FTA: Cancellation Policies
Cancellations can kill a class, weaken a relationship with a range host, and impact your bottom line as a business. Developing cancellation policies in advance is critical to mitigate a student form signing up, then not showing up. FTA Founders have different ways of handling this.
Here are some options for you to enact cancellation policies that can be worked to suit your own personal comfort level. Non-Refundable tuition paid in advance. This is the one most protective of a trainer, but perhaps seen as most aggressive by a prospective student. This is pretty straight forward. Tuition is paid in full at the time of class sign up. No refunds are offered. Deposit at time of sign up. Requiring a non refundable deposit to reserve a spot in the class at the time of sign up. The remaining class balance can be required to be paid at 90 days, 60 day, 30 days or even day of class. Payment in full at time of class is a near guarantee to have students no show. It is recommended that if you choose to have. Deposit reserve a spot in class, you also have the final payment be far enough in advance to allow for time to try and fill that spot. Experienced trainers have example after example of students not showing up and just losing out on their deposit. Or, for instructors who did not require a deposit, they are now a student short but still have the overhead associated with that spot that was reserved but not paid for.Half due at sign up, half due 30 days in advance. This creates more skin in the game for a prospective student. They are more likely to show up for the class if they have paid half the tuition rather than just a nominal deposit. It also protects the trainer in the event that the student develops a conflict and needs to cancel. Have a defined period when the first half tuition becomes no longer refundable. If you don’t, you will be left with people canceling with no consequence.Have a policy and follow it!
When you have a policy of how you handle cancellations, you will have less drama when someone wants to cancel or seek a refund. Since the majority of firearms classes occur on weekends, you are competing against all of the other activities in that person’s life. Family time, work, etc. Have a clear policy that is on your website and preferably on the actual sign up form itself that communicates the students acceptance of the policy when they sign up and pay their tuition or make their initial deposit.It is important to stick with your policy. You can always make adjustments based on circumstances such as death in the family, injury, etc. clearly communicating your policy will save you money, time and headache.