Sports facility start-ups need to save money every way possible. As we’ve discussed before on this site, cash flow is essential (which is also, by the way, why you should require upfront payment at you sports facility) especially when you’re a start-up. Oftentimes, what might seem like small or necessary expenses really add up when you’re trying to keep overhead costs down and save cash.
One expense that businesses don’t often realize they can eliminate is the cost of printing and storing the paperwork – waivers, contracts, and more – associated with their clients and prospects. Business owners can invest in software that does this for them. Or, they can build the forms into their web site or computer for clients to fill out directly at their facility.
Getting this right when you’re just starting out will save you a lot of tedious work down the road if you decide to switch.
Benefits of Electronic Records Storage
Some benefits of electronic records storage:
- Save Money –The sports facilities I’m familiar with spend around $1,200 each year on printing their contracts and waivers. That’s because you always have to print in bulk. Plus, updating any form means you have to re-print them all. A note to new sports facility owners: Expect your contracts and waivers to change frequently.
- Save Time – Electronic records allow you to find files more easily (you use a search box instead of rifling through drawers) and update them more easily. (If you use a software system, changing a form automatically updates it throughout the system.) Furthermore, typing records info eliminates handwriting confusion and illegibility, both of which waste time for you and your staff.
- Safeguard Your Info – Electronic records can be backed up online. They’re safe from water damage, fire, or the more likely scenarios – files getting lost, spilled on, or put in the wrong place. Speaking of safeguarding your business, updating your waivers more quickly and easily leaves less room for legal trouble.
- Save Space – Storing records electronically saves the square footage you would otherwise reserve for file cabinets. If you’re a start-up, this might not be a big concern now. However, it will certainly grow with your business.
- Be Green – With electronic record keeping, it’s nice to know that you’re saving reams of paper from the landfill. Plus, customers increasingly expect streamlined and environmentally friendly processes.
If you decide to buy software to build your waivers and contracts, there are two features to look for. Make sure to find out whether it generates contracts automatically. Also, find out whether it prompts clients to re-approve waivers whenever any changes are made. (Of course, eSoft Planner, the software my company developed to help sports facilities schedule classes and manage facility operations, can do both of those things.)
Whatever system you choose, it’s worth giving it some serious thought before you make the investment of time and money. Even if it might not seem like a big deal to print a bunch of forms to get started, the costs do add up over time.