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Boss of Twitter Launches Payment System in the UK

We all know how frustrating it can be for small businesses, freelancers, contractors and gig workers to get paid by clients, but there could be a solution.

It’s called “Square,” which is a payment system that connects to your smartphone or tablet, which then makes it easier to collect payment from clients.

Gone are the days of waiting around for weeks on end to receive a cheque in the post. These days, all you have to do is turn up at a clients office with your smartphone or tablet. “Just give me your credit card details and I will be on my way,” you say, before walking away with a completed payment.

This new payment system called Square was actually created by the guy that invented Twitter, so you can imagine it has been getting a lot of attention, as well as a decent amount of finance to push the system out there.

In America Square has already been a big hit, and now they are hoping the same thing is going to happen right here on UK shores. Will the British self employed embrace this new system though, or will they vote with their feet by ignoring it.

My opinion? I definitely think we are going to be seeing more and more people using these smart reader payment systems in the UK, especially when you consider that many contractors and freelancers have trouble getting paid.

This has led the government to set-up a special branch that focuses on clients who don’t, or just won’t pay, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they are going to be soon encouraging entrepreneurs to use this type of technology in a bid to get paid on time, every time.

If you ask me, one of the main reasons why so many people find it difficult to collect money from all of their clients is because they are not comfortable with using complicated digital solutions.

For example, one option is to take credit card payments on your website, but for a lot of people this is just way too much hassle to get sorted.

On the flip side, if you can start collecting payments with the push of a button on your smartphone, then it makes the whole process of getting paid extremely simple, to the point where even someone who has never been on the internet before could do it.

With the Square payment service, small business owners will pay a transaction fee of only 1.75% of the total amount paid. Not only that, but the money reaches your bank account that very same day, so you are not waiting around to get cleared funds.

If you’ve ever struggled to get payment from customers and clients, then you might just want to give a Square a go.

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Should female umbrella company contractors utilise social networking more?

It would appear that UK men are more savvy than their female counterparts when it comes to professional networking.

LinkedIn, the business network which boasts more than 100 million members, has developed a “savviness” ranking based on the ratio of connections in a person’s network and the ratio of male to female members.

The results make interesting reading for umbrella company contractors, especially when you split them down into industry sectors. For example, you would expect the cosmetics industry to be female savvy, and it does employ more female professionals than male. However, the males are better at online networking. The reverse is true in the agricultural sector where females are savvier than males.

When it comes to social media, entrepreneurs fit into one of two camps. Either they think it is wonderful or they are not convinced it has any value in business.

Andrum Consulting recently carried out research and discovered that 17% of entrepreneurs said social media had helped their business grow but 40% said it had made no difference.

The report, entitled ‘What Makes Entrepreneurs Tick’ suggests that significant sectors of businesses struggle to see the benefits of social media. Considering the segmented nature of UK business, this should not really come as any surprise. New media, professional and web-based businesses are much more likely to get benefits from Twitter than more traditional organisations.

One of Andrum’s partners, David Clayton-Smith, said a lot of well established brands struggle to see how social media fits in, but it is disappointing to find that some innovative firms aren’t making any effort to implement a social media strategy.

The study also discovered that 30% of respondents felt there were not enough hours in the day to devote time to social media, and a massive 82% said they did not have the money available to train people on its usage.

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Image: “HELLO” by Theoddnote

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