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.
“We’ve been able to use BizX to engage with some prominent restaurateurs who are in the same boat, trying to paddle upstream,” he said. “We are trying to get things done in an intelligent and creative way, and expanding your network to include these types of people is always a good thing.”
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.”
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