Creative Bartering for Business

On November 13, 2010, in Business, by admin
Creative Business: Bartering For Service
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We encounter people everyday with whom we can do business and there are ways to be creative and build great business relationships at the same time. One way to foster new relationships is by bartering f or s ervi ces. Ever imagine exchanging a haircut for a sump pump installation, or giving someone a perm in ex change for lawn services? Bartering allows your creative spirit and business sense to open up new avenues for y o u to build your trade.
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No Money Involved
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The biggest advantage of bartering is that there’s no money required up front – and let’s face it, we all like a good deal. Not having to go into your pocketbook once in a while is kind of sweet. You just have to know how to keep the score even so no one feels slighted.
I remember one time, the carpenter husband of a very good client of mine had an idea for my salon (to make recessed shelving for my retail center), but at the time I was not in a financial situation to afford to pay for his work. My client told me not to worry. We would exchange my hair services for her husband’s carpentry work. She kept a log of the monetary value of my services and the value of his work and we shook hands. It was a wonderful exchange that benefited both of us and another reason to count the blessings in life.
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Keep It Simple
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Most bartering exchanges in salons are informal. They range from simple, one-time agreements to more complicated, ongoing swaps. Unfortunately, there are occasions when one trader is looking for even more than you bartered for. That is when you run the risk of ending a relationship instead of building one. That’s why you need to keep all swaps clear.
You can also expand the bartering field to include friends and members of your family, provided that they are willing to trade services as well. If a client is looking for home repairs, I let them know that my husband can fix anything, and then we work out a trade for his services. If not, I recommend many of my other clients who do that type of work. That is the intertwined connection beauty professionals have with the world and it is a powerful business tool.
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Just Ask

When it comes to bartering, I’m not shy. If a client has something I want, I do not hesitate to try and work out a deal. A client of mine just got her esthetician license and now does facials. Now I cut and color her hair in exchange for her wonderful facials. I feel good about that barter and so does she. We both have agreed that there will be no money exchanged, just services.

Keeping Track – Bartering Consultation

To determine a fair price, both parties need to determine what they would charge for the bartered service, whether it is a plumbing job or a new coat of paint or in my case, hair services. On my end, I give the person I’m bartering with a credit for the amount of my services. I keep a record of the amount in a book and each time they come in, I make a deduction until they’ve used up the total amount of the trade. Spending one-on-one time wiht the trader will help clarify the terms of the barter. I call this the consultation technique, which involves the following steps: Listen, Clarify, Suggest, Get permission and Act.

* Listen to what you both need.

* Clarify what you both heard.

* Make suggestions on what you’re not comfortable with.

* Get permission from the other bartering party to do the service and at what price.

* Then ACT on it!
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Be Aware
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Well-detailed records have another bonus: lowering the stress level that may arise during tax time. Not having to put money up front is definitely a bartering bonus, but do keep in mind that Uncle Sam will want to collect his share come April 15. Barter and cash transactions are the same in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. So just keep that in mind as you trade in your baloney sandwich at the lunch table for your friend’s peanut butter and jelly. Bartering is a great way to network your business, and it will foster good will in your community.
“obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goals.” – unknown
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A New Shear Moment!
The Secret Friend–
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How many times a day do you hear about the hardship stories of your clients losing their jobs, their spouse just got laid off, their insurance ran out, or they are worried they may have to file chapter 7? At least once a day we witness trying times in the lives of our customers. Clients listen to each other and some have a giving heart.
Last week a client called me up to see if she could stop by and drop off some money for one of our long-time clients.  This girl had known that this client was a single mom, with two children, who had lost her job months ago. She wanted to do something that would make her feel good about herself as she went out for interviews. She had asked me how much a cut and color was and wanted to drop off the money to pre-pay for the young woman’s service for her next appointment. She told me not to tell her who it was from as she just wanted it to be a gift to give her a lift.
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