Paul Darton is a football enthusiast who turned his passion into a living when he became the director at Socatots (ST) & Brazilian Soccer Schools (BSS) in Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard, as well as Head Coach of ST UK.
A winner in almost every aspect of his footballing career, Paul finally found his match trying to streamline an inconsistent cashflow. That was until three years ago, when he partnered with DFC. The result has been positive upward growth, great synergy and even a sponsorship deal from DFC.
BSS and ST are two of the largest grassroots football training organisations in the world. Together, they work in harmony to coach children between six months and 16 years in technical football skills.
A hugely popular choice for parents, Paul and his team found great delight in watching both organisations flourish, but struggled to manage the number of payments coming in from all manner of directions. Paul said:
“We used to collect 10-week payments up front and in many different ways – cash, card, standing order. Parents used to get annoyed if, say for example, their children missed a session. Collecting payments was a nightmare, and we lost out on a lot of money.”
A triumphant success
After moving all customers onto the Direct Debit scheme, both branches of BSS and SS have gone from strength to strength.
“By focusing on Direct Debit, we have one overarching payment method that people are committed to. Our customers pay month to month, increasing their longevity. We’ve halved our admin time and grown massively ever since.”
Over the past three years, the local BSS and ST organisations have collectively gone from coaching just 100 children to over 500. Paul continued:
“DFC has 100% been a factor in this – when a parent signs up to Direct Debit, they’re signing up for the long run. We simply wouldn’t have been able to become so big if we were still chasing payments. People can sign up to the scheme really easily. We’ve even added a sign-up link on our Facebook.
“DFC completely takes the hassle out of chasing payments. Some people will try to get out of paying, but DFC handles this for us and we can focus on bringing in new customers instead. With Direct Debit, once a child is signed up then that’s that – no further input is required.”
Elite squad sponsorship
There was no better way to celebrate the ongoing success than by helping kick off the new Milton Keynes & Leighton Buzzard BSS & ST elite squad.
The scheme, sponsored by DFC, has allowed a select handful of players from BSS & ST’s big talent pool to take their skills further. Chosen players get paid to take part in two public football sessions a week and develop their talent.
DFC’s sponsorship has paid for use of the venue for a year at the Powerleague Soccer Centre in Milton Keynes. It’s early days for the team, who have been playing for just two months, but DFC is looking forward to playing their part in keeping the younger generation active and interested in sport.
For more information on how DFC can help your business, get in touch on 01908 422026.