"My favorite part of my job is being out on the mats teaching the students, not being in my office. [PaySimple] gives me a lot more time to do the things that I enjoy doing. It's awesome."

Shelly Blanco, Co-Owner
Ohio Martial Arts Center

Ohio Martial Arts Center

Ohio Martial Arts Center

Education
Toledo, Ohio

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How a Martial Arts School Owner Saves $300 and 20+ Hours per Month

Starting a Martial Arts School

Founded in 1989 by Joe Hurtsellers (Sensei Hurtsellers), the Martial Arts Center has two locations in Maumee and Toledo, Ohio that have been collectively providing martial arts training to adults and children for over two decades. Shelly Blanco (Sempai Blanco), co-owner of the Martial Arts Center, joined the school in 1996.

Working in a different profession prior, Shelly revived her interest in martial arts after being attacked in her home. The startling and terrifying experience made her realize she not only needed to learn more about self-defense, but to truly study and practice martial arts. She began training with Joe and fell in love with the school and everything it taught – so she decided to join full-time.

Expensive and Tedious Billing

Taking on the billing responsibilities of the business, Shelly found that the business was at a point financially that they either needed to let an employee go, or find another way to cut costs. At the time, Shelly was spending countless hours building files to send to an outsourced billing service and the service itself was costing an additional $1,000 per month. After looking at their numbers, they decided they could cut significant costs by letting their billing company go.

"We were using them for quite awhile because we weren't really aware of any other way," she explained. "I was spending a lot of time preparing files and spending a lot of money for them to do it. With as much money we were paying that company, [by switching] it would allow us to keep our employee."

Shelly did some research and started using a PC-based software to collect credit cards and a solution offered by the bank to collect ACH payments. The combination of new systems was saving them money, but was still extremely time-consuming (even more so than the previous billing company). In addition, she found the limitations of the system frustrating.

"I couldn't just set it up to bill on a certain day," she said. "I literally had to be sitting at my desk and on my computer, where the software was installed. No matter what was going on, I had to be at my computer on our billing days, and I thought, there has to be some internet-based solution out there that will allow me the freedom to be at my office, on the beach, or wherever to get my billing done." So she started doing some research again.

After Googling a few options, it wasn't long before Shelly was ready to switch. "When I found [PaySimple]," Shelly said, "I knew immediately. I told Joe 'I'm so excited!' And then I did the math, and with PaySimple, it was easily saving us another $300 per month. It was a no-brainer."

Spending More Time on the Mats

After switching, Shelly was amazed at how much time she was saving, how much money the business was saving, and how easy the billing became. "It saves me a ton of time," she shared. "Compared to the billing company, it saves me at least 20 hours per month."

By using recurring billing, student payments are debited automatically every month. If a student calls in to say that he needs a couple days delay, then Shelly can alter the schedule with a few clicks of a mouse. And best of all, she can do it from any computer.

"I love the fact that I don't have to sit at my desk," Shelly said. "My favorite part of my job is being out on the mats and teaching the students, not being in my office. It gives me a lot more time to do the things that I enjoy doing. It's awesome."

Shelly also uses the new PaySimple Mobile App, which helps her collect tuition and payments for merchandise while she and her students are out in the studio.

"I love the app on my phone!," Shelly exclaimed. "We don't want students to have to carry cash and checks when they come in, and we don't want that to prevent them from making purchases in our school. Now, whenever a student says "oh, I don't have my credit card with me,' I just grab my phone and pull them up and [the payment] just goes through. It's one less thing I have to be in my office for!"

Thank you, Shelly, for sharing your story.

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