May 6, 2020

Help! I’m Offering Online Martial Arts Classes But Not Sure How to Handle Membership Billing. Should I Freeze My Memberships? Charge Members?

No doubt this has been an extremely trying time for the Martial Arts and Fitness community. But in these trying times, it’s been hugely inspiring to see so many business owners, instructors, and members of that same community get creative. They have stay committed to keeping to their training on track. In addition they are keeping their businesses going and growing during these difficult times. In March and April, when Martial Arts schools were forced to temporarily close, some schools froze their membership billing. Other schools opted to extend their members’ billing term for the length of time they were unable to attend in-person classes.

Regardless of how membership billing was handled, most schools in March and April transitioned from in-person training to online classes to keep their members on track with their fitness and self-defense goals.  


How should my membership billing be handled going forward?

Now that May is here, many school owners are wondering: What’s next for membership billing? Should I continue freezing my membership billing, add a month credit to the end of term agreements, or should I — can I — charge my members for online classes?

We can’t issue a blanket statement to say if you should or can charge for classes. We can provide guidance and let you know how Martial Arts school clients are handling membership billing.

First and foremost, before going any further, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re looking to your state guidelines. This will help you know what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to membership billing.


If you do offer online classes in lieu of in-person classes for the time being, many states require that members opt-in for these services

If this is the case with your state, we advise you to err on the side of over-communicating with members. Let them know exactly what is going on and give them membership options.

Many of our clients are sending an email to their members where they can select one of three membership billing options:

  • Option 1: Continue my payments, without a time credit, as a donation to the school. I will also receive access to all your online training and content. 
  • Option 2: Continue my payments and add a month credit to the end of my agreement.
  • Option 3: Freeze my payment for one month.

As your team of billing experts, we’re here to help you facilitate this communication to your members. We will gladly work with you to send an email on your behalf. Then we update your member accounts according to what membership billing option each member chooses.

To get started, we ask that you fill out this form to update us on recent communications to your members and membership options being offered. This information will also allow us to assist you with navigating these difficult times. It will provide you with the resources relevant to your current status to comply with your state’s regulations.


We’re here for you

If you have questions regarding membership billing options, feel free to reach out to your Client Success Manager at any time.

Need 1:1 guidance? Book a 30-minute session with your Client Success Manager to get new ideas and help developing a solid business strategy.

For more tools, templates, strategy guides, and resources to drive member engagement and business growth amid COVID-19, visit our Business Resource Page. Be sure to bookmark the page, too; we’ll continue adding resources as they become available.

In This Together

Are you getting ready to resume in-person training? Need to take registrations online to limit your class size?

Let us help you. We’re opening our Event and Member Manager software for a full 30 days for just $1. (and, we’ll build your first online registration form for you, so you can start taking online sign-ups right away).

Using our software will enable you to fully leverage online technology and meet your business goals quicker. 

To get started, contact your Client Success Manager or book a quick call here.

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