No cash? No worries! Using Barter in Your Small Business

This article is about how Barter can help your small business. Barter sits under the Alternative Commerce banner with sixty:forty.

Spencer and I created sixty:forty so that small business owners everywhere could have a place to go that would give them access to training, opportunity and community.

There are limits to the resources that small business owners have access to, and we want to level the playing field between small business owners and big business.

With this article we want to give you a greater understanding of Barter and just what it could mean for your small business.

In addition to that, we want you to be able to see just how you can start using it in your small business, and more importantly, how you can use the sixty:forty platform to start making deals. 

At sixty:forty we believe that where we all are now  … really challenges us to see how we can do business differently.

Circumstances are quite difficult right now, but honestly that is the essence of small business. You’ve got to be agile; you’ve got to adapt, and you’ve got to able to turn things around quickly. While some businesses have had their best years yet, the reality is that while many people have been able to keep the lights on … the cash flow has taken a bit of a battering.

Let’s discover how no cash can actually mean no worries.

Are there any myths that you have heard of that might be holding you back from fully exploring Barter for your business?

There are a number of different ways that you can use Barter to:

  • save cash
  • generate new business and find new customers
  • create an unlimited funding source; and
  • turn your down time, excess capacity or excess stock into a real return.

No Cash can truly mean No Worries

Can you still get what you need in business without using cash? Short answer is Yes!

While we might still have some downtime, or excess capacity, let’s get our minds together and let’s start thinking outside of the box. A key theme through all of our messages is that ‘We are stronger together’ …  and that is a motto for now … more than ever.

At sixty:forty we have created a space where small business owners can come and sign up to meet other small business owners and then support them in swapping their goods or services. Your time and the services you offer in business are what you are selling – yet instead of exchanging cash – you swap them for other services or goods.

We have only just launched and as you can imagine, something like this can only really grow when we have lots of people in there putting in their opportunities.

Our goal is to look at how we can all barter locally or in our own communities. So please share this so that we can build and really grow this platform.

With a community built on opportunity, this is one place where 1 + 1 is greater than 2.

But its more than that, product for product (or service for service) transactions are great but there is also a next level to that. Barter might sound like it could be difficult but virtually anyone with a sound understanding of value can profit with Barter in just a matter of hours and the rewards can be amazing.

So let your imagination run free and think about how you can use your time, energy and the resources you have and change the way you approach business. You are richer than what you think – so what can you exchange to get what you need (or want)? All without cash!

Think Creatively

Your creativity is your new currency, and you can consider us here as your personal concierges of connection.

If you have, or can develop, a creative mindset then you’ll be able to solve real world problems and maximise potential in ways that you might never have thought possible before. You can break through conventional and linear thinking and truly create exponential returns in your small business.

Barter can be an absolute gold mine for those small business owners who are prepared to think outside of the box and who are seriously willing to look at Barter as a creative financing tool for their business.

Lack of money is often cited as the reason for not being creative, however we think it is the thing that can unleash creativity. When you’re pushed it is incredible what opportunities your mind can open you up to.

Are you asking the right question?

Oftentimes people get stuck in the conventional thought process of I need $X to run the business, but we challenge that question much more deeply and ask “well *exactly* what do you need the dollars for?”

And it is only then that you get to the core matter of what is needed. When you do that, then you can identify whether there is an ability to get access to that resource – without having the cash.

Barter is a two-way street. You need to have something to barter, that is, you need to have something that is valuable to someone else.  This is because you are going to trade your own goods, services and talent to get access to those resources you want.

Sometimes these might be asymmetrical – which just means that you might deliver your services in a short time frame and the other person over a longer time frame. And that comes down to the quality of the agreement. Both parties must honour that promise of credit when the other person comes to redeem it.

Exchange Deals

Although we know that there are a few things that can go wrong with these types of deals, we want people to do “Happy Deals”.

These are the deals where people get what they want by exchanging what they have and then wrapping it up in an Agreement that recognises the promises and milestones made by both sides. 

By working with us you can specify what you have and compare it to what you need and come up with the best deal you can that makes it a win-win for all.

Have you heard any of these?

You might be thinking to yourself, alright this sounds good but what’s the catch? Or I’ve heard of these things before, and they can cost you a fortune.

Well, we don’t charge you a thing. You can jump on our platform and do this for free. Now we do have paid memberships that can put you on an accountability path towards realising the full value out of your small business so that you can start living the life that you truly desire.

Yet with all of the opportunities, the more we have the better our platform becomes. That is the reason why you can jump online and put up your offer for free.

Now you might have heard about some of the issues that come up with barter, or you might have even tried it out for yourself, and it may, or may not, have worked out for you.

