Challenging Times Require Creative Solutions – Think Barter

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Whether you are an established business or a new start up you have to be creative when times get tough. Your rent and payroll won’t go away and your first solution is to not pay yourself so you can pay others to keep working for you. Every business goes through these challenges. It is the ones that think creatively that survive and thrive.

You have to be open to do things differently whether it’s the way you market your self or changing the products or services you sell to address the needs of the changing market.

Finding new and innovative ways to reach your clients through the Internet using search engine marketing and email campaigns can often deliver a higher ROI than traditional print, radio and TV. Outsourcing services to contractors who you pay only when you need them can avoid a steady money drain and improve efficiency. Public Relations can help you get your business free publicity through traditional media. PR can help keep you in front of your audience and tell your story.

Another helpful solution is to trade! Yes, trade your goods or services for the products or services you need. Trade or barter is the oldest form of currency. Before traditional currency if I wanted to buy your horse I would trade you 3 goats for your one horse. The three goats were the currency or “trade dollars” I used to reimburse you for the price of the horse.

Today it is common for businesses to trade through Barter Exchanges for items they need. The process has become more sophisticated and does not necessarily involve a direct exchange. For instance if I belong to a barter exchange I could provide $1000 of services for Company A. Those trade dollars would be paid and deposited to my account. I could then use those trade dollars to purchase $800’s in services from Company B. The $200 would remain in my account and the transactions would all be processed by a Barter Broker who would collect a small cash fee from all parties for executing the trades.

You may wonder why I would trade when I need cash to run my business. Well if your business is slow or you have excess time or inventory you can maximize your time or inventory for trade dollars that you can use to offset spending with “real dollars”. As an example if you have a Printing business and you have time when your machines are not working you could do a job on barter and then use the barter dollars to pay hotel expenses or advertising rather than depleting your limited cash. If you are a small business owner you can also use barter to pay for family vacations, jewelry and household items that are available through the barter network.

Now many of you may be anxious or wary of dealing with a barter company, I understand your anxiety. You need to do research and find a legitimate bartering firm. My company uses Barter Brokers International. Founded in 1994, BBI has representation in Charleston, Columbia, Savannah, Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach, Greenville and Charlotte NC. Barter Brokers International is the fastest growing trade exchange in The Carolinas. BBI helps its member companies enhance their businesses through exchange of products and services instead of making cash disbursements.

Barter Brokers International is a member of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), The Universal Currency (UC), The International Barter Alliance (ITA), Barter Card United Kingdom (for Australia & Europe), providing a combined network of over 350 barter associates around the world. Through its affiliation with these networks, Barter Brokers International can provide its members with local, national, and international buyers and sellers. You can learn more at and IRTA website

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