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  • Writer's pictureEOA Commerce Network

How Alaskans Use EOA to Grow their Businesses

Barter has come a long way from farmers swapping corn for goats. Small businesses are exchanging football tickets, nights in a hotel and ad space. New technology, means the potential of barter is expanding fast: it’s no longer about one business swapping its products on 1-one-1 basis.

If you sell office furniture business, for example, and have some stock left over, it can be hard to find a taker for the last few chairs and desks. As members of EOA, the furniture business will sell the chairs at the retail price for “trade dollars”, which have the same value as US dollars. It then gets to spend the trade dollars it has earned on other items within the membership group. This might be restaurant meals, accountancy advice, tickets for the races or nights in a fancy hotel.

In this way, barter has the potential to free up a company’s cash-flow, even out the peaks and troughs of demand and squeeze more value out of goods or services that wouldn’t otherwise be sold.

Participation in EOA can provide an important jump-start for new businesses. EOA is not here to take away any of a business' current cash sales, but to sit alongside it, providing an average 10% increase in monthly sales. The only limitation to barter industry growth is lack of awareness of the benefits in the business community.

If a business has any degree of unused capacity, in the form of time or inventory they should use a barter strategy to maximize their business’s sales capacity. EOA also provides a built-in new market for startup companies to sell to and buy from. Participation in a local barter exchange, such as EOA can provide an important jump-start for new businesses.

EOA has taken a lot of the anxiety out of the seasonal tourist industry. Usually if a hotel doesn’t sell a night tonight, that’s gone for ever; they can’t save any unsold room nights to sell later. It’s always far better to earn trade dollars (that are spendable worldwide) than see no value from unsold rooms.

EOA hotel members use their trade dollars to pay a local carpet cleaning, to buy construction/maintenance services from a local contractors who are also EOA members, and even to reward staff who’ve done a good job.

We Bring New Sales

EOA membership will usually get you leads, and these new customers will be additional sales you wouldn’t have found elsewhere. “People say ‘we’d rather have cash’ ... but most businesses have some surplus and using this system you always sell at retail to maintain your profit margins.”

In theory, businesses can barter virtually anything: tattoos, advertising, medical services, boats and even real estate has been traded via the EOA system. It’s also seen as a credible way of doing business by governments and multinationals. An example from the 1990's saw Pepsi Co. sign a $3 billion trade deal with the Soviet Union, bartering its soft-drink syrup for vodka and freight ships.

To see how your business can benefit from EOA membership, call (907) 345-8000.

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