Small Business Bartering: Why it Works for Freelancers

17 May

This morning, I met with my group of Mom-trepreneurs at our favorite coffee shop in Summerville for our monthly business networking meeting. Our members include Mom’s of every type who have a wide variety of businesses, from party plans and creative services to travel agencies and cleaning companies. One of the topics that came up several times in conversation was how we, as small business women, can support each other’s businesses this Summer. During this conversation, several Mom’s expressed that they would like to achieve certain things, but had limited financial resources for a different of reasons. This is actually a common theme with start-up’s and entrepreneurs – no capital to fund ideas and needs.

So, what does a savvy business owner do when this type of scenario comes up? We barter for what we need! Yep, that’s right – the age old method of swapping services and products for what you want or need in life. Did you know that bartering was actually the way that most people exchanged goods and services, before the formal monetary system was established in developed nations? In fact, among the small business community, bartering is a thriving activitity that most freelancers can take advantage of to make a better living and develop relationships with like-minded business owners. Bartering is a win-win situation for everyone!

Of course, this does take some effort to network and seek out those who can provide the things you need, and connect with others who need what you offer. In my 5 years as a copy writer in Charleston, I have successfully bartered with clients for a variety of services and products including – massages, haircare, automotive repair, jewelry, artwork, and more! While it can’t pay the bills, it can take care of certain neccessities that would otherwise cost you a bundle. Think shopping for birthday gifts, taking care of personal needs, and having a car that gets you from point-A to point-B and you get what I mean, right?

You don’t always have to barter with local businesses either. As a freelancer, you have access to a world of bartering businesses that you can connect with online, in such places as free advertising sources and online community forums. Check out this eHow article about how to barter services online, and build your network at the same time. You can easily stretch your dollars further and improve your standard of living when you include bartering as part of the picture.

So, if you are a small business owner on a tight budget and you need something done for your business or personal life – consider bartering as a fun way to make new friends, expand your circle of influence and get things done – without the cost!

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2 Responses to “Small Business Bartering: Why it Works for Freelancers”

  1. Kristi Bernard May 19, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Bartering is a great way to network. I do it all the time with authors just so I can get a first glance at their books. I also do it with fellow authors who are new to social media.

  2. Alexandra May 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    I run a B&B, so barter is an easy option. This weekend we had a guest stay while speaking at our Eco Expo. I did not get anything out of giving away a room fee, but the town profited.

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