Small Businesses Should Barter

A really useful service for small businesses would be a platform for exchanging services in a barter style system. This could enable a computer programmer in South America to travel to wine country in France, and enjoy a vacation there without having to shell out tons of money for bed & breakfasts. All he’d have to do is find a local accommodation that needs help with their website.

  • A writer could probably earn a a huge discount if not free pass aboard a cruise ship if she agreed to re-do the ship crew’s bios.
  • Foreign language speakers can add value simply by providing translations of web content to anyone that needs it.
  • All those DSLR totting travel lusts could earn their meals by doing new interior photos of the places they ate at.

The possibilities go way beyond these examples, and to make things more interesting, imagine if said exchange platform offered a central currency, where perhaps one small business could earn credits instead of a direct goods for goods exchange. Now this company is able to charge a small percentage for the currency transaction. And what’s better now, businesses don’t need to directly interact to get one kind of goods for the value of theirs. Now a Social Media Manager could work 140hrs for company X, and then cash out the value earned on that job for plane tickets with company Y.

I love this idea, I used to only imagine it as being an incremental improvement of WOOF’ing a way for young people to learn new skills and travel the world before they have earned the money to do so. Which in itself is still great, because it solves the problem of people getting jobs to travel, and then getting stuck in that job and never actually traveling (instead just taking their 2 week vacation allotted by the employer). Anyways as a general services exchange network, it seems much more useful and dynamic to support a freelancer economy of similar attributes.


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