Are you interested in bartering for your business? Check out ITEX bartering for a list of companies you can barter with.
Not sure if bartering is for you?
Devon Smiley, a Negotiation Consultant and Speaker, has a few suggestions for businesses that are considering using bartering.
First, she said, be clear on what has value to you and your business.
Smiley suggests that before you dive into bartering, you take a look at investments you’ve been looking to make in your business, whether it’s getting a new logo, starting a podcast, developing promotional items or re-designing your workspace.
She said these are the kinds of things that you should be open to bartering on.
“If you were going to have to spend money/time/energy to bring those things into your business anyway, then there’s a value to potentially trading your product or service for those items,” she said.
A local small-batch roaster approaches you about doing some packaging design for them in exchange for 1/bag a week of their beans – for the next year.
- You like their coffee
- You would have been buying their coffee anyway
- You know that paying retail for those beans would equal more than your design fee
But, she said, it’s not always about profit, or even breaking even. Sometimes it’s about building connections and relationships with other entrepreneurs.
“You may not gain ‘equivalent value’ on the exchange, but you could tap into a valuable referral source or wing (wo)man for building your business,” she said.
When you’re getting started in business, a bartering situation can also be good a test run for your products or services.
But, she warns, there will be times when you’ll be approached about bartering and it won’t be a fit, and you should feel free to say “no, thank you” or “this isn’t a good fit for me right now, but if you’d like to learn more about my work, would you like to schedule a client consult?”