The Barter System -- Overlooked and Underrated
WHAT IS BARTER?
For the purpose of this article we are referring to the barter system as an agreement between business owners to give something in EXCHANGE for receiving something else. For example: One business owner may provide financial services, and another may do web design. Now you may think these businesses are so vast and so different they have nothing in common. However, in taking a closer look we see they have a very important element in common; they are both potentially in need of each other's services.
IS BARTERING RIGHT FOR YOU?
There are many business owners who are adamantly against bartering. They will tell you that it's a waste of time. These are the business owners who already make enough money and aren't willing to work together in order to get ahead. If these things apply to you stop reading now. However, if you want to build your team without spending any extra money -- and wouldn't mind HELPING someone else out in order to improve your own status -- bartering is definitely the way to go.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BARTERING?
Bartering carries with it a number of attractive benefits:
• No out of pocket COST to you
• Increased name recognition by association
• Increased POWER on your team
• Input of other professionals in your company's functioning
• Use of other SERVICES you might not be able to afford
• Opportunities for networking with different professionals
What do we mean by increased name recognition by association? Once you barter with a high PROFILE business your name is going to be seen more, remembered more and as a result recognized more by your target audience. The key to effective bartering is bartering with a company that is COMPARABLE with yours. If you own a shoe store bartering or doing a joint venture with a sock store would be the ultimate barter. You would recommend the sock store's services in return for them recommending yours. I mean after all if you need socks, you're going to need shoes. You also have increased name recognition by association because as the sock store is recommending your services the customers realize that if the sock store is willing to associate with your company you must be a wonderful company. A win-win situation for everyone involved.
FINDING BUSINESS OWNERS WILLING TO BARTER
Contact business owners you are already in contact with, your current pool. Also think of business types that are comparable to yours and search for them on the web or in your local business directory. Then contact the business owner with an OFFER.
GIVE THEM A REASON
Keep in mind that every business owner is just like you in that they are looking to EXPAND their businesses as inexpensively as possible. If you can answer the all time, number one, most important question for a business owner, "What's in it for ME?" the likelihood of the business owner agreeing to barter with you increases tremendously. What do you have to lose but a little time and effort? The yes's you receive will be worth the no's. Just keep it up and remember those yes's are exposure you would not have had. So get out there and ask for it.