the legal resource for fitness entrepreneurs
the legal resource for fitness entrepreneurs

To Trade or Not to Trade?

Have you ever had a potential fitness client who is a fellow business owner? Someone who has a service you are needing, or interested in? Here’s where the idea of bartering comes in.

To barter means to exchange goods or services without money. It’s a tradition in many cultures and pretty common in the business world. But, it can get messy, which is why we need to talk about it.

As with anything, there are good and bad stories. Gone are the days when trading chickens for a doctor’s visit are normal. But you may be interested in trading photography services for personal training. Or cleaning services for a discount on a monthly membership. If it’s mutually beneficial, there’s no reason to dismiss the idea immediately.


So, should you barter?

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer here. If you do decide to barter, do so with purpose. Don’t trade just to trade. Lay down some ground rules for yourself. Things that will benefit your business, or something that you’re going to pay someone to do anyway. But remember, you don’t have to trade with everyone just because you’ve traded with one person.


What if you want to barter?

Bartering can be a really great tool, but you want to make sure it’s successful for both parties involved. Follow these three steps before committing.


Make sure the person or company you are bartering with provides a good quality service or product. Research to make sure their reputation is in line with your goals and beliefs.


Have a detailed conversation with whom you want to barter. Layout the expectations, responsibilities, timeframe, and specific goods or services. For this to work, you need to be on the same page from the beginning.

Write it Down

A written agreement is crucial here. Everything should be in writing to make sure you can refer back to it if there are any questions. You’ll want to include things like: the items being bartered, the timeline or schedule, how you plan to resolve issues, and anything else specific to the services or goods you are trading.

Bartering can result in success, it can fail, or you can avoid it completely. Each situation should be evaluated independently, and whatever option you choose, feel free to use these tips to feel prepared and confident to follow through on the commitment.


to trade or not

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