One of the perks of running a virtual business is that you can not only work from anywhere, but you can also work for businesses that are located anywhere. If you look at Focus Internet Services as a virtual business, being that the work performed by us is done so by people living all over the world, then you can understand that we are not tied specifically to an office or specific location. Naturally, many of our clients are more comfortable being able to meet a representative of the company in person, in the convenience of their office. This has more to do with the sales process than the actual work performed by the business, making it easier for clients to discuss their projects at length in a setting that is more conducive to understanding than through phone or email. Simply put, the clients want to know that you actually exist as a business and are not just some fly by night organization that is going to take their money and go out of business tomorrow. They are generally convinced of this by offices and physical structures, as well as being able to meet you in person. The actual business of SEO and web design is performed using the internet as a platform, which means that it can be accomplished from anywhere in the world and without ever meeting anyone in person.
Aside from the sales process, the difficulties of working with businesses that are not located in the same country that you are is the issue of payment. Delivery of the services that are ordered are actually done through the internet from our computers to yours, or to the servers that your website is located on. If we are doing link generation for SEO, the work is performed from our computers to the servers where the link is being generated. None of these things are physically delivered, and because of this we can literally work from anywhere there is an internet connection. Of course, it is more comfortable in our office and as a result we are more productive, but this is really just the comfortable environment again instead of the actual delivery of work. That is done from any location.
So how do we handle the issue of working with companies that are not located in the same country as we are? Simple, we establish a working communication method that both we and the client are able to find beneficial, and then we establish the actual method of payment for the services. The communication method will vary as to the client’s wishes, ranging from phone to instant messenger to Facebook messages. The method of payment has been more difficult of an issue in the past than it is today. Previously, if we were taking a check mailed from a foreign bank we would need to wait a longer time frame than typical before beginning work in order to make sure that the funds clear. If we took a payment through a foreign credit card, we would need to expect that there may have to be some additional figuring of foreign transaction fees. Now as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming more mainstream we have begun accepting them as well. This does not mean that we have not always accepted Bitcoin as payment, because we have. Most internet based businesses have dabbled in cryptocurrencies and accepting them as payment for many years now, but essentially these types of currency must generally be converted into dollars in order to pay employees unless they are willing to also accept that same form of currency as their payment. Within the ecosystem of web designers and programmers this will work to a degree, but ultimately we can’t spend Bitcoin to pay the electric company or buy office supplies at Office Depot. So while we accepted Bitcoin to certain degrees from certain clients, we never made it an official way to pay us until the exchanges became more emainstream and we were able to convert cryptocurrencies more easily. Now, more people understand what Bitcoin is and how it is used, and because of that we are able to more readily accept it as a form of payment.
One of the issues with accepting Bitcoin as payment is that it is not stable as a value. The other issue is the fees that are paid in order to accept Bitcoin. Other cryptocurrencies will generally have faster transaction speeds and lower fees through their blockchain system, but face the issue of not being as widely understood and recognized as Bitcoin, and therefore not as easily transitioned into US dollars to spend within our broader ecosystem of the physical world. With regards to that issue, we must continue to accept the form of payment that may have the higher fees and take longer to have a transaction be finalized simply because it is easier to integrate with the physical world, or at least transition it. The largest issue with regards to Bitcoin acceptance is actually the stability of the value. Right now, you could accept a Bitcoin payment that will equal the value of $1,000 US dollars and in 15 minutes it might have a value of $500 due to market volatility. Until this is better worked out, our process is to accept Bitcoin as payment to our wallets that are directly connected to an established exchange. As soon as that payment is accepted we transition the Bitcoin to the exchange and sell it on the open market at the current price. This system is far from perfect due to market volatility over the past few months, but it works well enough to allow us to continue accepting payments in Bitcoin for the work we do. Since Bitcoin is not integrated into any central banking system controlled by any country, we can worry only about the exchange rate between Bitcoin and the US dollars for our purposes. It is irrelevant to us what the price of Bitcoin will rise or fall to in the surrounding hours or days, as the receiving and sale of the Bitcoin at the current market value is what fuels our transaction. On the customer end, it would make sense to either purchase the Bitcoin on an exchange at the moment you are going to send it to us for payment, or pull from a pool of Bitcoin that was purchased at a lower rate than the current market value. The price you paid for your Bitcoin has no bearing on the transaction between yourself and us. If you purchased your Bitcoin at four dollars and it is now worth fifteen thousand, you are getting a great deal on our services. If you purchase your Bitcoin the moment before you send it to us, you pay us at the current market value.
Bitcoin gives us the ability to work for you, no matter where in the world your business is located. It allows us to be your SEO company and help your website rank better, if you are located in the US, in Canada, in the Middle East r anywhere else in the world. We want to work for you, and yes we accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.