Trading Game

A strong financial base is important to the success of a new or expanding business.

Danielle Williams, director of operations, Oceans 234, Deerfield Beach [Photo: Eileen Escarda]

When Danielle Williams decided to remodel her upscale Deerfield Beach restaurant, Oceans 234, she relied heavily on barter, one of the oldest forms of obtaining goods and services.

Williams, the restaurant’s director of operations, traded restaurant meals for more than $80,000 in new flooring, plumbing, interior design, uniforms, a logo, signs and more. The value of bartered goods added up to more than half the $150,000 total cost of remodeling. “It’s just so smart, so easy,” says Williams, who in late 2008 joined NuBarter, a Savannah-based barter network with offices in Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton.

NuBarter and other barter networks let members earn and use trade credits. So when Williams provides $500 in restaurant meals to the barter network, she can use those credits for any member’s goods and services, even if they never eat a meal at her restaurant. “It’s like having a Visa,” says NuBarter’s Karen Roumay.

Barter networks charge members an annual fee, a monthly maintenance fee and collect a percentage of the value of the trade. In NuBarter’s case, the annual fee is $395 plus $15 per month in cash and $15 per month in trade credit. They collect 10% of the value of the trade in cash from the buyer.

Williams says that originally she thought she would barter only for a short period, but now that the remodel is finished she is bartering for all types of goods and services for the restaurant on an ongoing basis.

A key, she says, is knowing how much you can afford to trade each month.

Still, says Williams, “There’s no reason I would stop bartering.”

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