If you’re hiring freelancers for your business you’re likely saving a good amount compared to having a full-time person on your staff for all the tasks that you might need. And freelancers can take care of a number of different tasks for you from writing content to coding websites and from interacting with customers to managing your payroll. But it’s important that you decide just how you’re going to pay those freelancers before you hire one for your team.
First, you have to decide on the rate of pay. This doesn’t just mean the specific number amount that you pay (though it’s important to agree on that as well) but also the way you’re going to do it as either a fixed rate or an hourly contract. These will generally vary based on the type of work and your relationship with the freelancer, as well as just how long you plan to work with them.
Some freelancers work on a per-project rate, which allows you to save some money when the project is relatively simple and takes them approximately the same amount of time each time they do it. This is simple and easy to set up and allows both you and the freelancer to make a decision on what is a fair rate to get these simpler tasks completed.
On the other hand, you can also choose to work at an hourly rate, which will give a slightly different perspective. This is better if the project is more complex and might require a little more effort or work from the freelancer. It can also be good for relationships where you’re going to be working with that same freelancer for an extended period of time.
Pay Through Services
Next up, you have to decide just what platform or system you’re going to use in order to pay your freelancers. This will generally vary based on the specific freelancer as well as the work they do and where both of you are located. After all, some payment methods are easier in some formats than others.
Cash — If you and the freelancer work in the same area (which doesn’t happen very often) you could choose to pay them in cash. This allows for a quick and easy transfer of funds but it requires you and your freelancer to be in physical proximity and to make a plan to meet up regularly to transfer the money.
Check — Another option is to pay by check, which could then be mailed to the freelancer, wherever they happen to be. These can be good for some freelancers, and provide a paper trail for you and for them saying that they have been paid and how much. On the other hand, your freelancer needs to have a bank account and some accounts may put holds on checks that come from out of state or especially out of the country.
Direct Deposit — This is the common way that you would pay one of your employees, but it’s also a way that you can choose to pay your freelancers. With direct deposit, you would have access to their bank account information and you can set them up with your payroll system. This allows the money to be put directly into their account whenever a contract or protection is completed and is generally faster than other methods. But it requires them to reveal their bank account information.
PayPal — PayPal and other systems like it are also common ways that freelancers might want to be paid. These provide the security of records for all transactions, as well as options to send out invoices for work that has been completed. Also, no one has access to the bank account information that the other is using, which adds even more security. However, there can be fees taken out by PayPal for the transfer of funds, which means you may not get everything you’re expecting.
Third-Party Services — If you hire your freelancer through a third party they may get paid through that third party. If that’s the case you may want to talk with them about the platform and how the payment process works. For example, you may pay the service and then the service pays them. This will help relieve some of the potential security risks associated with knowing their bank account information, but it might be slower and the service might take some of the funds as well.
Setting it Up
The best thing you can do is set up a system that works for you and your freelancer. Keep in mind that you could have several different payment systems in place for different freelancers, and you’ll want to look closely at which ones work best for you and for them. You might find that some methods are easier for you but not as convenient for your freelancer, or you might find that one or the other is too expensive for you or them.
Once you know what you want to use, all you have to do is set up the system and decide when you’re going to make the payments. For some businesses, there are specific days of the month that they pay. For example, you might pay all of your bills on the last day or the first day of the month. Or you might pay them all in the middle of the month (or some combination of these days).
Other businesses or agreements with your contractor might specify payment upon delivery of the work or upon delivery of the invoice for the work. Or perhaps a set period of days after the work/invoice is submitted. It’s going to be up to you to decide which way works best for you and how to make the payments.
You and your freelancer are the only ones who can decide on the best overall payment method, but make sure that you’re including them in the process to make a decision that everyone involved is going to be happy with.