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Money / Pricing strategy

Contra deals: Business deals without money

Sometimes in business you help people out for free. Your five minutes may save them hours of grunt work. There’s no point raising an invoice, but can you be rewarded for contra deals in other ways?

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Here are a few ideas that you may suggest to the recipient of your services who want to thank you for your time.

  • Ask for an endorsement letter that you can use in your promotional material, this will cost them nothing more than a few moments of their time. 
  • Request a recommendation on LinkedIn
  • Invite them to provide feedback on a business rating site like TRUE LOCAL
  • Ask for a hyperlink on their website or a mention in their blog or Twitter
  • Give them a small bundle of business cards and ask them to hand them out to anyone they know who may be able to use your services. 
  • If they have a notice board, newsletter or distribution list, suggest you could provide them with some appropriate advertising material. 
  • Set up a business fundraising charity page and point them in that direction. 
  • Add a BUY ME A COFFEE or BUY ME A BEER button to your website. They are a facility for donating to the business, although I’m not sure what the tax man thinks of this!

Likewise, if someone helps your business, use these ideas as a way to say thank-you. From a referral, to technical help, to brainstorming, you may find many people in the community help you achieve what you do and it would be remiss not to say thank-you.

I am not suggesting you give anything away for free, think about non-financial benefits that could help your business.

"I am not suggesting you give anything away for free, think about non-financial benefits that could help your business."

What alternatives for contra deals have worked for you?

Heather Smith

is a Chartered Certified Accountant & Xero Accounting Advisor specialising in moving businesses to the cloud, improving productivity and profits. She's written six books including Xero for Dummies & Learn Small Business Start-Up in 7 Days.

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