Ever had a barter agreement between yourself and another entrepreneur go horribly wrong? Trust me girl, I know.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve entered into relationships with other business owners who promised to provide you a service in exchange for something you have to offer. You said yes, worked immensely and to your surprise… they came up short. It’s like clock work every single time and like most of us, it probably left an unfavorable taste. So let’s stop the cycle –here are a few tips on how to avoid the headache from the beginning:
1. Choose Wisely
Make sure when you’re selecting to work with someone that you have some type of idea whether you two will work well together. Take note of their personality, processes, response times and professionalism and make a wise decision about whether this makes sense for you and your business.
2. Create A Barter Agreement
A barter agreement will help value your work. It also spells out what exactly you both will be providing so that you’re clear on the end goal. Make sure to include key items like the amount of time you plan to work, the value of the work and timeline in which you plan to provide and receive. Here’s a great example of how this agreement can look.
3. Keep Track of What You’re Providing
Use a freelance time tracker or a discounted invoice to keep track of the expenses they’re racking up. If you’re a freelancer one of the these tools could be used to keep track of the time you’re spending on the service.
4. Don’t Mix Business With Pleasure
If you’re bartering with someone you care about or would like to have a personal relationship after, don’t take the risk of mixing business with pleasure. Make sure you are transparent about the separation of the two up front to save the guess work later.
Either way, don’t give up on bartering, it is a genius currency. Just remember it must be executed thoroughly in order to maintain your business and personal relationships. Next time around remember to follow these steps – save your time and your sanity.
Have a story of a business barter gone bad or a testimony of a barter sent from heaven? Tell us below!