Before offering your group to the public, you’ll need to come up with a strategy for how you accept registrations. There are two things to consider:
Design a Registration Process
Decide whether group members can register online, over the telephone, or via mail or email.
- If group members are allowed to register online, you’ll need to have a system in place to accept these registrations on your website, such as an online shopping cart system or email system. Typically online registrations are completed with a credit card for mastermind groups that charge a fee to register.
- If you allow group members to register via email, it is wise that they do not email you their credit card information, as it is not safe to do so. Instead, offer them a safer way to give you credit card information, such as phoning it in or faxing it to you.
- If you accept registrations by regular ground mail, you need to create a registration form that people can fill out and send along with their check or credit card information.
Create a Registration Form
Determine what information you must collect on the registration form. Whether you accept registrations online, via mail, email, phone, or fax, tell group members what information they need to give you. When your group members register, make sure you capture the following information from them:
- Email Address and Postal/Street Address
- Home, business or cell phone number (in case email is not working)
- Location (so you know what time zone they are in)
- How they heard about your mastermind group (to check the success of each of your marketing techniques)
Payments by Credit Card
If you are running a business, you may be already accepting credit cards. Credit cards are a great way for people to pay for their mastermind group membership, for several reasons:
- Members can sign up for your mastermind group and pay for it in installments (called “recurring payments”). This reduces your monthly administrative tasks.
- Members can sign up for a your group immediately, when they first hear about it. Strike while the iron is hot!
- Members from all over the world can participate, because they will be charged in their local currency (it is deposited in your bank in US Dollars or whatever your local currency is).
- Members can enter their credit card information via a secure web page, which limits the number of phone or paper registrations you have to manually process.
- You know immediately if a credit card is rejected; with checks, there is a delay before you know if the check bounced, and you may pay the bounced check fee.
Check with your bank about being allowed to accept credit cards, called a “merchant account.” Or check out the many online merchant account processors that allow you to accept credit cards, often with lower fees than your bank charges. These merchant accounts allow you to accept credit cards online, by phone, or in person. Make sure your merchant account processor allows you to accept credit cards in all three of these ways, for maximum flexibility. For example, Practice Pay Solutions often works with small businesses and offer both credit card merchant accounts and online shopping carts systems that you can connect to your website.
If you choose to accept credit cards for mail-in or phone-in registrations, it is always wise to ask group members to fill out a credit card approval form so that you have their signature on file. These forms can be mailed or faxed to you, so include both your address and your fax number on the form. You can also have members sign your credit card form, scan it (or take a photo of it), and email it to you.
Payments by Check
You can also accept checks, but the payment cycle is a little different. People will have to mail checks to you, and allowing time to clear means you have to set a deadline for when membership registrations and payments are due. Also, check with your bank about fees for checks from other people that bounce. With business accounts, usually your business is charged a fee if the member bounces a check (go figure!).
People sending payment from another country will have to send you a traveler’s check or international money order in your local currency, or wire money from their bank account to your bank account.
If you work from a home office, you may want to consider opening a local post office box for business and mastermind group registration purposes, rather than divulging your home address to strangers.
By being prepared in advance, you can easily begin your new mastermind group and take membership registrations without any hassles.