Boss Lady

3 reasons bartering is bad for your business


Congratulations! You’ve started your business. Now, you need customers to help generate the cash flow. Often, we assume that if we are friends with other entrepreneurs, they will support our endeavours, right? Wrong! If they are at the same stage as you, they can’t afford your services. So then, you think that if you all bartered your services it allow your company to gain exposure.

Everybody wins, right? Again – wrong. Bartering or trading services might seem like a great idea, but there are reasons to be wary, and you should consider them carefully before agreeing to trading services.

Customers will continue to expect a discount

Once you have begun to give away your services for free, it is very difficult to begin to charge your client at full price. They will begin to negotiate and even expect you to continue to work for free. While it seems like a great way to introduce your services to a client, it is highly recommended that you do not offer to barter your services. Instead of offering to barter, either offer them a complementary hour of services or discount your service by 25% or less on a fixed period basis. This sets the tone that you are a business, you mean business and if they want your services, they have to support you like any other business.

It does not promote your business, goods or services

A lot of the time, we barter our services for an acknowledgement or a referral; especially if the client has status. Sadly, although the only thing you’ve asked for is an acknowledgement, you will often not receive it. People are glad to take your goods or services, wear it; receive compliments and never cite the business, much less mention the owner. Never give away your gifts, talents, and skills away for someone else to view it as ‘free merchandise’. They will value it more once they have had to pay for it.

You will always give more than you receive

You are a business woman. You have bills to pay. You have a household to maintain. You have a business to run and operate. You cannot do it on a ‘favor for a favor’ basis. When we barter services, we often find ourselves giving more in our time, energy and efforts than we do in the value of the received/exchanged goods or services – if we have received anything at all from the other party.

If a customer values your business and products, they will pay for the services. If they are not patronizing you, they are surely patronizing another business of some sort. If they cannot go into their telco and ask for a discount on their phone plan in exchange for a homemade apple pie, then they shouldn’t do the same for you.

About Alexis Nicole White

Alexis Nicole White is a Managing Director of An Executive Solution Concierge, in Atlanta, GA. She's 31 years old and a mother of a 10 month old son.


  1. Ogrody

    April 3, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Great article:-). Best regrads for Author!



    December 8, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Excellent Article. Short and to the point!

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