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Lateral thought needed

IRONICALLY, in the electronic age, one of the world’s oldest forms of trade is making a comeback.

Trade in barter dollars has been proving internationally successful for the past thirty years.

In Australia, Bartercard is proving to be very helpful to its members.

In fact, Bartercard executive director Trevor Dietz said Bartercard was internationally regarded as the best in its field.

Bartercard South franchisee Rod Brown said one of the first benefits for joining Bartercard was the increase in sales that would not have been obtained any other way.

Each Bartercard member becomes a member of the Bartercard network that is designed to help trade between members.

“Once they begin using Bartercard, it increases the bottom line cash profitability of the business substantially,” Mr Brown said.

He said Bartercard was not intended to be a major part of business turnover.

Ideally it should be somewhere between 5 per cent and 15 per cent.

“Take a business with a gross profit of fifty cents in the dollar. If we increase its turnover by 5 per cent and offset 5 per cent of its existing expenditure, that increases its bottom line profits by 38 per cent,” Mr Brown said.

“A very small amount of business done on Bartercard can produce a huge difference in bottom line cash profitability.”

All Clear Water’s John Slisar said the best aspect of Bartercard was meeting like-minded lateral thinkers who chose to join the system.

“It’s an interesting concept and only the visionary can get their head around it at first,” Mr Slisar said.

“Most people who don’t use Bartercard don’t understand how you can start your Bartercard transactions with a $2,000 overdraft.

“The fact is you have to give before you can receive.”

Mr Brown said the American Chamber of Commerce had projected that trade through methods such as Bartercard would be used in half the world’s companies by late in the year 2000.

“Maybe they’re a little optimistic with their figures but counter trade transaction are fairly large,” he said.

Mr Brown said using Bartercard required lateral thinking because using it to offset business expenditure was the reverse of traditional business – where a business has to sell its product first.

“The business then receives payment somewhere between thirty and sixty days later,” he said.

“After it has paid its suppliers and overheads, the business has some money left to spend. Its ability to spend is controlled by its sales.

“In Bartercard, it’s the business’ purchases that controls its sales. The more a business spends on Bartercard, the more sales can be generated.”

However, the system does have its limits. Trade dollars can only be traded with other Bartercard members – but as membership grows, flexibility is increasing.

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