I was introduced to Barter in the mid 90's by Scott Berg (Now Co-Founder of Trade Exchange Canada). As usual I did not get it at first and did not get on board right away. Scott persisted and I am glad he did. I quickly saw the benefits. I was involved in a growing domain registration and hosting business and needed both clients and more marketing dollars. I had great margins back then and I quickly turned my growing barter account into my greatest source of marketing.
In the mid 90's domain registration was $90.00 and we made a ton of profit on it. I sold a lot on Barter and turned around and bought printing, brochure design and a whole bunch of other marketing products that provided me with even more clients.
Hint #1: It Is First & Foremost A Great Client Acquisition Strategy!
With every new venture, the first thing I do is phone up Scott and tell him what I am doing and he is usually one of the first customers. Barter customers are trying to convert their barter into products & services they need for their business. Recently, I have offered membership in Rapid Time Networks on Barter. I turned around and bought printing for Trade Shows, Web Design & Development , Floor Banners and the list goes on. I never have a problem finding useful stuff for my business. I have a saying that Barter is ten times easier to make that cash and two times harder to find value with than cash. It is still well worth the effort.
Hint #2: Use It Like You Would A Bank!
Often Scott will advance a "line of credit" on my account at Trade Exchange. I always spend first and my trade account provides a source of credit I would either have to take out of my own pocket or go to a traditional finance source like a bank. Or more likely into today's world a Credit Card.
Hint #3: Treat It Like Cash - The Government Does!
The most common mistake I see in Barter is people do not spend it on their business and more on lifestyle. You can even get hockey tickets once in awhile. It is revenue and you can expense it. You take out barter that is not for your business it ends up taxable in your hands. You can still do it but understand the consequences. I treat a barter dollar as I do a Canadian or US Dollar.
Hint #4: People In Barter Tend To Be Early Adopters!
You meet a lot of interesting people in Barter. They tend to be out of the box thinkers for the most part. Also, they are very entrepreneurial and will try new stuff so it is a great place to find folks that like new start-ups. That is one of the big reasons I like using Barter as part of my marketing strategy.
Hint #5: Just Wait And Watch The Cash Roll In!
Here is what Scott or most Barter companies won't tell you. There is additional cash available and that for me is a good thing. I know that over time a good number of Barter clients will refer their friends and family for cash. I have no problem with that and it’s part of the reason I join the Barter company in the first place. I count on a certain level of referral business to constantly improve my cash flow.
There are a lot more reasons to use Barter. If used correctly it can provide you with a competitive edge. Not everyone gets it and it has been that way for as long as I have been involved. I do get it and I use it to jump start all my ventures.
If you are in western Canada I would give Scott Berg a call and make him take you out for a coffee and get his take on Barter. He is a total professional and will help you understand the world of Barter. He is famous for saying "Don't Pay For It - Trade For It". Tell him I sent you and he often has a promotion he is running!
George Moen - The Rapid CEO