Just because you’re short on cash doesn’t mean you can’t afford to replace the chipped flooring in your salon. As more and more business owners are finding out, trading services for goods can take the sting out of a cash crunch and increase business. An increasing number of salon owners are using bartering to turn their down time into trade dollars.

In its simplest form, bartering involves an equal trade: One business swaps a product or service for another. Through professional barter exchanges, such as the Illinois-based National Trade Association (NTA), a salon member would list the services for trade, receive trade credits for services rendered, and then use those credits to purchase items offered by other members. NTA charges a one time member fee plus commission on each trade.

Larisa Stupnitski, owner of Sasha G. Salon in Wheeling, Ill., has been bartering for nearly six years and she says it has helped to build her business. Stupnitski trades manicures enhancements, facials, waxing and hair services for air time on local radio and cable TV stations, drawing new clients while solidifying her salon image with established patrons.

Most recently, she revamped her logo and collateral using a printing house she found through NTA. She also traded for a new storefront sign. For more information, contact NTA at (847) 588-1818.   

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.