Archives for August 2014

Guard Your Online Reputation

Your reputation’s online, even if your business isn’t. Take control of how the online world views your business, and protect your bottom line.

Before the Internet connected the entire world, your business reputation was something that you built, not managed. Fallout from the customer complaints you couldn’t fix was of limited scope. Today, the Internet acts like a lens that magnifies every blemish, perceived insult and mistake—and then broadcasts it with a bullhorn.

Consumers turn to the Web to research practically everything before they buy, and one blistering review on Yelp can go viral and undo everything you’ve worked to achieve. Worse, its affects can haunt your bottom line for years. Managing your reputation is something you can’t afford to ignore.

Consider this. Blogs, forums and anonymous review sites can give consumers a strong voice, which is not a bad thing per se. But they can also attract commenters and reviewers who may be acting at the behest of your competitors. Unless you actively monitor and manage your business reputation, you clear the way for other people to step in and tell the story. And it’s pretty much guaranteed that the story won’t have a happy ending.

Don’t Ignore the Internet

Online research is king, and small business owners simply don’t recognize its importance. Even a business that has nothing to do with the online world can find its reputation smeared across the Internet. Your business may not rely on the Internet, but your customers—and your competitors—go online. What are they saying about you?

The first step is to do a bit of online research yourself. Google both your name and your company’s name to see what comes up. Chances are you’ll be surprised at the results.

Know What You Can Control

When potential customers ask to know more about your business, it may seem sensible to refer them to online review sites. Don’t do it. Simply stated, you can’t control what people say about you on those sites. “A business will never buy a billboard and let others write on it,” says Zammuto.

A better course of action: focus on improving your ranking in Google search results. Post articles with informative, useful content that helps your customers. Share your expertise and make yourself a trusted resource for your customers. It may take a bit longer, but the results will be worth your effort.

Guard Your Own Reputation

You could pay a reputation management company, or you can save a bunch of money and use free tools and services to help you track your company’s reputation. Google Alerts, TweetBeep, Naymz, Social Mention, and MonitorThis are but a few examples.

If you choose to hire a rreputation management company, avoid any company that creates multiple Twitter accounts and microsites to flood the Web with good feedback and positive content about your company. Google frowns upon those dubious tactics, and you risk a precipitous fall to the bottom of the search results rankings.

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Don’t Allow Fear and Anxiety to Impact Your Business Management

Many business owners stress over cash flow and finding new customers that can make managing a business feel like going to the dentist. However, this dentist, Dr. Clarence Kegler of Artistic Smiles, has a unique method to alleviate fears about dental work as well as business headaches.

Dr. Kegler manages his dentistry practice with less anxiety by being a member of The Barter Company, a 2,500-member network for businesses to exchange goods and services. For the past three years, he has traded dental services for advertising, printing, painting, contracting and promotional items. “I have to buy these items anyway to help run the practice,” said Dr. Kegler. “If I can get these services through barter, it’s an easy way to save cash … or use that cash in other ways to hire a new person, expand, and grow the business.”

artistic smiles logo

People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

Dr. Kegler’s practice, Artistic Smiles, is located in Suwanee and offers patients state-of-the-art dental procedures that leave patients looking and feeling great. During his nine years in practice, Dr. Kegler has tried other barter companies but wasn’t satisfied. “The Barter Company provides more services, travel options, and business locations. It’s much more extensive than other exchanges,” said Kegler. “Also, the client service at TBC is the best. If I need something, my barter coordinator will make it happen.”

Artistic Smiles

Being a member of The Barter Company has also helped Dr. Kegler grow his practice. “Once a patient comes in through barter, they become a long-term patient. And, they usually bring in their family members and refer friends and neighbors who then become patients too,” explained Kegler. “Barter helps reduce the stress of running the practice and then I can focus more on my patients.” Less fear and anxiety about managing a business. Well, that’s something to smile about.

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Learning Fresh Ideas to Bring in New Business

Ever wish there was a way to draw new customers in like a vacuum? Or to filter through all the different marketing advice and find a proven way to find new business?

Aerus/Electrolux, Kennesaw franchise owner Rich Luisi has done just that. He has been a client of The Barter Company for more than eight years. “Plain and simple. The best reason to use barter is that they bring me new business. I’ve spent 44 years in the floor care industry and I started out with zero customers and now I have 70,000. I’m always interested in new customers because our products are so exclusive and high quality; once someone tries it they love it!”

aerus logo

Aerus/Electrolux provides products and services that enhance the wellness and comfort of its customers and their families, including Electrolux vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and water purifiers. These unique solutions purify the air, decontaminate surfaces, and eliminate harmful pollutants, all with respect for the environment.

Like any business, Luisi’s Aerus/Electrolux franchise needs new customers on a regular basis. To accomplish this, he uses a combination of advertising, customer referrals, and barter.

