I love the idea of bartering! I wish the phone company would barter, or maybe my mortgage lender. =)
Alas, money is still required in this world but since we are just a small local business, there are still opportunities for a mutually beneficial bartering relationship. So if you have a skill you would like to share in exchange for a consultation with me, here's what we'd like to have.
Painters and Artists - When we opened, the playroom was my office. It was small and dark. When we stopped offering massage I switched offices but the playroom is still small and dark. We haven't been able to find time to repaint the walls a lighter color so we would love to barter that service. Or better yet, are you an artist? I'd like to see a nice kid friendly mural in there.
Graphic Designers - Our business cards need a makeover. We also do advertising in Natural Awakenings magazine and I haven't had time to produce a new ad for them. Are you willing? See below for our terms.
Health Services - Did you ever hear the one about how a doctor is her own worst patient? Yeah, I get that. My parents and I could really use a chiropractor and my husband needs a dentist. These are all things we will pay for ourselves if it gets too bad but it would be nice to barter the maintenance cost right?
Accounting - We have a CPA and they are really good. But like any good CPA, it gets expensive too. So if there are any accountants out there with poor health, I'm your gal.
General Maintenance - Our nice yellow awning gets awfully dirty from all the street traffic on Fulton. If power-washing happens to be your personal skill, I'm all for it. We would also like to eventually refinish our hardwood floors here in the shop.
Family Life - My husband stays at home with our two kids but he also needs time for teaching his internet classes. I think it would be great to have someone do the dishes or general housecleaning for him so he can do some other creative projects around the house. We could also use a regular babysitter, maybe just once a week or even just occasionally. We don't get out much and our kids are homeschooled. I think every parent could use a break once in a while. Ideally I'd like to have someone watch/play with the kids at our house once a week.
Suggestions? Do you have a skill that you think we could benefit from? All you have to do is ask.
Now for the sticky part, what is all of this worth? My consultation rates are $75 for an hour and $45 for a half hour. If you are bartering something that benefits the shop I am willing to barter the entire cost of a consultation. If it something for just me and my family then I will only be able to barter for 60% of the cost (the shop still has to get paid something). So, that would make a one-hour consultation cost $30 and a half-hour cost $18 and the rest would be bartered. The rate of barter depends on what you are willing to agree to.
If you would like to barter your services in exchange for natural health consultations with me (Dr. Kathryn) then you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.