Hi, do you barter?

Starting out a with a small business, I needed products to promote myself that could be made quickly and within my “newborn” budget. Yes, my main goal is to support local businesses exclusively, but as much as I would like to, it’s not always realistic. Everyone is out to make a buck, understandable…we all have to eat. But when the cost to purchase local items result in double the price compared to other areas, and a longer turnaround time, it leaves someone with a small budget and no time to spare no choice but to look for products elsewhere.

I did online quotes at bigger printing companies as well as small businesses throughout South FL, getting the average price for promotional cups, tees, buttons, etc. Just so I can have a price to compare. There’s a show taking place this weekend and three weeks ago (sort of last minute) I made the decision to participate. I asked for referrals and shopped around at local printing companies trying to find someplace in my county that offered items I needed quickly and reasonably priced. They were great, items looked very professional and they had terrific remarks from former and present customers. The problem was that in order to receive the products in time, I would have to spend even more money and they were already charging 2x the amounts of my online quotes. So my total cost would be 3x the average. Sorry!

My question to small business owners: With so many small businesses struggling and closing its doors, even companies that have been around for decades…how can we succeed? We need money to pay bills, but when we can benefit from each other’s services, are you willing to barter?

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