Rates and Billing

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Old 02-19-2010
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Default Bartering...
Hi there!

I was curious if anyone had a client barter for services?

This was presented to me when he couldn't pay his bill. He gave me a gift certificate to a 5 star restaurant that his friend managed. I am guessing no outlay of cash for my ex-client. (By the way, he went under and I never received his balance due me. That is a topic for another day!)

Has this happened to you in the past? and...

Have you sought out a particular client in order to barter for services/product (car repairs/service; clothing boutique; retail store; direct sales - Mary Kay; Tastefully Simple, etc.)?

Or, is this an area where I should stear clear?

Thanks for your input!
Lisa
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Old 02-19-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
I have a barter client, a small start up magazine in my area. They really needed someone to create their blog and write a blog post once a week. My payment is a good sized ad in the magazine every month, my name is listed in the magazine as their virtual assistant and I get the by-line on all of the blog posts I write. We did it all very professionally, signing a one year contract with all the details spelled out. I've found it to be a mutually beneficial situation.
I would not, however, except a barter that hadn't been worked out in advance, nor one that wasn't written up in my contract. Also, be sure that the barter is a fair one. It should be of at least equal value to what it would be costing the client if they were paying.
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Old 02-19-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
I agree with Tina that any bartering should be agreed upon up front. I haven't ever had this problem because my clients pay before services are rendered, so that may be something that you want to look into.

On a side note, Tina, that is a fantastic barter! Have you received any clients from the advertising?
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Old 02-20-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
I too have done bartering and have the agreement in place before any work was completed on both ends. It has worked well for both parties but I have chosen carefully and it was after much discussion and getting to know the other party involved. For example: I bartered with my plumber, when he came to quote we started talking about my business and how he got started in his. He noted that he would like to be on the web but does not know where to begin and everyone quoted money that was too expensive for his budget. Hence, I got plumbing and he got a web presence.

If carefully though out it can be a great asset and marketing tool, especially in this economy. I am sure that every person I bartered with has given referrals as have I. Weigh the "whats in it for me" aspect and if the other party can hold to their end and you will have a win-win.
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Old 02-20-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
Originally Posted by Balancing Act View Post
I agree with Tina that any bartering should be agreed upon up front. I haven't ever had this problem because my clients pay before services are rendered, so that may be something that you want to look into.

On a side note, Tina, that is a fantastic barter! Have you received any clients from the advertising?
April,
No clients directly yet, but I've had new networking opportunities offered to me because they saw my ad. Being new to the area, that has been a huge help in getting to know other business owners here. I have no doubt that eventually it will result in clients though.
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Old 02-20-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
I barter with a local NP for Women Entrepreneurs. I did a contract just like I would with any client, with my services spelled out and what I get in return (membership) and lunch once a month lol.

I did a 50/50 with an artist I knew, she taught classes so she used 50% of my fee toward art classes... THAT was great!! I would have spent the money some where else anyway..

BUT, I dont think barterin is something that should 'just come up' because a client cant afford you. This all needs to be spelled out up front..
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Old 02-20-2010
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Default Re: Bartering...
I completely agree that bartering can be a highly beneficial arrangement for both parties as long as the terms are spelled out and agreed upon up front (as has been mentioned). I currently barter with several other professionals that have skillsets in areas that are definitely not strong suits of mine and vice versa, so it works out well.
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Old 07-08-2012
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Default Re: Bartering...
I love bartering, but I would not do it unless it was agreed upon beforehand. I have a bookkeeper that helps with my accounting that I do a barter with and we both love the arrangement.

