An Essential Guide to Freelance Payment Methods

Alan Safahi, a leading San Francisco-based entrepreneur and startup founder, has made substantial research on freelance payment methods. According to Alan Safahi Orinda, freelancers represent over 35% of the workforce worldwide, and there are over 1.1 billion freelancers of the total 3.5 billion people in the global workforce.

Safahi’s research and analysis show that freelancers contribute more than $1 trillion to the U.S economy and about 5-7% of the total gross-domestic-product (GDP). About 48% of freelancers charge a fixed rate when selling their products or services, while 29% follow an hourly approach, and 23% experience use both methods.

There are numerous ways to receive money, and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Freelancers don’t always choose because most companies hire people with their preferred funds’ transfer methods implemented. However, many companies ask freelancers about their preferred payment methods. Therefore, it is crucial to choose wisely to maintain your cash flow. Read on!

Checks

Although many freelancers have forgotten the old-fashioned paper checks in this digital age, some companies hire freelancers to pay by check routinely. According to Alan Safahi, some freelancers prefer checks to other payment methods.

The biggest advantage of checks is that it doesn’t cost you money to receive them. However, the downside of checks is that you will have to wait a few days for your check to arrive if you have a local client.

Direct Deposit

Some freelancers prefer receiving payments by direct deposit method. A direct transfer occurs between the client and the freelancer’s bank. Alan Safahi says if a client offers this option, you should take it because it is brainless on your end.

For instance, you offer your products or service, get the job done, and the money appears in your bank account. However, the only downside with direct deposit is that your client has to initiate the process through his own bank.

PayPal

PayPal is the gold standard for many entrepreneurs to accept payments. It is one of the most popular payment processing platforms, allowing freelancers to accept different debit and credit cards online. Likewise, your clients can pay you from their bank accounts directly.

According to Alan Safahi Orinda, PayPal is an easy and effective method for freelancers and their clients. Because the platform is widely recognized and used, clients usually don’t balk at using it. Similarly, it enables you to receive payment instantly.

The downside of PayPal is that it charges a 2.9% transaction fee and $.30 per sale. Although this is a small free, it adds up to substantial amounts over time. For example, if you earn $3,000 per month and receive payments through PayPal, you will pay around $900 over a year.  

Merchant Accounts

A merchant account is a unique bank account that enables a freelancer to accept money from their clients’ debit or credit cards directly. Most clients find it convenient to pay funds from credit cards because merchant accounts have lower transaction fees than payment platforms like PayPal and Payoneer.

Merchant accounts likewise enable freelancers to set up recurring payments and offer business support. The downside of a merchant account is that it will charge a portion of each transaction.

Final Words

There are numerous ways to pocket your profits from selling your services and skills through freelance platforms. However, there is no single perfect product or solution for you, meaning you need to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Are you A business owner or an Entrepreneur?

The world today is, generally, more ripe with opportunities than in the past.. The advent of technology has led to the formation of more industries, companies, and the like than ever before.. As a result, many individuals who never thought they could do business have found themselves in the world of business, perhaps making a great deal of income as well. In addition, the increasing rate of unemployment due to COVID-19 has motivated many people into starting their own businesses.

Many people have happened to stumble upon opportunities and made great businesses out of them, but only a small percentage have the proper orientation and mindset that result in a successful business.

Business

What then differentiates a business owner from an entrepreneur?

1. Motivation:

What serves as the motivation for starting a business goes a long way in deciding whether the owner is just that- a business owner or not. It is not uncommon to find that people start Businesses because a single opportunity opened up and they were available while there are others who first notice a need no one else sees and therefore seize the opportunity to create goods and/or services that meet such needs. The one with the visionary mind that notices what other people don’t, or even when they do, goes a step further to create a solution.

Entrepreneurs tend to listen more to their customers, which is the way things should be, according to an expert, Alan Safahi, a fintech CEO.

2. Passion:

Both the business owner and the entrepreneur have passion. This passion is just placed differently. The major concern of a business owner is usually to make profit for the company, and eventually its shareholders. This mindset goes a long way in determining the way they handle the business, relate with customers, handle feedback and so on. On the other hand, an entrepreneur is first interested in the industry. They go into business because they love that sector of the economy. For instance, an individual discovers they love fashion and enjoy anything that goes along that path. For that reason, they start a business in that line to explore their love for fashion, and share it with others.

It is important to follow your passion while starting a company, Alan Safahi opines. Of course, entrepreneurs would want to make a profit in their business but it wouldn’t be the only reason they start the business.

Business expert Alan Safahi also says that while you may make a lot of money from business, it should not be the goals.

3. Mode of business building:

Many business owners would rather build the business around themselves, concentrating on working in the business and becoming an indispensable part of the business. The entrepreneur is entirely different. They work on the business as much as they work in it and build it in a way that it can run without them. An entrepreneur creates an exit option in the business, so that if they want to leave to pursue other ideas or ventures, they can leave and the business will still be standing.

