Monday, April 9, 2012

Spotlight: Marta Nowinska

How can the swapping economy benefit entrepreneurs and small business owners?
Barter accounts for 30 per cent of the world's total business. Successful entrepreneurs like Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson have saved millions of dollars by bartering. Let’s not forget Canada’s very own Kyle MacDonald, who successfully swapped his way to a $50,000 house and demonstrated how dedicated barterers can turn swapping into alternative financing. Toronto-based Shannon Simmons, The Barter Babe, is another inspirational example of an entrepreneur tapping into the power of barter.

Swapping is quickly growing in popularity and is becoming an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Barter can help your business in the following ways:

#1 Conserve cash
#2 Attract new business
#3 Buy what you can't afford
#4 Promote your business
#5 Gain an edge over your competition

If your business has surplus inventory, empty appointment slots or vacant rental space, you can stand to benefit from leveraging your excess capacity. In return, you could get a new business website, legal advice, search engine optimization or perhaps a much-needed cottage getaway, all without burning through your cash.

Barter can also be a powerful marketing tool, making your product or service available to prospective clients who may not try them otherwise. Barter clients can convert to cash clients in the future. Most importantly, you are building meaningful connections and sharing your expertise while getting help yourself.

Just as 65 per cent of Fortune 500 companies barter for about 5 to 15 per cent of their transactions, astute business owners and entrepreneurs should explore the option of incorporating swapping into their budget.

Need more information about business barter? Check out:

Note: Keep in mind, just as you would report your cash business income, if you’re bartering business services, the value of bartered goods and services is subject to taxation.

How can swapping benefit job seekers?
Job seekers offer a wide variety of valuable skills that can be shared through a swapping economy. Broaden your job search to include barter opportunities. An open mind and a little initiative are all it takes to reap the vast swap possibilities, networking connections and significant savings. For example, a marketing professional can swap expertise helping a restaurant gain business for a set of free dinners while a web developer can exchange services with a resume coach.

Through swapping, job hunters have the opportunity to gain experience, build a portfolio, network with other professionals, make new connections or even jumpstart freelancing opportunities.

Tapping into the swapping economy is a fantastic way to save money while searching for work since you can get practically anything you need on barter, without spending a dime.

"Get Connected Make Swapping  Happen" as Jim Pagiamtzis would say. Give it a try!

Marta Nowinska is the visionary and founder behind Swapsity, Canada’s premier swapping community. Visit her website at

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