Aerus - storefront only

People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

Luisi uses The Barter Company’s exchange for print advertising, direct mail pieces, office furniture, carpet, painting, plumbing, construction work, and heating/AC service. He also receives tickets to concerts and sporting events that his salespeople use. Every year, Luisi trades more than $100,000 through The Barter Company.

Just like the 2,500 other businesses in The Barter Company’s network, Luisi’s method of bringing in new customers relies on a complete strategy with barter playing an important role. He explains: “Barter helps me have a clean sweep of the competition.”

Blog-Signature - cropped

Read more
aerus

Learning Fresh Ideas to Bring in New Business

Ever wish there was a way to draw new customers in like a vacuum? Or to filter through all the different marketing advice and find a proven way to find new business?

Aerus/Electrolux, Kennesaw franchise owner Rich Luisi has done just that. He has been a client of The Barter Company for more than eight years. “Plain and simple. The best reason to use barter is that they bring me new business. I’ve spent 44 years in the floor care industry and I started out with zero customers and now I have 70,000. I’m always interested in new customers because our products are so exclusive and high quality; once someone tries it they love it!”

Aerus/Electrolux provides products and services that enhance the wellness and comfort of its customers and their families, including Electrolux vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and water purifiers. These unique solutions purify the air, decontaminate surfaces, and eliminate harmful pollutants, all with respect for the environment.

Like any business, Luisi’s Aerus/Electrolux franchise needs new customers on a regular basis. To accomplish this, he uses a combination of advertising, customer referrals, and barter.

People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

Luisi uses The Barter Company’s exchange for print advertising, direct mail pieces, office furniture, carpet, painting, plumbing, construction work, and heating/AC service. He also receives tickets to concerts and sporting events that his salespeople use. Every year, Luisi trades more than $100,000 through The Barter Company.

Just like the 2,500 other businesses in The Barter Company’s network, Luisi’s method of bringing in new customers relies on a complete strategy with barter playing an important role. He explains: “Barter helps me have a clean sweep of the competition.”

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David Douglas

Using Barter a Brilliant Idea For Business

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend but for David Douglas Diamonds & Jewelry, barter provides a friendly business boost as well.

The Barter Company has worked with DDD&J since the 1990s but the relationship really took off when the jewelry store lost its lease and they were forced to quickly find a new location. “Using the barter balance we had built up, DDD&J was able to trade for what we needed. From rugs and office furniture, to advertising and lighting, to glass for showcases, fixtures, signage, and phone systems — everything to get our business up and running. The transition would not have been as smooth without The Barter Company,” explained store manager Jen Foster.

David Douglas Diamonds & Jewelry sells a wide selection of fine jewelry, including diamonds and gemstones, as well as sterling silver jewelry and watches. They also provide jewelry repairs, custom design and appraisals. Every month DDD&J uses its barter “dollars” to purchase advertising, pest control, lawn care, food, and travel. Approximately $35,000 is spent in barter annually. The jewelry store also gives their employees an annual “barter allowance” that they can use as they choose. “Common purchases include restaurant gift certificates, concert tickets, and travel. It’s a great employee incentive,” said Foster.

People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

Foster agrees: “The best reason to use barter is it allows us to increase cash flow by increasing sales AND reducing costs. You trade what you have for what you need. Basically, you have the ability to buy goods and services at your cost – it’s brilliant!”

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Artistic Smiles

Don’t Allow Fear and Anxiety to Impact Your Business Management

Many business owners stress over cash flow and finding new customers that can make managing a business feel like going to the dentist. However, this dentist, Dr. Clarence Kegler of Artistic Smiles, has a unique method to alleviate fears about dental work as well as business headaches.

Dr. Kegler manages his dentistry practice with less anxiety by being a member of The Barter Company, a 2,500-member network for businesses to exchange goods and services. For the past three years, he has traded dental services for advertising, printing, painting, contracting and promotional items. “I have to buy these items anyway to help run the practice,” said Dr. Kegler. “If I can get these services through barter, it’s an easy way to save cash … or use that cash in other ways to hire a new person, expand, and grow the business.”

People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. “Alternative currencies are trending for business,” explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

Dr. Kegler’s practice, Artistic Smiles, is located in Suwannee and offers patients state-of-the-art dental procedures that leave patients looking and feeling great. During his nine years in practice, Dr. Kegler has tried other barter companies but wasn’t satisfied. “The Barter Company provides more services, travel options, and business locations. It’s much more extensive than other exchanges,” said Kegler. “Also, the client service at TBC is the best. If I need something, my barter coordinator will make it happen.”

Being a member of The Barter Company has also helped Dr. Kegler grow his practice. “Once a patient comes in through barter, they become a long-term patient. And, they usually bring in their family members and refer friends and neighbors who then become patients too,” explained Kegler. “Barter helps reduce the stress of running the practice and then I can focus more on my patients.” Less fear and anxiety about managing a business. Well, that’s something to smile about.

Read more