Showing just how many great ways there are to spend trade dollars, one Bartercard member in Australia got his start in a new business with a franchise he purchased on Bartercard.
When Sydney businessman Claude Spinelli left the restaurant industry, he started looking for his next venture. He had successfully used Bartercard while managing his restaurant, and wanted to use his trade dollars and Bartercard interest-free line of credit to make the most of his capital. As a part-time DJ, he was attracted to a Sydney-based audio visual franchise called Light Sound that was advertised for sale on Bartercard. After purchasing the franchise, he moved the business to Wollongong and rebranded it to Pro Sound and Lighting. He’s since used Bartercard to maximize cash flow, attract new customers and minimize expenses – a triple boost to his new business.
Reducing business costs
Claude said purchasing a business on Bartercard and using trade dollars to partly or fully cover the cost (he paid used trade dollars to cover 80 per cent of the peripheral costs) can assist business owners to reduce their cash borrowings from the bank, reduce interest and invest more money into their venture.
“Using Bartercard to purchase my business was a no-brainer,” said Claude. “It was the right fit and meant I didn’t need to take out a bank loan for working capital which relieved a lot of stress in start-up. It allowed me to focus on building a client base without having to worry about cash flow.”
The many ways to use Bartercard
Claude’s expertise in hospitality gave him experience in using Bartercard to boost customers. Yet, Claude believes that many members have yet to discover what they can do with the card.
“Bartercard is a great fit in the restaurant industry,” he said. “Members would book during slower periods which would fill the restaurant. I would always seat Bartercard customers near the windows and at the front of the restaurant so it looked full in quiet times – and a crowd attracts a crowd. If I go to a restaurant on a Thursday night and ask how business is and they say it’s tough, I point out that if they have empty tables they could be filling them up through Bartercard.”
To maximize cash flow and reduce waste in his current business, Claude trades stock that he has accumulated or discontinued.
“Bartercard is business you wouldn’t have in the cash world,” he points out. “For example, a member may ring me looking for a data projector. I explain to that customer that I don’t sell brand new projectors, but that I do have ex-rentals which I replace every 12 months.”
He said he also wins a lot of installation contracts by having Bartercard.
“Schools, churches and nightclubs may ring when they’re doing a refurbish and have a lot of stage lighting and speakers that they want to upgrade. I’ll provide a quote, and it might be $10,000. But then I take all their pre-used equipment and deduct $2,000 from the bill. I sell all this equipment on Bartercard’s trading website MYBC.”
Claude admits that his outgoing and friendly personality makes Bartercard a natural fit, just like his business.
“I’m easy-going, I’m very streetwise and I think I’m a good negotiator,” he laughs. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve worked in retail – Harvey Norman, Retravision – plus I love trading; I’m the go-to-guy in my family whenever anyone’s looking for a deal. My wife doesn’t pay cash for her haircuts and nail treatments – I cut her credit card in half and gave her a Bartercard instead. If she wants to go out to dinner, we find a restaurant on Bartercard and go there.”
He added that before he pays cash, he always looks at options on Bartercard first. “Why use cash or credit when you can pay with your products or services instead?”
Adapted from a blogpost Written by Bartercard Australia.