As holiday shoppers, many of us have experienced the familiar struggle of being pressed for time and unsure of what gifts to buy. In these moments, we often find ourselves rushing towards the "giant front rack in the sky" of gift cards. Will it be a fast food sports bar or perhaps an online app store? Ah, the perfect solution - an American Express/Visa/Mastercard gift card! It offers endless possibilities for the recipient to use it on anything they desire. But as we stand at the cashier, the total amount of cash spent starts to weigh on our minds. Surely, there must be a better way...
When Chris Sparkman was getting his new winery off the ground alongside his wife Kelly, he remembered something that had helped boost a restaurant he was running earlier in his career.
This restaurant was not in the strongest cash position and wasn’t performing like it had hoped due to the 2008 recession, so Sparkman and the team brought bartering into the mix via the BizX network, building some new operations around services the community could provide. A few years later, they were a highly successful restaurant and remain so.
Hoping to replicate this success at his own winery, Sparkman incorporated bartering into Sparkman Cellars, helping the winery’s cash flow by using its own products to pay for needed products and services. Not only that, but he also noted how trading through BizX led to other community members turning into new customers.
“It’s about finding creative ways to manage cash flow, in addition to the great connectivity and marketing value,” Sparkman said. “We probably haven’t even fully explored all the services that are available.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has led Sparkman to value its cash flow to an even greater degree but also to undergo more than $100,000 in construction and interior design work with help from the BizX network. Through this period, the Sparkman Cellars team has found that bartering can be the perfect tool for two businesses that might otherwise be struggling.
If you talk to any small business owner this year and ask them the one thing that’s on their mind—above anything else—you will likely hear the ominous “inflation.”
Bob Delf founded Northwest Cellars in 2004, aiming to make high-quality wine with customers having the option of custom or private labels. Along carving out this niche in the area, supporting the community was just as important for Delf. That has led to Northwest Cellars being recognized as one of the top philanthropic business in the state seven years in a row.