Services for Music Teachers I Recommend (and use)
Scheduling and Billing
Fons is the online scheduling and billing service I've been using for the past two years.
It has almost completely eliminated the mind-numbing back-and-forth with my students over rescheduling, canceling, lost checks, etc. I also haven't had a student arrive unexpectedly in a long time (awkward when you're in your gym clothes).
IT'S ALL ABOUT TRUST
I wouldn't trust just anyone to handle this critical part of my business. I'm paranoid about the security of my students' billing info--because they are. I also don't want them to get spammed.
Fons is a young company, and they're still working out kinks, but they are rock-solid where it counts: Their billing and emailing system has been error-free since day one.
ONE SIGNIFICANT DRAWBACK
Fons' monthly fee--just $9.95/month--is incredibly low for the service they provide.
But if you're currently still just accepting checks, cash, or livestock (just kidding), you need to be aware of the much greater cost of moving to online payments: Credit card fees are 2.9% (plus a small per-transaction charge) and direct-deposit (called ACH) fees are 1.8%. That may not seem like much, but as you can see in my billing report, I payed $2,653.59 in the past 12 months in fees, or about 2.6% of my gross income.
Those fees add up when teaching is your main source of income.
WHY IT'S STILL WORTH IT
When Fons' CEO Eric Branner first encouraged me to try Fons (we're friends), and I realized what it would cost to move to digital payments, I said, "No way. Too expensive."
He encouraged me to keep a log of all the scheduling and billing-related stuff I do over the course of a few weeks--how long it took, and how I felt about it. This sounded like a hassle, but we're friends, and his I-know-what-you'll-discover attitude made me a little curious.
The results: I discovered that I...and I don't use this word often...hate dealing with scheduling and billing. And I had to deal with it almost daily. Plus, once a month, I descended into Bookkeeping Hell, catching up on my records and doing what I called "accounting archeology"--digging through my records chasing down deposit receipts and emailing students saying, "Uh, are you sure you gave me that check?"
It really made me think about how much my time was worth, and if I wanted to be spending so much time doing something that made me miserable.
Life is precious--I didn't want to spend mine accounting. I'll bet, fellow musician, you don't either.
COUPON - ONE EXTRA MONTH FREE
Fons will roll out the red carpet if you tell them I sent you, including taking you step-by-step through setting up.
And if you use the coupon code "RobHampton" you can get an extra month free trial.