I do neither one nor the other. I start with an intro package of 3 sessions plus the screening. After that, I bill my clients on a monthly basis. I never get into the selling of packages or commitments of any sort.
I have operated like this for the last 18 years, and it has worked very well for me.
The only exception to this approach is the training in MELT which I have started as a separate entity a few years ago. Here I do individual sessions or courses of defined length. Since the concept of MELT is to teach people to self-treat, is has worked for this unique scenario.
Good question. I only sell packages and the reasons for that is simple. If anyone cancels their session in less than 24 hrs. before their appointment, then I charge them for that session (unless it’s an extreme situation). If they do monthly commitment then you run the risk of them either canceling, not showing up or even just fade away because they don’t have any real commitment in showing up. It becomes like a gym membership fee, where people get charge a monthly fee and they don’t feel obligated to show up. Also, by charging a monthly fee I believe you cheat yourself from some substantial income. If a client decides to come everyday of the week, then you will be making very little/session, where as if you charge them per session then you will be making what you think you worth (even if they train fewer times/week)…just my opinion.
Maybe you could offer both options. Some people might feel more comfortable paying a monthly fee and others buying a package or individual sessions. What ever you feel comfortable with, that is what you need to be doing.
I experimented a few different billing/payment methods over the course of my career and have settled into a monthly system. I offer two options for my clients. The 1st option requires prepayment for monthly training sessions. With this option,the client agrees to meet the same numbers of sessions on a monthly basis and it serves to reserve the same days and times each month for the client. Furthermore, the billing is the same month to month even if the numbers of training sessions vary. For example, a client wants to meet 2X weekly, that will average 8 sessions monthly, however a few months yearly, there will be 9 or 10 sessions in a month, but again the client is billed for 8 sessions….That is their “reward” for committing to the prepayment plan. Additionally, the client can “miss” 4 sessions yearly and not have to pay for the sessions.
The 2nd option allows the client to schedule on a weekly or monthly basis and then I will invoice them for the number of training sessions at the end of each month. This allows more flexibility in scheduling for the client, but training times /days are not reserved for that client on an on-going basis.
I have a24 hour cancellation policy for all clients. There is not a perfect system/method for billing/payment, but you need to find what works best for you. And, yes, unfortunately , you will get “burned” by a non-paying client on a rare occasion, but just cut your losses and move on….Best of Luck