On the other hand, if you have a client that can't afford to pay you, and they are about to go under, I guess taking what you can get at that point is a good option.
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Old 07-08-2012
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Default Re: Bartering...
Bartering is great if there is a mutually beneficial arrangement in place. My first bartering arrangement was established with my personal trainer. I manage her social media profiles and assist with event planning and some other tasks as they arise. In return I get personal training for free and I can attend as many classes as I want for free! The best part is I get great experience for my portfolio, I use her as a professional reference/client and I get a great workout!
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Old 01-12-2013
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Question Re: Bartering...
I love the bartering idea, but I agree that it needs to be put in writing. I met the owner of a digital signage company at a Speed Networking Event, and he expressed interest in bartering my services for advertising. When I followed up, he said he did not have need for my services, but still wanted to offer me an ad spot. This company is on the up-and-up, so I am still willing to work with them, because I am hoping the ad will bring in clients. It may have been that he thought he had work for me at the time, but later realized he didn’t—people make mistakes. I learned from this, though—have a contract ready before I follow up on anything like this next time.
I would love advice and opinions about this.
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    #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
I got my first client through bartering for photography for my wedding. Its a trial for long term retainer based client so my desire is it will turn long term. I'm new so I don't know how it will go, but my plan is to proceed with this process. So I think its great!
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Old 01-12-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
I'm just starting out as well as I am putting together my business plan, mission and vision statement, prices/rates, my website, FB Page, etc. But I was on my personal FB page when one of my friends mentioned he was tired of working for others and wanted to work for himself, we went back and forth for a few days, he's a mechanic, he fixed some issues with my SUV and I designed his fliers and postcards.

I have another friend that owns a thrift store, I designed her some fliers and postcards & she lets me shop for free. So it works out. I did the fliers on a voluntary basis and she told me to come in on a Sunday when she does inventory and get pretty much what I want/need. She told me when I get my own fliers, business cards, etc to bring them to her store and she would put one in each customer's bag.
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Old 01-13-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
Originally Posted by mskelly1975 View Post
I'm just starting out as well as I am putting together my business plan, mission and vision statement, prices/rates, my website, FB Page, etc. But I was on my personal FB page when one of my friends mentioned he was tired of working for others and wanted to work for himself, we went back and forth for a few days, he's a mechanic, he fixed some issues with my SUV and I designed his fliers and postcards.

I have another friend that owns a thrift store, I designed her some fliers and postcards & she lets me shop for free. So it works out. I did the fliers on a voluntary basis and she told me to come in on a Sunday when she does inventory and get pretty much what I want/need. She told me when I get my own fliers, business cards, etc to bring them to her store and she would put one in each customer's bag.
Great; I am happy for you that your bartering arrangement works so well. I am thinking about asking the people in my network if they would be willing to set up a similar arrangement with me. I just completed my Independent Contractor Agreement and I included a bartering option for payment.
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Old 01-15-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
Coline,

My bestfriend does research for me for free. I gave her a job title, "the unpaid executive assistant". I have so many ideas, my mind never stop racing. As ideas come to me, I will send them to her and she will research it or give me her feedback. She is an awesome help. She has a wealth of friends that have small businesses so she has put me in contact with them and I am setting up some things with them in the near future.
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Old 01-16-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
I love bartering as long as everything is in writing before any works starts!

I am currently speaking with a local landscaper about bartering for services.
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Old 01-16-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
Yes, bartering can be a great thing if it's agreed upon beforehand, but my understanding is you still have to consider the value for tax purposes - correct me if I'm wrong please!
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Old 01-16-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
I bartered with a local landscaping company. I set him up with an invoice system and he gave me a fantastic price on a patio. We were both happy with each other's work so it was a win-win situation and I would definitely do it again and recommend to others. But I agree that you need to set the terms up front, you don't want surprises when you're finished.
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Old 01-17-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
Originally Posted by Jersey View Post
Yes, bartering can be a great thing if it's agreed upon beforehand, but my understanding is you still have to consider the value for tax purposes - correct me if I'm wrong please!
You are probably right; I have not doubt, but I will have to ask my accountant the next time I talk to her.
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Old 11-19-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
Absolutely! Just be clear on the value of the proposed barter before accepting. "I'll get you so many referrals!" doesn't cut it unless they're Bill Gates, etc.
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Old 11-22-2013
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Default Re: Bartering...
I would agree to bartering but only if it was done beforehand and in an agreement.

That guy is just trying to get you "paid" without paying. Of course, if you have a special event coming up, it might be worth getting the gift card & calling it quits with the client.

I was thinking of bartering with my current providers (like hair salon, chiropractor, etc) just to get my name out there and get some clients.
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