Bartercard is quite extraordinary in their approach to business. It helps fund, implement and nurture significant expansion to its members businesses. We caught up with Andrew Barker, General Manager of Sales and Marketing recently to find out what makes him tick, and to find out exactly how Bartercard can help business owners to grow their business.
Q. How long have you been with Bartercard?
A. I’ve been with Bartercard for 20 years. I started as a Hospitality Account Manager and since then I’ve worked in all facets of the business including 5 years heading up the International Trading Department of Bartercard International. My current role is General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Bartercard Australia.
Q. What does your current role entail?
A. There are 3 key aspects to my current role, (1) to guide the franchise group nationally, (2) to introduce corporate accounts to the Bartercard network and (3) to manage the tier 1 national and international sponsorship accounts that Bartercard is involved with.
Q. What keeps you going after 20 years?
A. I’m more passionate about Bartercard and the industry today that I was 20 years ago! It’s the only unique business tool that does amazing things for small to medium size businesses. Every day we’re working with business owners to implement solutions to some simple and more complex problems. There’s never a dull moment. The team, who work for Bartercard, like me, have worked for the company for a long time. I think there is something special about an employer to have the number of long standing staff that we do.
Q. From a Bartercard member’s perspective, what’s the key to the Bartercard business model/tool?
A. Bartercard is the counter balance of the current economic issues in business. We fill idle time, move idle or excess stock and develop brand new customer bases through a closed user group without reducing profit or margins.
Q. You must have seen and heard some great success stories over your time, so why does Bartercard work for some businesses and not others?
A. I’ve always maintained that Bartercard suits every business as a business tool, just not every business person. I’ve got thousands of examples across every industry of where Bartercard’s been successful and yet at the same time, I’ve got examples of businesses within industries that haven’t been as successful. The key fundamental difference is the time, effort and ingenuity that the business owner puts into using Bartercard. Bartercard is like any other business tool, it’s how business owners utilise it which deems whether or not there is a positive effect on their business.
Q. What’s one creative deal you’ve been involved in?
A. There’s lots and they’ve all been diverse in nature, which is basically what Bartercard is. Recently I was involved with a client that needed additional immediate cash flow to alleviate a tax situation. Here the member purchased a yacht through Bartercard and at the same time we brokered a cash buyer. The end result was a $120,000 purchase on Bartercard resulting in a $145,000 sale in cash. Bear in the mind the beauty of this transaction. This member bought with his core product with a margin of 50% therefore, buying with $120,000 trade dollars only cost him $60,000 cash. Therefore a $145,000 cash sale netted him $85,000 cash which effectively covered the outstanding tax bill.
Q. You mentioned this example; can you please explain the difference between direct barter and Bartercard?
A. We know with direct barter there’s an inherent challenge between two people, where one may not necessarily want to use the product or service of the other. As Bartercard has a registered currency of trade dollars, this gives Bartercard members the flexibility and freedom to accumulate trade dollars from numerous parties into their account. They’re then able to use those dollars within any other business within the network for business and lifestyle expenses.
Q. So, what you are saying is that Bartercard gives you that flexibility where I accumulate trade dollars into my account from say, a plumber, but I can then spend those dollars in a restaurant?
A. That’s exactly what it means. So, we have 20,000 new potential customers for you throughout Australia and 20,000 different businesses for you to spend your trade dollars with. The transaction happens the same as a normal credit or debit card transaction, is it simply recorded in trade dollars, rather than cash.
Q. What would your advice be to a business owner looking at Bartercard as business solution?
A. My advice is simple. To gain a true understanding of how Bartercard can benefit your business is to give it a go. Bartercard can be a controlled business tool therefore; how you manage it will gage the success of what you get out of it. Whilst many people have heard many things the true reflection of any outcome is through your personal experience.
Q. So what does the future hold?
A. Currently, Bartercard covers all areas of Australia and 6 other countries globally. These include offices in London, Auckland, Bangkok, Dubai, USA and Cyprus. Whilst we continue to invest in training our sales and account management team across the country to offer better personal service it is important for us to continue to lead the way in technology advances to achieve our core philosophy of making it easier for our members to trade. These technology advances include tools like our award winning mobile application, meaning Bartercard is now a mobile business tool, along with our specialised online tools, allowing member interaction 24/7. In addition to this, we’re focusing on our international division where we’re continuing to expand beyond our current 7 countries to achieve true global domination.
For further information or direct discussion, contact 1300 BARTER (1300 227 837) or email Andrew at email@example.com
Q. So Andrew, we’re going to be hearing from you regularly, what’s coming up next month?
A. Over the coming months you’re going to hear from some key members from different industries and investment opportunities who will showcase the true nature and power of Bartercard.