Have you ever wanted or needed something but just didn’t think there was a way to get it? I’ve been in that position many times, but I’ve learned the value of barter.
In the past barter was used to exchange various good among people who may not have had access to money. It often ran parallel to a money system. Today it’s much the same – there are barter networks around the globe. These networks are organized and managed, but there is a simpler way to use barter to your advantage.
As an example, if you are a caterer and need to get your computer fixed and know a ‘tech guy’ – can you trade for something in your list of products and services? Depending on the value of the repairs, you could trade a week’s worth of prepared meals.
Many years ago I did one of my most innovative barters. I was a divorced mom with three small children and a cat. Well this cat needed to be spayed, so I booked the vet appointment. But my cat went into heat and escaped the house before we got to the appointment. By the time we got her back home and I took her to the vet he told me she was already pregnant. I figured she was only a year and would have at most two kittens. Oh no – she popped out SIX kittens by THREE different fathers. I know! I know! She had fun – I didn’t know until then that cats could get pregnant by more than one male at a time. But her two orange tabbies, two long haired Siamese and two jet black short hairs were proof!
Well, I was now the owner of 7 cats and knew I needed to be responsible and have them all spayed or neutered and get their first shots. But there was no way I had enough money to do that! So, I approached my vet and asked if he’d be willing to do a trade with me. I’d build him a website and do all his marketing for a year. He loved the idea – no other vet in our town had a website at the time (this was the late 1990′s). When we launched the site I sent out a press release “Local Vet Launched into Cyberspace” that the local media picked up and throughout the year I updated his website, wrote press releases and networked for him.
It was a great deal for both of us. I now had a cat that wouldn’t have anymore kittens and six kittens that would go to good homes who also wouldn’t add to the pet overpopulation problem.
Have you ever bartered your business skills for something you needed? Comment below and share your story.