Why there are a few entrepreneurs who are well funded before choosing to start their business from their home, the majority of home based business owners do so partially, or fully, because they cannot afford to rent another space for their business.
If the headline of this post caught your attention, then chances are that you are one of these people. It’s probably safe to say that you are a sole proprietor – a business of one. If you have been in business for very long at all, you have figured out that even a business of one requires many of the same functions as a business of thousands.
You try to automate as much as possible, but even that takes time and often costs money – neither of which you have to spare. To make matters worse, if you’re human (I hope you are), you will find that you are terrible at some of these functions.
So how do you run your home business with no cash to spend on these functions?
The Resurgence of the Home Based Business
With the recent economic woes, and the forecast that it is going to take a while to get out of this global recession, many people are saying never again to being an employee.
Many who have lost their jobs due to a business closing or layoff are finding a new reason to reach for the proverbial brass ring. Having more time to spend with their families has made them realize what they were giving up while climbing the corporate ladder.
You might be thinking that this is touching, but what in the world does it have to do with me running my business with no cash? Well, everyday that passes by there are more and more home business owners in your exact same situation.
You are not alone! The great news is that some of these entrepreneurs are really great at what you, well let’s face it, suck at doing; however, you are really great at what they suck at doing. Do you see the opportunity?
Katy, Barter the Door
You aren’t really taking us down this path are you? Didn’t bartering go out of style back in the days of the old west? This is not Little House on the Prairie where Doc Baker would accept payment in the form of chickens and vegetables.
You may be surprised to find that the oldest form of business transaction has never gone out of style, and it’s actually been gaining in popularity even before the recession. I doubt that we are heading back to the days when wealth was determined by the number of livestock you owned, but bartering can provide many nice benefits.
Benefit #1 – Survival of Your Home Business
Let’s not forget that the most important thing for your home based business is that it survives. When you have no cash to support it, bartering provides the answer by exchanging your services for those of others.
Benefit # 2 – Better Quality
Remember, you really suck at some things (or maybe you just hate to do them). Bartering is a great way to get better quality results from someone who is great at something you’re not which enhances the quality of your home business.
Benefit #3 – Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Just because the person you are bartering with is also strapped for cash doesn’t mean his clients or network of people are. Do a great job providing your bartered services and he will spread the word. Don’t forget to return the favor.
Benefit #4 – Building a Networking Group
Nothing forms stronger bonds than struggling through hard times with someone. Relationships you make through bartering will be some of the most profitable, encouraging, and supportive you can make.
Bartering Even When You Have the Cash
I encourage entrepreneurs to always keep a small percentage of their business as a bartering relationship. Besides the benefits I listed above, it gives you the opportunity to help someone else out that may be struggling worse than you.
I’ve also found that other business owners are more receptive to joint ventures with bartering than if they are required to fork out the cash. This is especially true in chamber of commerce type relationships.
Finally, don’t forget to offer your services as prizes for raffles, silent auctions, etc. Many people appreciate this more than the flat screen television, but few will tell you that.