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How to pay half price for experiences and services by using in-kind payments

Hi there,


Alright, this week's newsletter is going to be quick and to the point.


How do you provide incredible experiences for your customers AND pay less for them?


I'll tell you.


But first, why provide incredible experiences? and what do I mean by that anyway?

Incredible Experience Ideas for Coffee Shops

Providing incredible experiences does two things:

  1. Keeps regular customers intrigued about what's coming up

  2. Exposes your coffee shop to new customers


I've shared before about teaming up with local communities and capturing more foot traffic for your cafe, but experiences also create positive affinity in the minds of your customers.


This means that they'll come back to your coffee shop more often. They'll bring their friends. They'll tell their neighbors and coworkers.


So, your experience might not be cash flow positive for the day, but it's a marketing tactic to build positive community.


Consider some of these experience ideas:

  • Photo booth

  • Craft market

  • After-hours party (for business anniversary or some other special occasion)

  • Live music

  • Book reading and signing

  • Art show

  • Coffee brewing class

  • Coffee tasting

  • Mario Kart tournament (bring in some TVs)

  • Food truck visit (shaved ice, pastries, tacos, etc.)

  • and more...


Okay, but don't stop at simply hosting the events. Make them special. Promote them. Make the vendors feel welcome. Support local makers whenever you can.

Paying in-kind when possible


Here's the unlock: paying in-kind


Sure, it sounds simple, but let's take a look at the mechanics.


Paying in-kind (or using your product or service as a "barter" token to pay for other products and services) is an unbalanced transaction.


E.g. You have a balloon artist come perform at your cafe and pay them with a gift card for $100 to you shop.


At first blush, it seems like you just paid them $100 cash. But that's not true.


They received $100 worth of value. But you've actually only paid out your total value – net margins, since you didn't realize profit on the $100.


Let's say your margins are 50% to make it simple.


The balloon artist gets $100 in value, but it only costs you $50 in product and labor (you simply don't realize the profit in the transaction).


This does not translate to profit lost (IMO) because a) it's unlikely the vendor would have spent that $100 at your business to start with and b) you aren't fulfilling an entire transaction with profit accounted for (which would be taxed).

Give paying in-kind a try


So, next time you're paying out a vendor or developing a new experience, see if you can pay in-kind for the product or service.


That's it for this week, now go out and crush it.

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