How to grow your business during recession in Nigeria

“History repeats itself and the wise learn from it.” – Catherine Egwali.

How to grow your business in recession in Nigeria

Many years ago, there was recession in a great country and in most parts of the world also.

There was scarcity of food and money – and everyone felt the brunt of it; or almost everyone.

There was someone whose experience was different. He had so much food he began to sell to other nations around him.

People came from far and wide just to buy from him.

Then his customers ran out of money but they still needed his food to survive.

Fortunately, this lack of money did not deter the businessman from selling his products. The shrewd and compassionate man thought of a way out. He decided to give out his products without money!

How did he go about it? He requested for what they had in exchange for what he had. He gave them food in exchange for their products, properties and eventually themselves (  as they sold themselves as slaves).

Does this story sound familiar? If it does, it is probably because you have heard of the story of Joseph the Prime Minister of Egypt and how he saved the nation of Egypt from famine.

Joseph was a man whose business/ministry grew in time of recession. He met a need and got paid for it. Lack of money was not an excuse for his business to fail. He was creative and willing to adjust his business model when his customers ran out of money.

Are you willing to adapt and adjust your business model if necessary?

In today’s post, we will explore how to use the power of Barter to grow your business and save costs.

According to investopedia, “Barter is the act of trading goods or services between two or more parties without the use of money. Bartering can benefit individuals, companies and countries that see a mutual benefit in exchanging goods and services rather than cash. It also enables those who are lacking hard currency to obtain goods and services.”

Did you know that 65% of Fortune 500 companies engage in one form of barter or another? (Information based on report from The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) )

You can join their league and use barter to save costs and pay bills.

Benefits of Barter
1. You can get what you need without paying in cash.
2. There is the possibility of growing customer relationship bonds with the ability to build customer loyalty.
3. Possibility of recommendations from exchange partner, thus leading to new customers.

Practical examples
1. A service provider that gives out free hosting in exchange for displaying website ads;
2. A website designer that designs a website for an event in exchange for a ticket to that event.
3. Co-working space in exchange for providing internet, fuel for electricity generation etc
4. Exchange of accounting services in exchange for IT support.
5. Exchange of training by coaches
6. Exchange of online ads on websites
7. Exchange of shoes for clothing
8. Exchange of the services/products you offer for services you need

1. Take a stock of services you use and pay for. Write out the cost of each service.
2. Create a mastermind group of people you know that are interested in trade by barter.
3. Determine what quantity of product/level of service would correspond to the value of service you need.
4. Make an offer in the group and inform others what you are willing to accept in exchange for your offer.
5. If you find interested parties, seal the deal with your preferred vendor and don’t forget to have a signed written document to back it up.

Helpful tips to consider to engage in trade by barter
1. Value must be exchanged in the transaction. The purpose of the transaction is to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. You should also consider the monetary worth of what you want to give and accept. Use the information as a guide to choose the products/services to exchange.
2. Expectations should be clearly defined and understood. If necessary, put them in writing and have the document signed.
3. Create a mastermind group in which each person brings something unique to sell/exchange in the group. Hence, the group could be made up of an Accountant, Lawyer, Website Designer, Digital marketing specialist etc where each one contributes his service in exchange for another professional’s services.
4. Ensure you do a background check on your exchange partner to confirm that he can deliver as promised
5. Trade what you currently have to offer not what you expect to have!

Using trade by barter to grow your business has its pros and cons. Nevertheless, if you follow the helpful tips above, it would reduce your chances of entering into a wrong business relationship.

What do you think about using trade by barter to reduce costs and grow your business? Do you intend to join other Fortune 500 companies trading by barter? If you do, let’s get started.

About Ikechukwu Erowele

IKECHUKWU EROWELE is the CEO BiZmarrow technologies limited, managing partner,, founder He loves helping youth to have an enterprise mind and follow their dreams to becomes entrepreneurs. He is also a Digital Marketing Specialist; helping business to grow using proven digital strategies and to attract paying customers.
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