We are not even open yet, and we have already rented 4 dedicated desks. Anyone who has not invested in software yet, how do you keep track of everyone? Google Sheets? Thank you for any advice you can share with this newbie!
Yes, Google sheets are your friend!
We ran Indy Hall out of spreadsheets (without special coworking software) for almost 9 years
The best part is TOTAL flexibility, which means you can figure out what you really need instead of designing your business to fit the software…which is often a limiter and a mistake!
Keep the sheet simple to start. For example, we tracked each new month in a new tab and copied the previous month and adjusting/improving each time.
Once you are open, consider introducing some simple software that lets you auto-debit your members’ monthly dues. Not having to chase checks/payments will save you a ton of time and trouble later.
But other than that, I recommend keeping everything as simple as possible. Google sheets will take you a remarkably long way.
Way to go!! We opened recently and have been using SMPL.io. It was developed by the coworking owner of Hygge. Its costs $15/month and $2 per member and for the most part does the trick. They are upgrading it regularly with new features.
What @alex said. Google sheets and a few essential tools. Keep it as simple as possible.
If it helps to see an example, here is the sheet we built to run everything at Radius.
My hot tip is if your going to invest in any system first, do one that allows for automatic reoccurring billing and invoicing.
Cash is king, and its great to establish the expectation at the very beginning that yours is a space that collects the “rent” at the start of every month automatically unless a member informs you in writing of changes.
I dont think my specific solution would work unless your from Australia, but here I use Xero to generate invoices and Integrapay to collect 80% of our revenue on the 1st of every month automatically.
Thank you so much, @SeanFromWork! This is excatly what I was looking for. I appreciate you helping out the newbie!
Thank you so much, Alex!
I was thinking about using paypal to auto debit our customers each month. I do not want to track down checks, etc.,
I strongly advise against using Paypal as a primary payment service, and that’s doubly true for their auto-debit setup. Besides that Paypal is notorious for freezing accounts their subscription tool is especially bad because it gives you almost zero control over changes, or visibility into problems.
My fav new tool to recommend for getting started quickly and easily is Pabbly Subscriptions. It starts at just $7/month for up to 50 customers, links with multiple payment gateways (including Stripe and Paypal) except it puts all of the future control in YOUR hands. I’ve been using it for my 1-1 coaching services for the last year or so and it’s awesome, and they continue to add new features.
No kickbacks or affiliation here, just a tool that I’ve found to be very useful for easy subscription payments without a ton of headache and overhead!
Thank you so much, Alex! Any thoughts on Square? They have automated monthly invoicing.
Square is fine (we use it for our retail art sales) but the payment information is not portable, so if you want to change systems later you need to ask people to enter their payment info again.
With Pabbly connected to Stripe, people just enter their payment info once and it’s stored securely in Stripe and then later on you can import those Stripe customer records and charge the card using almost any system that also supports Stripe
Can customers pay online via just Pabbly? I can set up reoccurring invoices and they can pay from their email?
Members would sign up via a link (generated by Pabbly), or a Pabbly form embedded on a page of your website. When they sign up they would enter their credit card info. Then Pabbly automatically invoices them based on the membership settings AND auto-debits the card on file.
On the admin, you can easily change or cancel their plan. There’s even a built in member portal for them to see their invoice/receipts, update their payment info, and (optionally) change their plan. It’s configurable, but simple!
I am checking out Pabbly (thanks Alex) and is it really true there is no transaction fee?
Also, how does it incorporate into bookkeeping? We use Quickbooks online and currently use their invoicing (we don’t do automatic debits at the moment) and pay heavily in fees for that every time someone pays online. I’d love to save on those fees if possible!
Pabbly doesn’t charge a transaction fee. Your payment processor will take a fee, around 3% for credit cards or a much smaller fee for ACH which in the United States is also clumsy to set up and slower.
I’ve always considered these payment processing fees part of my cost of doing business since it means our cash flow is extremely predicable and spend nearly zero time following up on unpaid invoices.
In fact the only time we accept payments outside of auto-debit is when members pre-pay for at least 3 months at a time. That minimizes time spent checking on payments and manually reconciling outstanding invoices.
For book keeping, our book keeper spends about 5 mins every month importing our paid invoice records into Quickbooks and then about 20 mins reviewing the data for anomolies.
Having as much of this automated or outsourced as possible frees us up SO much time for way more valuable work!
Has anyone considered home.cozy.co. ?
We have used it for our rental property the past several years. It is free for both of us (unless the renter uses a credit card). The only slight downside is it takes 10 days for money to deposit into our account. Thoughts?