As a professional working from home, you will face many challenges. For starters, you’re the one wearing every hat in your business, which means you’ll have to hustle for clients, set the schedule, find software solutions, plan and implement marketing campaigns, manage a business website (and social networking accounts), and of course, do the actual work you are contracted for and deliver quality products in a timely manner. You’ll also be responsible for managing your accounts, which not only entails keeping your clients satisfied, but also ensuring that they pay you for your work. For many work-at-home moms, this could require the ability to take credit card payments. But since you operate out of your house, you might not have the first idea about how to make this happen. It’s not like you can have your clients come over to swipe a credit card. Luckily, there are other options available to people in your position.

The first and possibly easiest solution is to sign up for a PayPal account. If you operate mainly in the online arena this service provides a superb means of taking payment. It’s easy and free to set up an account, so both you and your clients should have no trouble doing so. In fact, many businesses already have PayPal accounts in place for online transactions. And since both bank accounts and credit cards can be added, your clients may pay by credit card and you can transfer the money directly to your business account. You may also leave money in PayPal to pay subcontractors in turn, or use it to pay for online purchases for your business, making it ideal for the business owner that works form home. Just be aware that PayPal charges a fee for some transactions.

Of course, if you happen to have a business website up and running you might also consider setting up a shopping cart. Although this will certainly entail more work on your part, it could be worth it for a number of reasons. For one thing, you have total control over the process, meaning you can prompt customers to pay at set times, such as when they place an order. And if you have a shopping cart and checkout option, you may allow for multiple kinds of payment, including PayPal and any number of credit or bank cards. Expanding the payment methods your business accepts could not only make it easier for clients to contract your services, but it could also save you money. While PayPal charges a flat percentage rate, some credit card companies may charge less for transactions (although some also charge more).

But what if you occasionally take payments in person, as when you drop off goods or perform services in-office? In this case you might consider Square. This hardware/software combo for your iPhone allows you to take credit card payments on the go thanks to programming that allows you jack the physical card reader into your smartphone and then send payment directly to your bank account. This form of mobile credit card processing is fast, easy, and comes with a flat percentage rate for every swipe. As you can see, there are many ways that a self-employed professional can take credit card payments, even when working from home.

Image source: (iStock)

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