Building a new small business? An age-old system could be the way to increasing your productivity and sales.

Bartering.  It’s not just swapping a sheep for a cow. You can use bartering to help build your small business. With no money changing hands, bartering in business ends up a win-win outcome for the parties involved.

Here are some ways you could start using bartering in small business today:

Bartering time

Need help with admin or other roles in your business?  No money to employ anyone?  Just barter.  Find a suitable ‘helper’ and offer a ‘reward’ in return for their help.  It could be clothing, vouchers, or even just plain babysitting.  Thinking outside of the box could lead you to get the help you need now – not ‘somewhere in the distant future’. Sites such as http://www.smarterbarter.com.au/ are focused on businesses bartering services and products within their local area.

Bartering expertise

Are you an expert in a field?  By offering your services for free you may be able to ‘barter’ the services of another experts that you require.  For example, you need a new logo?  By bartering your expertise (accounting? Writing? Organisation?) you can get that new logo without outlaying the cash.

Bartering materials

Need a piece of office equipment or expo equipment?  Barter with providers to see what you could offer (your expertise, your product or your time) – if you can get the equipment for free it was certainly worth any slight ‘uncomfortable’ feeling you may experience.  BarterQuest.com.au and BarterSwap.com.au are examples of external sites that provide a platform for bartering both items and services.

Bartering business sponsorship

The ultimate in bartering is business sponsorship.  Money does change hands in this exchange – but not from yours.  Approach appropriate businesses about sponsoring your business by providing money.  By providing advertising, marketing and publicity for the sponsors – you could receive that cash injection your small business needs! The Australian Institute For Corporate Responsibility site provides more information about business sponsorship in Australia.

A little ‘thinking outside of the box’ coupled with knowing what you have to offer can lead you to using bartering as a commonplace method of building your business quickly.

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  • I don’t feel right about bartering. We did it in Thailand and it felt a bit wrong


  • Really good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this!


  • I have personally bartered with someone else via our businesses. I gave them a website design, and constant help, and they have been giving me their quarterly magazine to stock.

    I have also bartered graphic design, for items for our children (toys, clothes, etc.) through other small businesses.


  • that is a really different idea in regards to business


  • my saying is if you don’t ask then you don’t get


  • Great tips Thankyou, never thought to bater for products and services


  • Good story. Thanks for sharing.


  • Nothing wrong with bartering, however hubby did it once in an Op Shop – I’ve never felt so embarrassed in all my life.


  • I’m terrified of bartering – will have to make myself braver!


  • I think you need to barter to save money in small business


  • love love love this idea – will have to remember if I ever had the opportunity to start my own business


  • I didn’t think people still bartered at all – but what a great way to save when running a small business


  • I love the idea of bartering but have never been successful at it


  • what a great idea for today


  • Bartering time, what a great idea.


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