One business has captured trading to a T - bartering to keep cash in the pockets of business owners, including over $100,000 in his own.
Mike Johnson, the owner of Margaret River Grass Trees in Busselton, WA, is adding appeal to local business without the costly price tag.
He’s using the trade dollars he earns from grass tree sales on Bartercard to offset business costs from crane-lifting boab trees to buying a truck.
He was a director of nine companies in Perth’s construction industry before a sea change took him to the Margaret River where he turned his focus to the ancient Australian flora and joined Bartercard to take his business further.
“Grasstrees start at $200 and the sky’s the limit,” said Mike. “We have one tree dated at 2,000 years old which we recently declined a $20,000 cash offer for. Businesses love the trees and buy them on Bartercard paying with their products and services instead of cash. It keeps cash in the bank and enhances the look of their business.”
While Mike said the trade in native plants seems lucrative, like any business there are many expenses. “I offer a specialty service that includes excavating, planting and nurturing the tree over a year to ensure it survives, which all adds up,” he said.
“Bartercard lets me earn trade dollars which I can spend to offset thousands of dollars in business expenses, and I‘m always looking for new trading opportunities.
“Bartercard is extra business you wouldn’t have, on top of cash sales.”
“I find a lot of gardening and specialty equipment on Bartercard – all it takes is a few phone calls. There’s a member who has flatbed trucks just waiting to be used. So whenever the owner has spare capacity, he transports trees and I pay him in trade dollars.”
Many of Mike’s clients are wineries that buy grasstrees and boabs to enhance their estates.
“I’ve supplied to two or three wineries, totalling approximately $20,000 worth of trees,” he said. The estates cover the cost of the trees in wine sales through Bartercard which leaves cash in their pocket.
He also encourages businesses to cash convert. He recently finalised an agreement with a winery that sells his grasstrees on their premises. When they sell a tree for cash, they pay him in trade dollars.
Although Busselton is on the western side of the continent, Mike said he can’t wait to pick up business from the east coast.
“Just let me know how many trees you want!”