The Philippines is home to stunning white sand beaches, a rich cultural heritage, and over 1.5 million freelancers. But how can remote workers ensure they get paid on time?
It’s no surprise that Filipino independent contractors are one of the fastest growing segments contributing to the international freelance labor market (more commonly known as the ‘gig economy’).
Contract or remote work provides freelancers with benefits like flexibility, work life balance, shorter commutes, and more job satisfaction (to name a few). All of these perks have resulted in an astronomical increase in freelancers in the Philippines, making it the top country for project-based work in South Asia.
Over 1.5 million Filipinos have embraced the freelance life, which is 2% of the total population. This means the Philippines has one of the highest rates of remote workers per capita internationally. Furthermore, in a recent study, 86% of Filipino remote workers said that they anticipate future growth for their freelance business.
Sadly, freelancing isn’t all working from the beach. There’s the sticky issue of how to get paid for your hard work. If you work for international clients, there can be even more hassles before your hard earned money actually appears in your bank account. Navigating international money transfers, foreign exchange rates, and other financial hurdles can cut into a freelancer’s valuable time.
Luckily, remote workers in the Philippines have plenty of options to ensure they get paid on time, in full, and without spending an arm and a leg on fees when sending money online.
A good invoice is a freelancer’s best friend. But what makes a ‘good’ invoice?
Essentially, an invoice is just an itemized list of your goods or services, including the price per unit. But how and when you send your invoices can make all of the difference when it comes time to getting paid.
First, ensure your invoice appears professional. Include your business name, address, and contact information in the header (even if that’s just your name, address, and contact information).
Your invoice needs to be clear, understandable, and concise: within a glance, your customer is going to want to know exactly what they are being charged for. All taxes, surcharges, equipment fees, and other expenses need to be clearly labeled.
It’s a good idea to invest in a logo for your freelance business to help establish your brand. Repeat the same colors, fonts, and formatting on all of your invoices to establish your freelance business as reputable and professional.
There are a variety of invoice generators and templates out there to get you started. Some payment processors, like Veem, even allow you to create a branded invoice within the payment process, saving freelancers valuable time.
Another key aspect of invoicing is timing. When should your invoice be delivered, and when is it due? In many industries, it’s standard to begin invoicing a client as soon as work begins: you don’t need to wait until the project or task is completed. This helps with cash flow and ensures your client actually does have the funds to pay your rate.
Always, always, always specify when your invoice is due. A clear due date on your invoice (as well as any penalties for late payments) gives a professional appearance, and protects you in case of late or default payments.
For example, including a simple interest policy at the end of your invoice (say, 5% of the total invoice compounded monthly) demonstrates your professionalism as well as the financial penalties your clients will incur should they miss the due date. Show your clients you are a professional, and they will treat you as such.
Another aspect of a good invoice is that it’s immediately obvious how to pay it. Include instructions and details on what sort of payment you will accept, and in what currency. For example, you may decide not to accept credit card payments due to unfavorable foreign exchange rates. You may decide to only accept US dollars, Philippine pesos, or another preferred currency. If you want your clients to send your money online, provide explicit instructions on how to do so.
Make it simple for your clients to pay you, and they’re more likely to pay you on time. If you are getting paid with Veem, you can even create a custom pay link to share with clients, making the payment process seamless and simple.
In the olden, pre Internet days, freelancers were reliant on wire transfers to receive or send money internationally. Wire transfers use the SWIFT network, an outdated and slow method of moving funds around the world.
Low security and high fees are the hallmark of a traditional international money transfer. The lack of transparency regarding your money can hurt a freelancer’s business relationships, eroding trust and creating unnecessary confusion. Plus, hefty fees can create cash flow issues and eat into your bottom line.
Luckily, fintech (or financial technology) is an emerging industry serving the need to send money online, and fix the issues of international payments. For too long, international wires have eaten into the pockets and wallets of freelancers with their high service fees. Now, online payment methods offer freelancers and contractors more control and transparency when sending money and receiving funds internationally.
Veem is one such fintech company aiming to level the playing field. Remote workers can receive and send money online without payment fees. Custom pay links, branded invoices, and payment tracker mean your freelance business can get paid quickly, easily, and securely. With Veem, it’s easy to send money online to the Philippines from over 100 countries. Never waste valuable beach time worrying about getting paid. Try Veem.
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