There’s nothing easy about running a company. One of the greatest challenges is managing costs especially in the competitive restaurant industry. Recently, a successful restaurant owner group turned to barter to help effectively manage their cash flow during a renovation.

The owners of Copeland’s of New Orleans two Atlanta locations have been working with The Barter Company to exchange their services with other barter clients for more than 10 years. The Atlanta location owners estimate a net cash savings of 30% on every barter transaction. They barter food and beverage from the restaurants primarily for marketing, maintenance, and repair services. This includes printing, print and broadcast media, graphic design services, plumbers, restaurant cleaning services, electrical work, roof repairs, and general supplies. They also use barter to trade for entertainment and sports tickets to use as rewards and prizes for employees and loyal customers.

About a year ago, the Copeland’s owners also used barter to renovate one of their locations and saved about $200,000 cash. The renovation included new flooring, cabinetry, lighting, signage, and an awning. In fact, the Copeland’s owners have relied on barter so much to efficiently manage their restaurants’ cash flow, they are members of The Barter Company’s Million Dollar Club.

All business owners can save cash and bring in new customers by participating in a barter network. Here are three tips on how to get your company started with barter:

  1. Identify an experienced barter network with a good track record in your area. Check out those exchanges that are members of the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE).
  1. Work with the exchange’s trade coordinator. A quality barter network should provide clients with an assigned customer service representative who helps clients become familiar with barter and how to navigate the barter process. Many barter networks provide technology such as apps, swipe machines, and online directories to help transactions run smoothly and seamlessly.
  1. Be patient. Step in slowly working with the barter customer service rep to “buy” and “sell” through the trade exchange. Effective bartering takes time up front but once mastered, most business owners will think of barter first before outlaying cash.