We all know what bartering is; instead of using cash, you get the goods or services you need by trading goods and services of your own. Unfortunately, people still see bartering as a somewhat antiquated arrangement; you might think about nomads trading furs for fish instead of picturing bartering as part of the 21st century business scene. However, bartering has been making something of a comeback, especially among start-ups.
Instead of meeting in a marketplace, 21st century bartering usually starts online. You use a website to advertise your services or contact another company directly to see if there’s anything you can trade. For example, a web designer might create a website for an office furniture supplier and get new chairs and desks in return.
Bartering works well even when your business is established and thriving, but it’s an especially useful tool for start-ups, and that mostly comes down to money.
One of the highest causes of start-up failure is a lack of cash. When you haven’t been trading for very long, you usually have more money going out than coming in; whether or not the start-up takes off often depends on how long they can hold out before a steady flow of business is established. This means most start-ups have little cash but a high capacity for work. Instead of letting your time and resources go to waste, it makes sense to adopt a bartering strategy for goods and services you need to grow your business.
Of course, there are benefits beyond cash-flow. When you start bartering, you’ll often be put in contact with a community of small businesses that could assist you in the future. For example, the office furniture supplier you made a website for could recommend you to other businesses if you do a good job. A deal you put in place to get necessary goods or services could still see you making money in the long run.