Archives for April 2015

barter as alternative

North Atlanta Business Post News Story

To view the original story written by Shannon Weaver of Appen Media Group, click here.

KENNESAW, Ga. — When business owners are looking to save cash, one market offers an alternative: the bartering community.

Copeland’s of New Orleans recently renovated their Cumberland location through barter trade. They worked with the Barter Company, which is based in Kennesaw, to do a renovation that was required by the franchise.

“It really helps your cash flow tremendously,” said Copeland’s co-owner Glen Helmstetter. “We’ve saved a couple hundred thousand dollars by bartering the renovation.”

Helmstetter said bartering brings the company new referrals.

“It’s a whole new market,” he said. “We have people come in because we’re on barter. It’s a new clientele for us.”

The Barter Company converts goods and services to “barter credits,” which are added to an account.

“It’s a big pool of entrepreneurs,” Helmstetter said. “We’ll take barter dollars in, and we’ll take that money and we’ll, before we spend cash, we always call the Barter Company and they’ll point us in the direction of vendors who can help us out.”

The idea of bartering gained interest during the recession of 2007, when businesses were short on cash and it became more difficult to receive loans.

“The recession gave barter a lot of exposure,” said Ric Zampatti, the Barter Company’s chief executive officer. “It got a lot of people intrigued about ways of getting things done when you didn’t have money.”

Now, Zampatti says bartering opportunities continue to grow.

“Coming out of the recession, it allows businesses to do more bartering when their sales increase,” Zampatti said.

“Bartering has been going on since time immemorial, but it really kicked in high gear during the last recession we had,” Helmstetter said.

Zampatti said he often works with small businesses.

“Ninety percent of our clients are small business owners,” he said.

“From a small business perspective, it gives them additional funds to buy things they normally couldn’t afford,” he said. “It’s not having to spend cash.”

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We’re in the North Atlanta Business Post!

Check out this recent story written by Shannon Weaver of Appen Media Group. Published on 4/22/2015 in the North Atlanta Business Post.

barter as alternative

KENNESAW, Ga. — When business owners are looking to save cash, one market offers an alternative: the bartering community.

Copeland’s of New Orleans recently renovated their Cumberland location through barter trade. They worked with the Barter Company, which is based in Kennesaw, to do a renovation that was required by the franchise.

“It really helps your cash flow tremendously,” said Copeland’s co-owner Glen Helmstetter. “We’ve saved a couple hundred thousand dollars by bartering the renovation.”

Helmstetter said bartering brings the company new referrals.

“It’s a whole new market,” he said. “We have people come in because we’re on barter. It’s a new clientele for us.”

The Barter Company converts goods and services to “barter credits,” which are added to an account.

“It’s a big pool of entrepreneurs,” Helmstetter said. “We’ll take barter dollars in, and we’ll take that money and we’ll, before we spend cash, we always call the Barter Company and they’ll point us in the direction of vendors who can help us out.”

The idea of bartering gained interest during the recession of 2007, when businesses were short on cash and it became more difficult to receive loans.

“The recession gave barter a lot of exposure,” said Ric Zampatti, the Barter Company’s chief executive officer. “It got a lot of people intrigued about ways of getting things done when you didn’t have money.”

Now, Zampatti says bartering opportunities continue to grow.

“Coming out of the recession, it allows businesses to do more bartering when their sales increase,” Zampatti said.

“Bartering has been going on since time immemorial, but it really kicked in high gear during the last recession we had,” Helmstetter said.

Zampatti said he often works with small businesses.

“Ninety percent of our clients are small business owners,” he said.

“From a small business perspective, it gives them additional funds to buy things they normally couldn’t afford,” he said. “It’s not having to spend cash.”

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Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Trade

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  • Pay employee bonuses with trade dollars. Many of our clients use trade dollars or prizes purchased with trade dollars to reduce payroll or flush out a bonus program.
  • Set up subaccounts for family, employees and vendors who don’t want to join the exchange. Paying trade to subaccounts is as easy as writing a check. The only difference is that you don’t spend any cash!
  • Donate trade dollars to your favorite charity. Simply tell your broker who you would like to donate trade dollars to and we’ll take care of it. We’ll also help the charity spend those trade dollars on things it needs.
  • Use our media department to convert your trade dollars into cash customers. One of the best ways to spend your trade is in advertising that can help your business grow.
  • Give your Trade Coordinator referrals to those businesses that could benefit you and the exchange. We also have great referral programs and contests! The reason TBC is experiencing exponential growth is because of our referral program. Ask your Trade Coordinator for details.