Let’s take a peek at some of the myths about barter.

Myth #1 – For someone to win, someone has to lose.

I don’t really know when this ever became a thing because barter is win-win. You can only barter when both parties accept the offer. If you don’t agree to the exchange, then it doesn’t happen.

That said, in the larger barter exchanges you might not ever see the original person who put the funds into the system. With our platform, you do the deal with the person on the other side of the transaction directly. That means that you can both be certain of the value in the deal.

Barter is a voluntary exchange where both people expect the benefits of the trade to outweigh the costs. In other words, both parties expect to walk away from the trade better off than they were before the trade.

How can this be possible? Some critics think that if one person gains from a trade, it must be at the expense of the other party; they believe that one person’s gain translates into another person’s loss. But these critics are wrong! Remember that preferences are subjective. 

As long as the exchanges are voluntary and honest—in other words, so long as the exchanges aren’t forced or based on deception—people can achieve more of their goals by having the option of trading their property with each other.

Anyone can barter as we all have either excess time or unused, unwanted and underleveraged products or services.

Barter isn’t for linear thinkers though – you must step out of your comfort zone and into your creative zone.

Myth #2 – I need to be a member of a club.

Everyone thinks that they need to join one of the established clubs to do this. And while you certainly can, we built our platform so you don’t have to. You can find someone who is equally interested in doing barter deals and you can deal with them direct.

Our Barter opportunity was developed so that members can obtain virtually anything that they would pay cash for, but instead they exchange goods or services to get it. Any number of the trade clubs that exist can have more personal goods, whereas ours is about the exchange of business services.

Other clubs treat your trade like a bank transaction where the value of the exchange goes into a pool that can be used with others.

We chose to make our platform a more direct opportunity. The reason for this is because one of the problems we have found with other barter clubs is that there can be distortions around pricing. For example, $X is the price for cash and $X + 2 is the price for barter. The problem with that is that this affects other people inside the community who are doing the right thing. And although it is against the rules, it has been the reality that we have observed.

By doing it this way, it helps us ensure that there is value being built through the community … with our members doing direct deals with other members.

Myth #3 – It is expensive.

We don’t charge any fees for your exchange. We provide you the place to find others to put together these deals.  And that’s often the hardest part finding someone willing to do that.

One of the rules with 1:1 or direct bartering arrangements is that that you can only barter with a person who is in a position to barter – that means that you can only deal with the principal or business owner who writes the cheques and has the authority to make the decisions.  It is only the Small Business Owner themselves that cares about saving money.

With us you can get all of the benefits of being in a club but without the transaction costs. While we do have membership, that is primarily focused on the business education and mentorship side  – Alternative Commerce opportunities such as Barter are offered to show business owners how they can truly grow their business without having access to only cash.

So, it’s a true no cash, no problems outcome.

How to use Barter to Attract New Customers and Generate New Business

There are two aspects to this:

  1. Attracting New Customers
  2. Generating New Business

These are the two out of three pillars for exponential business growth put forward by Jay Abraham. Very few businesses would say no to more sales.

You can use sixty:forty to create better business results. When you join as a member, your business will then have access to the sixty:forty Opportunity marketplace. ,

By creating a Barter Opportunity, you can list your offer of what you want to exchange and let others know what you are looking for.  Plus, you’ll be able to view other businesses as well and begin to see how you can save cash through trade.

We are actively growing our Opportunity marketplace which means that we act as your sales team as well where we can promote and look to broker trade opportunities within the network. If you are a deal maker, you can even look to become a sixty:forty Barter broker yourself.

Normally for you to gain more customers you might hire more people, advertise more, run a sale or offer other incentives. By accepting Barter as an alternative payment option you can open up your business to a whole new market of customers.

This means that you don’t need to discount prices in order to attract new clients and customers – you can leverage your interaction on our platform.

As our membership grows so will the number of members available on the platform to post their opportunities.

By using Barter inside our opportunity marketplace, it allows you to find people who are just like you – those business owners looking to trade goods and services – to barter what they have for what they need.

Get an Interest Free Line of Credit, with no upper limit!

How would an unlimited line of credit sound? One that you create yourself. So there is no going to the bank to hand over all of your financials and then waiting on someone else to approve it or not.

The biggest advantage is that you can set your own credit limit.

One of the big things in using Barter is that there is no interest. In a typical lending scenario, the longer you owe money, the more you have to repay. That’s the power of compound interest working against you.

But when you use Barter, it is the power of compound interest working for you.

You see, you might get the benefit of the services today, yet you might not need to supply them for the next few months.

Obviously, there are risks in that, prices of your supplies might go down as equally as they go up. That said, where they stay fairly neutral, a dollar in the future will always cost you less than a dollar today, especially in times of high inflation.

