SMART CONSUMERISM: Bartering, Sometimes You Have To Go Back To the Basics
If you were asked the question, “What is the number one concern you have when it comes to running a business?”, what would your answer be? For most of us the answer would be, “How can I increase my profit when I don’t have the money to invest in the areas that would likely assist in doing so?” So this is where you think I give you the answer, right? To be honest if I knew the answer, I’d be a wealthy lady. While I don’t have “the” answer I do have some suggestions.
It is my belief that the key to resolving an issue is that you must first fully innerstand what you are dealing with. In this case we are dealing with the need for a service (such as marketing). In return, profit is expected to be made. While the service that is needed may have a price tag tied to it that we are unable to afford, that is not the end of the road. It is time to get creative!
What service or product do you have that you can use to barter with someone who has the talent or skill and the ability to provide you with the service that you need? In this age of social marketing it has never been easier to connect with others. Feel free to reach out to a company and offer a barter or trade. While everyone will not be able or willing, you would be surprised at the amount that are! As a business you may want to protect yourself and your “barter buddy” by creating a simple contract that can be digitally signed by both parties.
Here’s a few quick tips to get you started.
- You have something you want or need.
- You are willing to trade X item or service for the item you want or need.
- Assign a value to the item you are trading, taking into account points such as the original price (if you can remember it), the condition of the item and the weight, with regards to shipping and packaging costs, if it is a physical item being exchanged.
- Using your social networks create a post/group/board/event and advertise what you are offering and what you are looking for in exchange. Make sure to let everyone one you are looking to trade or barter and that no monies will be exchanged (unless you want to do something like a partial trade).
- You might find that having a few items to offer will get you more responses.
- You may also find that if you leave it open-ended you will get more responses as well, for example “I have many jewelry making materials; please ask for specifics, if you are interested.”
- When someone contacts you, then you may tell them the value of the item you are trading and they can share the value of their item. At this point you will decide if the value is acceptable and exchange mailing information or discuss how to complete the exchange.
Trading and bartering services and products is just one way to give and receive, all the while helping each other to grow our businesses, reach our goals and tap into the meaning of community.