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What You Should Know About Taxes & Transactions

 

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Barter is a widely accepted and proven marketing and business management tool. Barter transactions, like cash sales, are taxable and must be reported as income to the IRS. When you receive and spend trade dollars, there are income tax consequences just as though you were using cash.

The Barter Company is a legal third-party record-keeper on par with banks, credit card companies, and other such custodians of taxpayer financial records.

The Barter Company has a responsibility imposed by law to provide the Internal Revenue Service with information on the barter income of each of our clients for the calendar year. We do this on a Form 1099-B, “Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions.” You, as the taxpayer, are required by law to give The Barter Company your Taxpayer Identification Number (either your Employer Identification Number or your Social Security Number), which we need to prepare Form 1099-B. The IRS matches that number to either your business or personal name for accurate reporting.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding barter and taxes.

* Are there any tax advantages or disadvantages to barter? No. You should view barter income, as you would cash income. Barter is a marketing and business management tool, not a tax strategy or tool. Generally speaking, as with cash income, business-related barter purchases are deductible and, conversely, your barter income (sales) and business deductions (purchases) should be accounted for separately on your tax return.

* What constitutes income in barter transactions? Barter income accrues to you or your business when trade dollars are posted to your account, property or services are received, cash is received, or scrip is issued to you as part of a barter transaction.

* In what year are trade dollars taxable? The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that trade dollars earned from your barter sales should be included as income for the tax year in which they are credited to your account.

* How do I know how much barter income to include in my tax return? At year-end, The Barter Company will compute the proceeds from your barter sales and submit this information to the Internal Revenue on Form 1099-B. The Barter Company will also give you a copy of this form or some equivalent documentation. Be sure to include the barter income listed on Form 1099-B in your total income when filing your tax return.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (770) 591-4343.

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Important Info About Dining Out On Barter

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It’s true what they say…food tastes better on barter!

At our restaurants, you will either need your TBC barter card or a pre-purchased gift certificate (ordered through your trade coordinator).  Call your trade coordinator at (770) 591-4343 if you are not sure what particular method of payment the restaurant takes. Each restaurant is very specific and will only accept the specified certificate or TBC barter card predetermined for that restaurant. A Gift Certificate is good for the amount it is made out for (please remember that no change is given and gratuity is to be paid in cash, 18% to 20%).

**It is very important that you have the right currency for the restaurant you choose!!!***

tipping on trade reminder block

New restaurants are always joining TBC, so be sure to ask your trade coordinator for updated restaurant lists every couple of months!

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Your TBC barter card is accepted at most of our member restaurants. Refer to our member directory for a list of restaurants that accept the client card. You can also view this list via our FREE Mobile App (available for iPhone & Droid). Click to download the app from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

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Travel Availability & Reservation Guidelines

suitcase travel

Our travel department can help you to book hotels, resorts, and cruises. Please remember, however that we are not a travel agency, so we can’t call a hotel directly to place a reservation. We work through brokers, who then work with hotel managers to confirm that the rooms are available on a given date. These extended communication lines make for delays, so please be patient. Sometimes we simply can’t confirm a reservation for several days or sometimes even weeks.

Here are a few hints that will make booking your travel arrangements through TBC easier and faster:

  1. Log into our website www.barterco.com to print a form and return via fax/email OR complete the auto-fill form. You can also download a request form here.
  2. Consider alternative vacation destinations in case your first request is unavailable.
  3. DO NOT place reservations directly with the hotel/resort. These are cash reservations and can’t be converted to trade.
  4. Pay tax, gratuities and incidentals are payable in cash directly to the hotel. A major credit card is sometimes required to guarantee reservations and cover signed-for incidentals.
  5. Remember that black-out times may apply during popular vacation times or holidays.
  6. Expect your trade account to be billed at the time of confirmation.
  7. Know that travel arrangements often may not be cancelled or transferred after booking, and are not refundable. When making reservations, please be certain of your travel dates to avoid costly mistakes. If cancellation is absolutely necessary, a penalty may apply.
  8. Fax a reservation request to the travel department for every arrangement to (770) 591-4602. If you don’t have one, please click here to download one. It is important to use our reservation form to assure accuracy on both our parts. All reservation requests must be signed and you must include your credit card number for bookings.
  9. Understand that our travel availabilities are updated frequently. Travel inventory, however, can change on a daily basis. Always check with the travel department for the most current information. We have travel for almost every state in the country, as well as limited international travel.
  10. Visit our travel department to see the hotel or resort brochures you’re interested in. Because they are in short supply, travel brochures can’t be mailed or given to our clients.