Instead of limiting your future, think about what resources you need to grow or maintain your business.

You can look at which growth services your business needs and then identify others that you can barter with to exchange.

Barter is built on integrity though and you have to follow through with what you say.

Manage your Cash Flow

With Barter, you can save cash on normal expenses by exchanging your goods and services for business expenses like printing, repairs and improvements, professional services, travel, office equipment, corporate gifts, company meetings, and so much more,

Cash and Barter are no different in terms of ‘value’ – so your goods and services deserve to be sold at your everyday, real selling price – so your retail price. Not a discount.

We would encourage our members to trade with each other no differently than if you were selling for cash. This means that you are receiving full value for goods and services you are providing.

This keeps your cash flow healthy because you are selling at retail yet are able to buy at wholesale. So your cost in obtaining those services is actually your wholesale rate.

This is an essential point to understanding the use of barter in small business. We have an example that you can watch here.

The big takeaway from this example is that you sell your goods for retail, yet with barter you exchange your retail price for the cost to product. We used a scenario of $165 in retail sales at a $55 production cost. That meant it saved you $110 in actual cash on each unit bartered.

Every time you use this opportunity type you are effectively spending your excess product or service. So, you are buying what you need then at a discount which is based on your profit margin.

This is because you sell your goods and services at a markup (your selling retail price, the $165) – but you are buying your goods and services at your wholesale price (the $55).  So, when you trade something worth $165 it is only costing you $55.

Barter can and should be a profit centre within your small business. Just remember though that barter sales are the same as cash sales so you do need to declare these to the Tax Office or the IRS.

The takeaway point here is that you can significantly reduce your cash expenses.

Trade your Excess Stock or Time

If you are left with a lot of unsold stock or wasting occupancy, the first thought is to run a sale in order to move it, or to otherwise write off the excess stock.

Instead of having to toss it or write it off as a loss, promote it through our Barter Opportunity.

Here’s three questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have excess stock that is just sitting there in your business?
  • Are your competitors coming out with new products which leave yours still collecting dust?
  • Are you looking to turnover your stock more quickly?

Inventory is like little dollar bills sitting on the floor. The longer it takes for you to turn them back into cash, the greater the time cost of that money and the higher the risk that you will actually be able to sell it.

At midnight every night there is a lot of unsold capacity that just goes to waste. You cannot sell unused time, just as you cannot sell unused occupancy. Once that hour has gone, it is gone. It is a wasting asset.

However, imagine turning that unused capacity into a barter exchange where that unused time then has value.

Barter can be used to sell excess inventory at a normal, or retail selling price minimising the need for a margin destroying discount sale.

I challenge you to think how you can turn your excess or older stock into something that you need or want.

On the other side, are there any items that you would like to add either as a stock or service that could diversify your overall product line?

Can you upsell anything with your own products and increase the amount that each customer spends with you? If you’ve been to a gym, you might see energy bars or drinks, water bottles, supplements etc. It is something complementary that you can add that helps your customer get everything that they need in one location. It’s convenient for them and a revenue booster for you.

Yet, buying in new stock lines can suck cash flow. You will hopefully find people on our platform who are looking to exchange these goods or services as well, that you can then add on at a more efficient price. This means that you get to expand your product line and provide an extra convenience for your clients – and trade with another member who is looking to make more sales as well.

Truly a win-win.

Find a Barter Partner on sixty:forty

You have everything to gain – use your products and services, time, talent, knowledge and skills and leverage this to trade what you have for what you need or that you want.

We will be encouraging lifestyle costs such as eating out and accommodation venues onto our platform so that they can also look for barter deals as well. Owning a business shouldn’t be just about the long hours it should be about using it to fund the lifestyle that you want. And that can also be traded off with Barter.

Answer a few questions to let people know exactly what you are happy to exchange and what you are looking for and then we can help you find a match with someone who might just be looking for exactly what you have to offer!

So, as a member, browse through the Barter opportunities that are listed and filter by the types of services you are looking for and compare them to what you have.

You can also advertise your own products or services to our other sixty:forty members as well. So it is a true win-win.

Community Connection

We are not in business alone, in fact it’s a journey that is best done with friends. Membership brings with it not only opportunities, but forums and events where you can connect with others and build invaluable relationships, no matter the industry.

Having a strong network is essential to opportunity creation. The connections and partnerships that you can create through the membership network – locally and at national and international levels – will all support you to greater success.

If you know someone who could benefit from Barter in their business, then share our platform with them … your friends, networks and suppliers. The more members we have join up the sixty:forty platform the more that we can add value to the network.

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