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With the Lewes Pound being so much in the news of late, its popularity suggests barter could be a big advantage to small businesses struggling to survive the recession. 

An informal barter system could be adopted easily by small or micro business owners who are cash-poor, but time-rich.  Many self-employed people are in the position to offer a skills exchange with other members of their network.  It would allow access to services which they could otherwise not afford in the current climate.  While producing a ‘currency’ would involve more work than was needed, a simple one to one skill-exchange would only need mutual trust and respect. 

We’ve recently done something similar.  Last year we made contact with Nikki Cooke who, along with her partner Jean, is in the early stages of setting up ‘The Word Well’, a copywriting and Internet marketing business.  That contact has grown into friendship and, although I would hesitate to use the word ‘mentoring’, we have been able to offer some help and support. 

We’re currently in the final stages of developing the new WORD-right website and are producing a series of 10 ‘Audio Seminars’ on copywriting.  Jean, who is a very talented musician, has his own professional recording equipment.  When he heard of our plans, he offered his services. 

Jean De Villiers

Jean de Villiers

The result?  The first two recordings in the series have been made (despite a sore throat and nerves!) and the rest of the series will follow in the forthcoming weeks.  We’re delighted to have professional sound quality on our recordings and will continue to benefit from each other’s mutual support and expertise.

The Federation of Small Businesses is telling us we’re the people who will help this country out of recession.  Perhaps by working and supporting each other, we’ll be better placed to do that, and create closer links within our community.

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