I have often been asked the question “When is the best time to join a barter exchange?” My answer is, “The best time to join a barter exchange is any time that you have excess capacity, whether you have extra inventory sitting on your shelves or downtime if you run a service business.”
In thinking about it more, I think the real answer is, “Whenever you first learn about BarterPay…that is the best time to join.” 🙂
Even if, technically, it isn’t the optimal time in your business cycle, joining BarterPay is just putting a tool in your tool belt. There will be times where you use it more and other times less based on a wide variety of factors. The only time that it isn’t worth joining is if you are already on the path to bankruptcy.
Even if you are planning on selling your business, your business is worth more if you leverage barter to increase revenue and offset expenses, so in turn increasing profit. Also, there are business consultants, and accountants who will accept barter to help you get your business into the best position possible for sale. At the very least, why not turn idle time or excess capacity into a better sale price?
But I started writing this Blog based on the opposite end of the business lifecycle asking the question, ‘Is my business too new to barter?’, so let’s take a look at that.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS NEW BUSINESS OWNERS DO NOT FEEL READY TO BARTER?
- They are confident that their business will be successful and they will have no problem getting customers.
- They have earmarked all the funds they planned on investing in their business and the $495 activation fee is just too much right now, and they do not feel they can afford the cash cost of goods to service the barter customers.
- They are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of tasks they have it setting up their business, hiring staff or running the business on a shoestring budget.
- If it is their first business launch, they are just figuring out how to run a business and don’t want to take brain space figuring out a concept that is foreign to them.
WHY SHOULD THEY LOOK PAST THESE REASONS AND INCORPORATE BARTER INTO THEIR BUSINESS PLAN SOONER RATHER THAN LATER?
- They will receive immediate business from customers who are business owners. Not only is this revenue to the business, these are great connections to make for both gaining referrals but also for learning from successful business owners on what they did to become successful.
- They can literally immediate offset expenses that nobody wants to pay for when launching a business. For example, advertising, renovations, merch, signs and printing. The list goes on and one. They also have personal expenditures they can use barter for instead, which frees up cash to put into the business. (To learn more about using personal spending check out the blog we did on Personal Spending and Barter.
- Not only can business owners offset costs that they would have incurred in Canadian dollars, they can also invest in getting additional services for their business to help guide them or just to simply relieve from tasks they are doing themselves that they really don’t want to do. Like maybe basic bookkeeping, or managing the website…or social media. There are many tasks small business owners wish they didn’t have to do themselves. Here’s some more examples:
- Accountant to make sure your books are setup for success.
- Bookkeeper to take care of bookkeeping and payroll.
- Business coach to guide and encourage you.
- Social media consultant.
- Copywriter of material for the web.
- A proper well designed website vs low cost do-it-yourself version
- Legal services to make sure your contracts and other documents are properly drafted.
- Cleaning services
- Computer technicians
You may also want to check out the blog about Start-Ups! There are endless ways new businesses can barter because they literally need everything! Did you know you can get Barter Loans too? Wow, we didn’t even get into that here! There is an entire section on the our website about how to get loans on barter and they’re interest free, which is incredible! Check it out!