-centric in your surgery business can’t be overemphasized. Remember, they’re the very reason for your existence. There’s no you without them. So, always strive to give them whatever they like as long as it’s within your means.
Some like paying in cash, others using credit cards, others e-payments, checks, bitcoin, mobile payments, etc. You must be a bit flexible in accepting different modes of payment. Restricting your customers to only one form of payment will be disadvantageous to most of them.
2. Payment Processing Fees
Cash and checks are your go-to options if you don’t want a portion of your money to be ‘stolen’ by the payment processors. For credit card payments, be ready to lose about 1.5 to 4% each time a client pays you.
Suppose you charge an average of USD$7,000 per surgery, and you do ten such surgeries in a month. Your total monthly income should be USD$70,000, which is equivalent to USD$840,000 per year.
But with the usually high credit card processing fees, you can lose about USD$2,800 every month or a whopping USD$ 33,600 per year.
Honestly, that’s a lot of cash. If you give your surgery customers the option of paying with credit cards, find ways to reduce or eliminate the processing fees.
One of the most effective ways to eliminate credit card processing fees is passing the processing fees to your customers through a credit surcharge program. If you charge USD$7,000 per surgery, the system will require them to pay USD7,280 to cater for a 4% payment processing fee. You’ll then pocket the total USD$7,000 to yourself.
Sounds great? You can follow this link to get more information about how credit surcharges work.
You don’t want to take chances when it comes to money. You’ve worked extremely hard to be where you are now, and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, crooks do exist. They’ll do all they can to take all or part of your hard-earned money. Be very vigilant not to fall prey to fraudsters.
Where is your surgery business located? If it’s at the far end of some doubtable downtown street, be careful when receiving cash payments from your customers. It’s effortless for robbers to escape with the whole amount and leave you speechless.
Cashless forms of payment are better in such cases. But even so, be advised that credit cards and mobile payments are also susceptible to fraud, though the risk is lower than handling cash.
4. Device Requirements
For cash payments, you may not need any device. That’s especially true if your eyes can differentiate between genuine notes and fake ones, and your fingers know how to count cash. But for the sake of accuracy, you may want to invest in a money counting machine.
For credit card payments, make sure you have a reliable credit card swipe machine. There’s no need for you to rent one. That will only increase your monthly overhead costs. Consider purchasing one as they’re usually budget-friendly.
For e-payments and mobile transactions, you’d want to have a decent PC or mobile device with reliable anti-virus protection to safeguard you from online hackers.
5. Customer Creditworthiness
If the customer has a good credit history, it doesn’t hurt to let them pay in installments. The need for surgery may crop up at an unexpected time when there’s no ready cash. Don’t close out on such clients. Calculate a friendly deposit for them and spread the balance over several months.
However, exercise caution with clients whose credit scores are shockingly low.
6. Assurance of Payments
Credit cards, cash, and electronic payments are usually instant; thus, there’s no need to worry. But when it comes to checks, you’re bombarded with the possibility of them bouncing.
The majority of checks bounce are due to insufficient funds in the issuer’s account and inaccurate writing and signing. When you deposit a check with your bank, and it bounces, it means you’ll have to discuss the issue with your customer and wait for long as they sort out the problem.
One way to avoid bounced checks is to ask your customers to write a cashier’s check instead of a personal check. Cashier’s checks are drawn against your customer’s bank funds rather than their personal account. This way, there is no possibility of the check being declined if the customer’s account has enough funds.
7. Need for Record-Keeping
It’s absolutely vital to keep your business records. Without tracking your income and expenses, you’ll soon be lost in the financial sea of confusion.
E-payments are great for automatic record-keeping. Every transaction you make is precisely noted, together with the date, time, amount, and purpose of the transaction. Credit card payments can be equally good if linked to your bank account, from which you receive monthly statements.
But for cash payments, you may have to record every transaction you make manually. If that feels too hectic for you, you can always employ the services of an accountant.
Which Way Forward?
You now know what other options to consider when choosing a payment plan for your surgery clients. Go back to your drawing board and come up with the most effective payment plan. Deciding on which payment scheme to have will definitely give you a hard time, but having more options will be best for you and your clients.