After spending countless weekends brushing and sweeping my parent’s pool as a young child, I vowed to never own a swimming pool myself. They are just too much work. That changed a few years ago when we put in a pool.
What changed in my thinking? Unlike the pool of my youth, this one was self-cleaning and self chlorinating. In other words, it is virtually maintenance free… well almost.
The first year was great. The only maintenance the pool required was occasional skimming of leaves that had gathered on the surface as well as cleaning the skimmer and leaf trapper baskets once a week. The filters are a bit of a chore to clean but that only has to be done twice a year. I can honestly say that in the first year, all my worries about maintaining a pool from my youthful experiences was wiped away.
That changed the second and third years. Year number two brought on problems with high phosphate levels which would not allow the salt chlorinating system to produce enough chlorine to keep the pool’s water in good shape. I would regularly have to add small amounts of shock to the pool just to keep chlorine levels to where they should be. The third year I had problems with algae. This required more chemical treatments and lots of brushing. All the horrid pool memories of my childhood were coming back to haunt me.
At some point, the tile on the spillway for the Jacuzzi began to come off. I started a thread on a local forum looking for someone who was experienced with pool time. Sam McCraken of Blue Palm Pools answered my post and for about $120, he did a beautiful job repairing the tile. We got to talking about what I did for a living of which I told him that I was a search marketer. This interested him as he had a web site but was not getting any traffic. I explained how my company could help him improve his search visibility which would also help him to attract local traffic.
After some negotiating, we decided to barter. I would provide search marketing services for his site and he would maintain my pool on a weekly basis. I ended up having to completely redesign his site as it was in a crappy GoDaddy content management system, so not only did Sam now have a search marketer looking out for his online marketing efforts, he had a much better looking site that was a whole lot easier to update.
To date, both of us have been very happy about the arrangement. Sam has more business than he can handle right now, which is always a good problem to have. I no longer worry about my pool. In fact I have never enjoyed it so much because I don’t do anything to it anymore except swim in it. I don’t clean skimmer or leaf trap baskets. I don’t brush it. I rarely skim the surface. Most of all, I don’t worry about the chemical balance of the pool. Sam takes care of all those things and does it all very well.
So, not only do I love my pool guy but I love barter relationships. I did a similar barter this year for sun screens and have bartered in the past for tile floors throughout my first home. Oh, and I regularly barter for wine.
Some of the things I am currently looking to barter for include the following:
- Wrought iron security entrance to home.
- Landscape maintenance
- Auto mechanic to replace front and rear seals for my Mustang’s 289
- Video surveillance
I could probably go on but those are some of the top things on my wish list. So if you happen to do business in my general area and want to barter for search marketing services and/or web development, just let me know.