Lifestyle Startup Founder

Starting anything at all is not an easy task, it gets even more difficult when you’re starting a business which is an endeavour that takes a lot from the startup founder. 

A few things are expected to change such as routines, schedules amongst others. Many startup founders do not realize early in their journey how much their new business is going to affect their lives and they are often not prepared for such changes. There are therefore a few things startup founders could learn to improve their lifestyle.

One of the most important things an entrepreneur should learn very fast is time management. More than anything, you would have to spend more time working than you probably have been accustomed to. If that is going to be the case for the next few years, you should be getting prepared for some lifestyle changes.

The first thing you should learn as an entrepreneur is that you could be working round the clock. Many entrepreneurs find out that they are working almost throughout the day. A new idea could pop up in your mind at 2am and it could be 6am before you turn off the lights again. You have to get prepared for more work. You should study the experiences of other entrepreneurs such as Alan Safahi, a six time startup founder to understand what you are up against. 

For a startup founder, learning how to say no could be a life-saving skill. You have to realize that you cannot attend every function, you cannot be at every brunch, you cannot attend every meeting. These meetings are indeed sometimes, very crucial for networking and of course, business growth. That is why you should be able to determine which ones require your physical appearance more than the others. If not, you would find yourself socializing more than you are actually working, which of course, is bad for business.

 On the other hand, you could learn to delegate if you can. If you already have team members or a partner, it would be such a great idea to learn how to transfer some of the work or outings that do not necessarily require your personal touch to them. 

You should also know that stress is likely to set in and you definitely should avoid that as much as you can. Stress is bad for business. Sooner or later, it would start to take its toll on your effectiveness at work. 

A startup founder should learn to be part of a community. There is no need to isolate yourself or your business from other people who are also entrepreneurs. There is so much to be learnt from a community of startup founders who have gone through what you are going through now or even have the same experiences as you at the moment. Apart from experiences, startup founders can access funds when they are part of a community. 

If only for encouragement, apart from the network, being part of a community is good for an entrepreneur. You can join communities where you can learn from business experts like Alan Safahi

Startup

Also, as startup founders, trying to nurture a new business, there is often the huge temptation of neglecting some other areas of life. Learn to fight that temptation as hard as you can. Connect with the people in your life and do not cease to enjoy life itself. 

Finally, you must be prepared to not get paid for a long time. “To a startup, cash is like oxygen” says Alan Safahi.  “You have to be very diligent with your expenditures including but not limited to what you pay yourself and your co-founders and early employees”.  

Most startups run out of cash and fail while trying to achieve product / market fit.  It usually takes 3x as much time and costs 3x as much as expected so it is very important for startup founders to conserve cash as much as possible.  

This bootstrapping period could last anywhere from 2-3 years so preparing ahead of time and lowering your personal overhead and financial commitments can make this period a lot less stressful. 

Online Reputation Management and Impact on Your Job Search, Business, Love Life and Well Being

Online Reputation Management

You’ve been having a hard time keeping up with the social media because of that post that recently trashed your services? Or, you’re unsure how to keep customers coming to your space for what you offer after a negative review by a previous client? 

Don’t fret! Digital marketing entrepreneur Alan Safahi is here to help. Find out all you need to know about Online Reputation Management (ORM) in this post!

Online reputation management is fast becoming a principal niche in the world of internet marketing. A fragment of social media marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ORM is a niche that is critically important for keeping your brand away from a reputational crunch.

Building positive awareness about brands does not come easily. It often requires a lot of time, effort and expenses. You determine how far your business goes by how much you do to generate positive reviews. If customers aren’t satisfied and they flood the internet with  negatives concerning your brand, your case might end up being a sorry tale.

As a business owner, Alan Safahi says you should take your online reputation seriously because, in reality, it is your top marketing priority. It primarily entails building positive feedbacks and providing responses to negative thoughts about your brand in online chats. It also involves minimizing the effect of dissenting publicity by snuffing out detrimental web pages that appear in Google search results.

To start with, negative publicities against your brand are as powerful as your company size. So, you may want to take extra caution if you’re running a large business. 

Although every company has the tendency to be affected by negative publicities on the internet, irrespective of Size. 

Negative publicity goes beyond bad press displaying in Google search results. Social sites too are a battleground for campaigns relating to online brand protection, especially now that online discussions are on the increase. 

If, for instance, a disappointed customer goes up on Twitter and drops a damaging tweet concerning your brand, the chances of losing more customers will definitely skyrocket.

Online Reputation Management helps you get honest reviews from customers and locate every platform your brand is being spoken about on. This way, you can increase the volume of positive reviews and tune down the negative ones. As Alan Safahi puts it, Online Reputation Management is the brand owner’s way to achieve greater success.

What’s more, you stand the chance to appear on the first page of Google search results when your brand review is filled with positive content and a good reputation. This will help you drive more traffic to your site and, of course, this means more customers.