It can be tempting to put off the paperwork for later when you’re running a music studio. Little occurrences occur each month like:
- You’ve been paid cash and decide that you’ll make a note of it later.
- You put off your invoicing for another day.
- You dread the thought of reminding a customer that they’re past due, so you do nothing and wait another week hoping that the problem just goes away.
The trouble is, these little inconveniences only grow when left unattended.
They can also erupt unexpectedly at any time, especially if there’s a discrepancy between your recollection of past events and those of your students…or their parents.
While it may be tempting to put something off until later, procrastination only brings unnecessary stress and worry to your life. Putting off the unpleasant task of staying organized only makes it even less pleasant later on.
With this in mind, we thought it would be great to share the benefits you receive by staying organized while sharing some of our favorite quotes about procrastination.
Less Stress and more Peace of Mind
“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.” ~George Claude Lorimer
Some private teachers prefer to collect cash so that they don’t have to deal with added paperwork. The student either pays or doesn’t pay – there’s either cash in your hand or there isn’t. What could be simpler than that?
Even so, as a professional you need to have a paper trail.
You can never predict when a dispute or disagreement will come along, and if a parent claims they paid already and you can’t prove otherwise – you may end up getting short-changed.
Now we’re not qualified to dispense legal advice, so definitely talk to a lawyer if you have any legal issues – but the burden of proof is generally placed on the service provider (a.k.a. the music teacher) to prove that a payment wasn’t received rather than the other way around.
If you don’t keep this side of your business organized, it’ll only be a matter of time before you encounter more than your fair share of hassles and headaches.
Even if you don’t hand out receipts for every lesson, you should be tracking them weekly and generate a receipt each month. If for some reason your client doesn’t want a receipt, track it anyway to protect yourself against a dispute.
My Music Staff makes it easy to keep accurate records by simply taking attendance each day. Let My Music Staff worry about remembering when a payment was made, is owed or a make-up credit issued.
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” ~David Allen.
You’ve spent years learning how to teach as well as play your instrument, so you need to convey the same level of credibility when it comes to your business.
Not only can the ability to issue a receipt or invoice at any time improve your confidence, but failing to offer receipts can hurt your business reputation.
Parents may question the lack of receipts and come to their own unsavory conclusions.
Having your business transactions clearly outlined on paper takes the burden off your memory while reassuring your customers that they selected a professional to instruct them.
More Quality Unwind Time
“Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day.” ~Abraham Lincoln
When you put off for tomorrow the things that should be done today, you rob yourself of future peace of mind for a lesser variety right now.
Avoiding the work (with it still ever-present in your mind) is much less rewarding then the peace you get immediately upon completing the task. The nagging dread of the task left undone haunts you while you avoid it, and every minute or hour that it’s put off causes it only to grow bigger and more daunting.
This is especially true when it comes time to file your taxes.
All of the little shortcuts taken throughout the year have a way of adding up and compounding at tax time. Where a few extra minutes a day would have made the task manageable, you may need days or weeks to get organized before you file.
Keeping your records straight is easy to do, just stay on top of your daily attendance.
In My Music Staff, all this requires is selecting the student’s name from the agenda section and choosing one of several automatic payment/non-payment statuses. Additionally, you can add a note to further clarify any important details that you want to keep for the record about the lesson.
When your business is managed daily, you not only gain more time back…but the time that you do have is far more enjoyable without the worry of tasks undone looming in the back of your mind.
If managing attendance and invoicing your students is your Achilles heel, we recommend that you create a process which instills the habit of taking attendance at each lesson in real time. This one small action will pay dividends for you in the days and weeks that follow, allowing you to truly teach more and stress less.