Before we dive too deep into ‘bartering’ for your business. What is barter?
Barter: Exchange of goods or services for other goods or services without using money.
Operating and growing a business you will come across many obstacles and costs. Some of these costs might be marketing, graphic design, website, uniforms, customer appreciation gifts and events, printing, business cards and the list could go on forever. So what if the person that I need to design and print business cards doesn’t need my product or service? There are several barter networks or barter exchange platforms out there that offer these services. A barter network is a company that acts as a broker for business to offer their products or services in exchange for barter dollars that can be spent on other businesses that offer their products or services on the same barter network. The barter network charges a fee for transactions. This fee structure can vary from network to network but on average you are looking at 5-6% cash fee on both purchases and sales. Some will charge on both purchase and sale while others will have a 10-12% fee on just one of the transactions. Generally speaking any business that is brought in through a barter network is new business that you wouldn’t generally be exposed to. This is a great opportunity to fill your calendar or sell off overstocked inventory.
I personally have an active barter membership with two barter networks here in Ontario, ITEX Toronto and Tradebank Canada. Both of these organizations are excellent, I highly recommend both. ITEX has offices all across North America, they work together with members being able to buy and sell through any ITEX office which can be great for nationwide companies as well for individuals and businesses that travel. Tradebank is a Canadian network with head office based out of Stoney Creek, ON. We’ve gained business for our business Scotia Events Inc that we wouldn’t have got otherwise and we’ve saved on spending cash for both business and personal expenses.
What have I offered on barter?
– Audio Visual Services & Equipment Rentals
– DJ Services
– Concert Tickets that I was unable to use
What are some things that we have purchased on barter?
– Website Design
– Business Card & Postcard Printing
– Private Sailing Tours in Toronto (for client appreciation & personal)
– Semi-Private Restaurant Bookings for Staff & Supplier Christmas Parties
– Venue Space & Catering for Company Anniversary Party
– Exotic Car Race Track Experience for Staff Outing
– Flight Simulator for Staff Outing
– Embroidery and Shirts for Staff Shirts
– Personal Clothing
– Go Karting
– Gifts for Parties and Door Prizes
– Restaurant Gift Certificates
– Holiday Presents
- Note – providing unique experiences for customer and staff appreciation is an excellent way to grow your business. One example I personally experienced was we invited some of our clients along with their choice of guests for a sailing charter. One of these guests happened to turn into a key cash client for our business.