Being self-employed, every expense has to be evaluated, and when times are tough we tend to neglect the needs of our own businesses. Saving money is always a priority for us business owners, so finding creative ways to get things done really helps. This is where one of my best pieces of advice comes in handy—trade services.

You have a currency that many of us tend to forget, which is that your services and products have monetary value, and can be used to pay for the things your business needs, when partnered with the right people and businesses. Chances are, there’s other entrepreneurs out there who want to pinch pennies whenever they can too, so what can you offer each other to save you both some money and still grow your business?

Especially in those precious first few years when every dollar counts, things like websites, marketing, etc. And if we do put our businesses first and pay for those things outright, then we can neglect our personal needs (self-care, fitness, etc.). Even after five years in business, I still jump at the opportunity to trade services with business owners who can offer something of value to me in return for my services.

Next time an expense comes up, don’t be shy about asking about trading services. What do you have of value to add? Is it a few months of services? Is it a basket of products? Put monetary value on what you can offer and put together a simple proposal. The worst thing that can happen is it doesn’t work for the other person, but chances are they will appreciate the opportunity to save some money as well. Plus, this is how you can create lasting partnerships with people that can flourish into future opportunities for both parties.

Just remember, offering a trade doesn’t make you look “cheap”, it’s a business-savvy move that keeps money in your pocket and allows you to add another customer to your roster.

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Amber Craig / Bamboo Creative Inc

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One thought on “Budget-Friendly Business Building: Trading Services”

  1. I have tried this before and find that it doesn’t actually help me, because my product costs me money just as much as paying for a service would. So either way, it’s cash out of my pocket, but I can’t write off a trade. Am I going about this all wrong??

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