General Business | Miscellaneous

The Value of Bartering for Small Business Owners

The value of bartering.

In 2015 we opened our Brick and Mortar store.

My sister and I bootstrapped our little business, The Salvaged Boutique – a home decor store, so funds for luxury items were low.  Since we had recently opened, the store was full of inventory.

Including this beautiful vintage sofa that we refurbished.

vintage sofa at the salvaged boutique

Soon after we opened our store, a new customer found our Etsy shop online and saw the vintage sofa listed.  The customer was a professional wedding photographer looking for a vintage sofa for photoshoots.

She came into the shop and spoke with my sister.  The sofa was out of her budget…she too was a new business owner and on a budget.

She offered to barter and once I saw her photography work I took her up on the offer.  I knew I would need headshots for the idea budding in my head that would eventually become Savvy Shopkeeper.

So my relationship with Katrina at Love Is All You Need Photography began.

Katrina paid part cash, part photography services and took the beautiful little vintage sofa home.

Even though Katrina picked up the sofa a few days later, my photo session didn’t happen until over one year later.

Katrina was oh-so-patient. But one weekday morning she met me at my shop and a quick photoshoot later, I had a handful of great, high-quality headshots. I also have to give credit to Stephanie Walkiewicz for her makeup artistry skills. I NEVER look like this in the morning!
Savvy Shopkeeper headshots by Love Is All You Need Photography

So what’s my point?

  • After the shoot, Katrina referred a friend to our store.  Not only did her friend shop but she also posted on Instagram and tagged us.
  • Last week we hosted a Pop-Up shop at our store.  It was an all-female lineup of business owners.  Katrina saw us promote it on Instagram and she came in with another friend to shop!
  • She shared her finds and tagged us several times on Instagram.
    love is all you need photography instagram story
  • It’s been almost 2 years since we bartered and we continue to comment and “like” each other’s social media posts.

My point is… the relationship continues.

Sometimes bartering doesn’t have to end at the “deal”.  It can blossom into something more.  Business relationships are valuable.  Don’t underestimate the value of bartering.

 the value of bartering for small business owners by savvy shopkeeper

Have you bartered for your business? I’d love to hear about it!

If you are looking to be a savvy business owner, this is the place for you.

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I look forward to sharing how I’ve been able to help build, market and manage a retail store with my sister—all on a budget. ~ Kathy

Want to learn more?

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  3. Listen to the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast.

I share some of the most helpful information and tips for retail business owners on the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast. I know you’re busy so episodes are short and sweet at around 20 minutes. Want to work less, profit more, and grow? Listen on any of these platforms:

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One Comment

  1. What a great example of bartering! It is so worth it to trade, barter and help promote other small businesses. I have bartered my painting services before with photography, massage therapy (much needed after an entire kitchen overhaul), my hair stylist and more. The pictures look amazing!

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