Do you often struggle with customers who are here today, gone tomorrow? Your business might try setting up a subscription billing system. Read on to learn why and how you should set up subscription billing.
It's a billing system in which merchants bill customers for a fixed amount on a recurring basis. The bill gets issued to the customer at the same time during each billing period. The billing period itself could be monthly, quarterly, or only once or twice a year.
Examples of subscription billing abound in daily life. Let's say you have mobile phone service or access to a streaming media platform or a gym. On a certain day each month, an invoice from the merchant gets sent to you. The invoice is a request for you to pay in advance for another month of the subscription.
Your business is a good candidate for a subscription billing system if:
The benefits of subscription billing extend to both your business and its customers. They include:
Follow these steps to set up subscription billing for your small business in no time:
Step 1: Decide whether you want a hybrid billing system or a billing stack. A hybrid product like Stripe Billing is easier to set up. It bundles the subscription billing software and a payment gateway. The gateway will help process card payments. The stack has separate gateway and software components you must integrate.
Step 2: Configure subscription settings in the software. This process varies by software product. In Stripe, you'll need to define products or services. You'll need to set up a pricing plan that sets forth how much to bill and how often. You will then need to create customers and associate plans with customers.
Step 3: Configure invoice settings. You can have the software auto-charge a customer's chosen payment method. Or, have the system send out invoices by email.
Step 4: Test billing. Use built-in features in the software to test the workflow of the billing system.
Step 5: Take it live. Roll out your subscription billing system to customers when you're sure it works.
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