Fast Action Fridays show – Listen to replay here.

Are you guilty of bartering away your business future?

True, bartering your services won’t generate cash to pay your bills … but that doesn’t mean you should never consider it.

There are tangible benefits for both parties if done well.

And lots of headaches, if not.

On today’s show, I shared what to consider before initiating an offer to barter or saying yes to one. After all, the last thing you want is a barter that produces a lop-sided deal that leaves you (or the other party) frustrated, overwhelmed, and … broke.

Be sure to listen to the replay for additional advice shared and feedback from listeners not covered in this recap.

The main problem with bartering is …

The main problem with bartering is most people think they are getting something for free. It’s primarily a way to not spend money.

That thinking is rooted in a scarcity mindset. They fail to consider the full value of what’s included in a fair exchange … one that produces win-win results.

10 Essential Points to Consider When Bartering

  1. Will you be getting something you’d like to buy anyway?
  2. Is either party providing something they would normally (or should) pay for?
  3. What are the specific dollar values of the services and products being offered for barter?
  4. What is the term or anticipated life-span of this barter?
  5. What are the other terms of this barter? For instance, how will you handle grievances or decisions to discontinue the arrangement?
  6. What other non-monetary values in the exchange do you (or the other party) expect or hope to gain?
  7. Can you name at least 3 specific benefits that you will receive, and their importance to you?
  8. What are at least 3 specific benefits that the other party will receive from what you supply in the barter exchange?
  9. How will each party monitor and track the values given and received?
  10. Does the time, energy, and expense of what you are providing at least equal or exceed the your perceived benefits?

Check in with your energy vibes and intuition

Don’t forget to check in with your energy vibes and intuition. How do you feel about this offer or opportunity? If anything feels off, look for the reason behind it.

—  Maybe the barter is a good one, but the scope of what’s being offered needs tweaking.
—  Are you giving away more than you’ll gain in return?
—  Maybe you’re using this barter as way to not face asking someone to pay for your services
—  Maybe seeking free coaching is masking a scarcity mentality. Yes, it could be true you haven’t the money right now to invest in coaching, but have you really explored how you could change that circumstance?
— Do you secretly believe that coaching won’t help you … so you don’t value the investment in yourself … or the expertise of the coach willing to barter?

Bartering the Bridges to Success way

Getting out of bad barter situations … and negotiating win-win ones … is a popular topic among my clients and business networking friends. I’ll be sharing more advice, plus providing real-life examples of barters that were blessings and barters gone wrong in the new Bridges to Success Essentials program starting soon.

In the meantime, during the show I offered to supply listeners with more details from one of my favorite win-win barters. Be sure you’re a Fast Action Fridays subscriber to get free access to that report.

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Share your experiences and advice in the Comment section below.

Have you participated in a business barter? Did it work out well for both parties? What would you do differently next time? Do you have advice to share with other readers?

Please share your experiences in the comment section.

  • Hi Kat,

    This is such a great post. I have a kind of fog that appears whenever finance and bartering appears. I know it is one of life’s lessons that I will have to learn and get better at. Thanks for sharing your insights. It makes for a great topic.



    • Thanks for your feedback, Beth. ‘Fog’ is a good word to describe how many of us feel when dealing with both those topics: finance and bartering. A way to find clarity certainly helps.

  • Hi Kat, These are terrific tips about bartering. It is best, as you say, to treat it as a real business arrangement. I’ve done some bartering and I find that for me it works best as a one-off coaching exchange, rather than an ongoing exchange.

    • Reba, I think the one-off coaching exchange is a terrific option, and Yes, definitely one of the best options when starting out with a new relationship. Years back I had a wonderful long-term barter arrangement with my massage therapist, but we started with a one-off just to make sure it the terms worked equally well for both of us.

      I’d love an opportunity to chat with you sometime to learn more about you and also how you handled bartering. Let’s me know if you’re interested. Being it’s 2016, it’s worthy of talking about again on an upcoming Fast Action Fridays show.

  • Really interesting! I must admit I have never bartered anything. I can’t even remember considering it, and now that I’ve read your excellent article on the topic not sure I ever will. But at least now I have a better understanding of how it can work for (or against) you. Thanks!

    • Hi Marquita,
      I love that you feel you have a better understanding of how bartering can (and shouldn’t!) work. That’s so important, and a step that many who felt they got burned in a barter deal failed to consider.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • My bartering skills are not great, but my husband often uses them in his line of business. We are exchanging survey work for a built-in barbecue for example. You provide some great pointers that can help everyone barter better.

    • Julie, thanks for your comments and sharing an example. Survey work and built-in barbecue sound like a great barter combo.

      Reminds me of a time many years ago when I bartered writing new dun letter templates for a local lumber and home improvement store in exchange for new bathroom sink, vanity, and toilet.

  • Great post. I could resonate with a lot of it. Especially are we bartering as a way not to face asking for our services to be paid for? I think it is important that we know what our time or our services are worth and not being ashamed to ask for it. I think at times we (or maybe just me) can either be way too bashful about our worth or too stuck in “I’m not excepting anything else.” Thank you for providing questions to ask ourselves. Bartering isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it works well for both parties involved. Finding that balance is key, thanks for that reminder.

    • Hi Joyce. You bring up an excellent point regarding how smart bartering applies to joint ventures and guest post blogging, too. Glad you found the information useful.

      Hope you’ll be a frequent visitor. BTW, I do accept some guest blog posts so feel free to suggest something.

  • Thank you for sharing this. This is something I want to print out and remember when people want to barter. I find myself giving more during a barter. Things to remember

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