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Why standing orders are causing your sports club more harm than help
19 September 2019

Why standing orders are causing your sports club more harm than help

When you first think about setting up a sports club, your primary reasons will most likely be:

• Wanting to make a difference
• Wanting to teach your passion to others
• Wanting to have a career/hobby doing something you love

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You may envision the coaching being relatively challenging, but exciting; the hours being long, but so worth it; and your club eventually growing to be one of authority in your sport. And this will hopefully become the case. But what you probably don’t envision is:

• Hours of extra time wasted on the paperwork that comes alongside running a sports club
• Lots of money lost in missed fees
• A fair amount of stress when trying to keep on top of everything

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Many sports clubs approach us when they’ve been trying to run their club manually through spreadsheets/standing orders and it’s all getting a bit too much.

One of the main issues we see clubs experience, is struggling to keep on top of who’s paid what, with standing orders. We see this so much, we thought we’d outline exactly why setting up standing orders manually, may cause your club more harm than help.

1. The initial setup is time consuming

As a club owner/coach, you’ll know that trying to get some members/parents to fill out forms/complete payments can take a while. They have busy lives too; many will work full-time/have other commitments.

Setting up a standing order requires the member/parent to physically set up a payment to your club’s bank, after you provide them with the bank details. You have no control over how or when they do this; and you can’t see when it’s been set up either. So, you’ll just need to trust that they’ve done it in time for the first payment to come out. If they haven’t, well that’s more work for you.

2. You’ll need to manually check each payment for each member

This may not seem like a huge task if you only have 10-15 members, but as your club grows, it’ll get messier, more time-consuming and a lot more stressful.

Say you have 150 members; you’ll need to go through your bank statement and search for each payment from each member and ensure it was paid. This can easily get confusing and if you don’t have an up to date list, it means people could get away with not paying for a period of time.

Also, if you have children in your club, you’ll need to be familiar with their parents’ name, so you know whose payment to look out for. This will get more difficult as your club grows.

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3. If a payment fails… nothing happens

If a member’s payment fails, there’s nothing you can do. It’s down to you to notice that the payment isn’t there this month. There’s no way of automatically chasing that failed payment. This means that you’ll need to take an additional payment for this month and also get the member/parent to check that the standing order is still set up to come out next month. That’s more work for you and the member/parent.



4. Members can cancel at any time without you knowing

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about using standings orders to collect sports club fees, is that members can cancel the payment whenever they like… without you knowing. We like to think that none of our own club members would ever do this, but we’ve seen it and it happens.

They could cancel and still attend your classes, and if you don’t happen to notice, they’ll be getting free classes whilst you’re missing out on subscription fees. We’ve known it where this has happened to clubs for months on end before they’ve noticed, meaning they’ve lost thousands of pounds in missed fees in the process.

Also, you may have a notice period in place for a reason. If members suddenly decide they want to leave and don’t want to pay the last fee, they are completely in control.

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So, what's the alternative?

Whether you’ve already recognised that standing orders are a problem for your club or are only just noticing how they could impact your finances/time-input so negatively, don’t worry. There are lots of solutions out there to help clubs like yours make their subscription management more secure and robust. Get in touch today to see how Coacha can help you take more control over your finances. How much money do you need to lose before you decide enough is enough?