Once upon a time, the country’s currency system was based on a gold standard. If you had gold, you had currency. Those without gold had to rely on another means of payment - trade.
Remember the trappers who brought their skins to the local trading post in exchange for staples? Or the doctor who accepted a chicken in exchange for medical services? That’s the old fashioned way that business was conducted in the distant past.
Today, it isn’t much different from yesteryear. There are three ways to do business: cash, credit and barter (trade). Everyone’s familiar with cash and credit. And many of us still use barter - neighbors commonly exchange a dozen eggs for a basket of peppers.
The problem with barter arises when maybe you don’t need my service or product, or we can’t agree on the value of each other’s services or product. Enter Local Trade Partners, a Fayetteville company offering a proven barter platform.
You and I are both members of Local Trade Partners (LTP). You own a repair garage and I need a brake job. I own a tomato farm and want to trade tomatoes for a brake job. Under the direct, older barter system, it would be an impossible trade--the repair garage has no use for bushels of tomatoes.
To exchange tomatoes for a brake job, you need a third party. This is where LTP comes in--think of this membership operation as a clearinghouse. Using the LTP platform, the tomato grower turns tomatoes into trade dollars. The repair garage accepts the trade dollars, and does the repairs. Trade dollars can be used for anything offered by other LTP members. They work just like cash--dollar for dollar.
Another huge advantage to using trade dollars is that trade dollars insure your dollars support other small business owners. Business members of Local Trade Partners can purchase car repairs, clothing and business services - graphic design, website development, printing, advertising, accounting, and other products and services.
Local Trade Partners also acts as a marketing tool. LTP members shop amongst themselves. This develops customer loyalty. Oftentimes LTP members will come back and pay cash, saving their trade dollars for a lean cash flow cycle.
Cash, credit or barter. You have choices. Cash flow is always a business concern. Using credit adds to those concerns. LTP members shop within a cashless community. For more information on Local Trade Partners, contact Rich Creyer, 479 530-2429 and visit LocalTradePartners.com where you will find dozens of listings with photos.
By Rich Creyer
Senior Trade Partner at Local Trade Partners