Your business sells professional services and you'd like to know how Bartercard will work for you?

Since 1992, Bartercard has been partnering with professional service businesses helping them fill their unproductive downtime with loyal clients, and giving them a new marketplace to promote their services. They've then been conserving cash by paying for printing, advertising, office equipment and other regular expenses using the trade dollars earned.

Reviews from Bartercard members...

I joined Bartercard NZ two years ago. I had been a member while I was in the UK so had a good knowledge of how it worked. When I moved back to New Zealand and set up a new business here, it was the ideal opportunity for me join the network - straight away it gave me immediate access to businesses I wouldn’t necessarily have had exposure to in a cash environment. It also helped me preserve cash, which was so important to me in the early days as I was able to purchase many items using trade dollars, i.e. telephone system, accountancy (huge bonus), printer/cartridges, accommodation when visiting new clients/prospecting. My wife has her own business too and has also become a Bartercard member. We’re both small businesses so it’s highly beneficial that we can preserve cash on business expenses, office supplies, entertaining, as well as personal expenditure (I wanted a kontiki so was fortunate enough to buy one through Bartercard meaning I didn’t have to take it out of the business!). Yes, there are fees to pay and you can’t pay GST in trade but we make the system work for us and our circumstances. For example, I invoice her in trade for business development opportunities which I undertake on her behalf, she pays me in trade which I then use to pay a telemarketing company I work with. She then offsets the cost as a business expense and against GST. I know that people are skeptical about Bartercard and have preconceived ideas so you have to be open-minded to the opportunities when you join the network. You have to understand that you can’t get everything through Bartercard. You do have to make it work for you and get your Trade Broker working for you but with an understanding of how the system operates, the network can be hugely beneficial. It’s good to have an accountant on board who understands Bartercard, and better still be a member, but it’s not difficult - transactions occur the same way as cash purchases.

Russell HerdWorking Feedback NZ Ltd

As a business owner of multiple businesses and an accountant by trade, I would highly recommend any entrepreneur to have a go at this. Perhaps for most people the first year may be the hardest, trying to figure out how this works within your business, where to spend and on what etc. We were the same. But if you were to sit on the fence then you will never know. I have met so many business owners that have been in the system for years, 10, 20 years and longer. If the system doesn’t work, why would they stick around for that long? And at any time, if things are not working for that moment, we can always turn it on and off. As a business owner, this has provided us with extra income when needed as well as exposure. Every business has spare capacity from time to time. We, as business owners, would always work hard, for ourselves, but we also want to make sure our staff always have work to do rather than sitting around doing nothing and still getting paid. This channel has been great for us and many others that we know of. Bartercard has say around 4-8,000 businesses on its database. Assume each business has an average of three staff. That is about 12-24,000 people that you get access to without doing a thing in marketing. It will come down to then whether you have the right products at the right time for them to consume. You may hear some complaints about Bartercard from those who don’t know how to spend. We see it as a positive, because we take it that people will come around to use our goods and services not because of need but want. Without extra Trade Dollars, they would not even have thought of spending cash on the item. For example, we would never need an event centre ever, for our business. But if one was on the system, then we would think about organising a few events for our business i.e. we would have our stock clearance sales once a year there for Tailor Made Suits, or organise some seminars for our accounting business. From an accountants point of view, I think some accountants may not understand the system, so perhaps finding an accountant that is involved with Bartercard may be a good idea. We have been able to give our clients a lot of unique ideas on how and where to spend their Trade Dollars effectively. On average each year we earn and then effectively spend at least T$50k respectively. These are sales and purchases we would not otherwise have if we were not on board. As long as you treat this the same way as any other bank account: don’t hide it from the IRD; keep personal expenses separate; don’t claim it for your business (all the usual things other accountant would say), I believe you will have many benefits being a part of the Bartercard network. I highly recommend that business owners have a close look, do all the home work you want, talk to Bartercard and have a crack at it.

Doyle TrinhBest Tax Ltd, Auckland