Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
If you run a lesson-based business, such as a swim school or tennis club, you may already be familiar with perpetual and term-based schedules. But if you’re new to the business or are wondering what the difference is and how to decide between the two, then this resource is a great place to start.
Let’s start by differentiating the two.
What is perpetual?
Perpetual programs run throughout the year - once a customer is booked in, they will remain in the class until they tell you otherwise. For these ongoing programs, fees are usually raised weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
What is term-based?
A term-based program has a start date and an end date, usually following the school term. Fees are raised for the period of the term; most businesses will then roll over the term and include the sessions and bookings so that customers remain booked in for the following term.
Perpetual and term-based comparison
Now that you’re familiar with the terminology, let’s dive deeper into the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Perpetual program pros and cons
|Ideal for schools and clubs that run classes all year round||Need a year-round team of staff to maintain classes|
|Fees are paid throughout the entire year, promoting a healthy cash flow||Can be hard to set goals/milestones as there are no program end dates|
|Easier for parents as there are no scheduled breaks they need to be aware of|
|No breaks between programs which help students maintain progression|
|Can still run holiday intensives alongside your regular schedule (e.g. after morning classes have finished)|
Term-based program pros and cons
|Good for those that follow the school term schedule||Fees are only paid per term, disrupting your cash flow during holidays|
|Easy to set progression-based goals as there is an end date to the program||Disrupts students’ progress and routine as they have breaks between programs|
|Easy for parents to follow as classes run alongside the school term||Potentially harder to find staff if they won’t be working (and therefore paid) during the holidays|
|Can set up school holiday programs to increase revenue and fast-track student progression||If your business does not rollover bookings from the previous term, this is extra admin work and requires customers to rebook (potentially leading to drop-offs)|
|Ability to update timetable at the end of each term if something needs to change|
If you're still unsure about whether to go perpetual or term-based, speak to our team of experts who will be able to further explain the pros and cons of each in relation to your specific business model.