Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools and products that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks who would be their customers in a form that’s consistent and relevant.
Cool Tool Review: Bartering & Alternative Currencies
A Review by Todd Hoskins
What if you could hire a consultant, do a website redesign, or rent office space without spending a nickel?
For businesses that are forward thinking, or just tight on cash, exploring the frontier of bartering and alternative currencies, can not only help you through a cash crunch, it can also make you more connected within the communities in which you are active.
The Barter Network is a one-to-one exchange for products and services. For example, if you need to produce and file an annual report, someone within the network will likely be equipped to complete the task (there are over 20,000 participating members). Instead of paying in dollars, you could trade for one of your gadgets, an installation of your software, or fifteen hours of marketing expertise.
The process of bartering enables you to collaborate and get perspectives from outside of your business, share knowledge, and understand the value of your needs and assets apart from the industrial age notion of everything being measured in government-backed currencies.
Beyond bartering, there are a couple other projects that should be noted. First, TheSwop.com is a service launched last year focused on the exchange of favors for startup companies. “Favor points” are earned or spent, which is means you don’t have to find the exact match as with the Barter Network.
Also, Hub Culture is an organization I have been following for a while. Their Ven currency now has over 1.8 million units in circulation. With a sizable global membership, Ven can be used for a variety of exchanges from classes to Facebook Connect integration. They have a unique vision – worth checking out.
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 4/5 â The only drawback is driving your Accounting (and/or Tax) Department nuts, at least for a while.
Entrepreneur Value: 5/5 â Innovative, connecting, and value-determining
Personal Value: 2/5 â Can you live a month without cash? It’s becoming easier.
Let me know what you think!
Todd Hoskins helps small and medium sized businesses plan for the future, and execute in the present. With a background in sales, marketing, and technology, he works with executives to help create thriving organizations through developing and clarifying values, strategies, and tactics. You can learn more at VisualCV, or contact him on Twitter.