Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Business Side

A caller asked me about the business side of things today, and I realized I'd never explained that on my blog. Today seems like as good a day as any while I'm contemplating whether or not to post pictures of my Halloween costumes from years past, which are various degrees of unflattering and/or silly, but none of them are "sexy".

On NiteFlirt, the formula is: $0.20 connection fee + 30% commission per minute.

So at a rate of $0.99 / minute:

  $0.99 - charged to caller
  $0.20 - connection fee
  $0.24 - commission
  $0.55 - what comes to me, which is 55% of gross

But at a rate of $1.49 / minute:
  $1.49 - charged to caller
  $0.20 - connection fee
  $0.39 - commission
  $0.90 - what comes to me, which is 60% of gross

NiteFlirt does round in our favor on the 30% commission - it's actually 90.3 cents per minute, so approximately every 3rd minute makes 0.91 - in an hour on the phone it makes a difference of 18 cents at that rate. That's nice.

For those of you doing the math, that adds up to $54.18 per hour, which is a fabulous rate! But then, take into account:
  • It's self-employment - I'm a contractor for NiteFlirt, not an employee, so taxes aren't withheld, and I have to pay my own Social Security, and there are no health or unemployment benefits.
  • It's not constant - For every 12 hours of being online and available for work, I'm lucky to get 3 hours of on-phone time. I don't think I could get 40 hours of on-phone time even if I left myself logged 24 hours / day, 7 days / week. Heck, I'm not sure I could get 30. 18 hours on-phone is a great week, and I've only hit that while being available more than 70 hours. That's a lot of time to not leave the house and stay in the mood for sexy time.   
  • It's not predictable - For every busy Tuesday, there's a dead Saturday waiting right around the corner. For a while I thought I could predict a minimum weekly average, but I was wrong: it can inexplicably drop to nothing for days.
The advantages to the job seem obvious to me, but just in case you're curious what I think they are:
  • Flexible - I choose when to be available to work, and I can change my mind at any moment by just logging in or out. There are no minimum hours, no set schedules, and no asking for permission for time off.
  • Creative Ownership - I write my listing. I do a blog, Twitter and/or Facebook if I wish. I can create more listings for my same user name, or even create more user names. I can be any persona I feel like being. 
  • Great Overhead: I was a technical consultant for 14 years, and I NEVER got 60% of the bill rate. Ever. I was lucky to get 30%. The 35-45% that NiteFlirt gets paid? That pays for advertising, a very complicated telecommunications backbone, a huge web presence, and ongoing commitment to customer support (they've credited customers for disconnected calls, etc, when the glitches have interfered with the customer experience, and yet they still paid me for those minutes). Sure, it's not a perfect system, but I don't have to build or maintain it, and it almost always works as it's supposed to, so therefore I love it.

NiteFlirt pays well for the industry: many phone sex services pay $0.30 - 0.50 / minute, have minimum login requirements, and mandate personas. So a worker on those lines makes less, and has less control, but usually gets more calls (especially late nights and weekends).

Other services like NiteFlirt exist, but because this blog is linked from my NiteFlirt listing, I can't tell you about them (which seems perfectly reasonable). I have logged in with other services, but at the moment, I'm only logging in to NiteFlirt because it produces the highest call volume.

Did I miss answering something you've always wondered? Leave a question in the comments and I'll answer it!

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