We know how important your vacation time is, and we want to make your travel memorable. We are very proud of our vast inventory and confident that we have something for almost everyone, even though some properties are not available during peak times. We look forward to hearing from you!

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New Barter Card Design

This is a friendly notice to let you know that moving forward, we will be issuing new clients this new TBC barter card.  Please be on the lookout for these if one is presented to you. These are valid barter cards so please be sure to treat these just like the original cards.

New TBC Client Card 2015

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The Power of Giving Back: How Community Involvement Can Increase Your Bottom Line

COmmunityOutreach

Companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see many benefits, including loyal customers and happier employees. According to a May 2013 study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop.

“I’ve found that customers really want to know how you’re making the world a better place,” says Erin Giles, an Aiken, S.C.-based business philanthropy consultant who helps entrepreneurs find causes they’re passionate about and incorporate their message into their business. Moms and Millennials are particularly interested in a business’ corporate social responsibility platform, Giles says.

Here are four things to consider when incorporating community service into your business plan.

1. Build relationships within your community.
Look at your community to see what’s important. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations? For example, Cody Pierce, vice president of marketing for Orange City, Iowa-based Pizza Ranch franchises, says the restaurants host “community impact” nights, where friends and family members bus tables to support a local cause, such as raising money for a class trip. Pizza Ranch donates the night’s tips and 5 to 20 percent of the profits to the cause, while community members often provide additional donations.

The business benefits because it fills the restaurant on a typically slow night. He says building relationships starts by making genuine connections with your customers, then finding ways you can contribute.

2. Get your employees on board.
Giving employees an avenue to give back is important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team, Giles says. “When your employees love what they’re doing, they do a better job,” she says. Giles suggests that businesses offer employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours or participate in get-togethers after work, which is more fulfilling than just meeting for drinks.

Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased staff performance and fulfillment and, ultimately, increased productivity and sales, Giles notes.

3. Create a custom volunteer plan.
Giles recommends that business owners evaluate their business and employee strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon those strengths. For example, if you own an accounting firm, you could volunteer to help a nonprofit set up their accounting practices or do their taxes.

Likewise, if you own a restaurant, consider catering a school staff meeting to show your appreciation for your local teachers. Pierce says this may open the door to future catering opportunities, an incremental way to increase revenue. Decide how much time your employees can volunteer through the business on an annual basis, taking into account your operation demands.

4. Let customers know how you’re giving back.
Once you’ve implemented your volunteer strategy, let current and prospective customers know what you’re doing by including this information on your website. Giles suggests putting a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it’s easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.

TBC works with wonderful non-profits and they would love your assistance, too! If you and your employees would like to get involved with any of these organizations, give us a call at              (770) 591-4343 and we’ll get you in contact today!

MUST Ministries

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation – GA Chapter

Choices

Cherokee County Animal Shelter

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Traveling on Trade

travel on trade

Before you spend cash for business or pleasure travel, contact the TBC travel department at 770.591.4343 or travel@barterco.com.  You may be able to arrange your accommodations, dining and entertainment on trade. Items that may be available to you include hotel rooms, oceanfront resorts, condominiums, bed and breakfasts, limousine services, rental cars, restaurants, attractions, and much more!

You can access a TBC Travel Request Form on our website by either downloading a form to send back via email or fax (770) 591-4602 OR by filling out our auto-fill Travel Request Form once you are logged into our website.

When planning a trip on trade, please remember that we are not a travel agency and can’t perform the functions of one, but we will provide you with the best travel accommodations available on trade for your specific date of travel. To help us serve you better, please follow these guidelines.

  1. Know the exact dates of your departure, arrival, return and any alternate dates that you can consider.
  2. Know the full names of all those in your party. We must have the name of each guest for each room rather that one name for multiple rooms.
  3. Have a budget in mind. We cannot check every possible room combination in every major city; there are just too many to choose from!

Other important facts:

  1. Reservations are non-cancelable. You will be responsible for all room charges incurred from a canceled reservation, so be certain of your plans before we book your requests.
  2. There is a $5 cash-booking fee on all travel requests, not to exceed $15. This fee also applies to any change request for travel.
  3. All hotels require a major credit card number to secure the room. Please list this information on your request form; we can’t process any travel requests without it.
  4. All of our travel is subject to availability and is obtainable on a first-come, first-serve basis. Our travel packages come from different sources and are constantly changing, so please contact The Barter Company to inquire about any newly available locations or opportunities.

Happy Traveling!

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How To Maximize Your Benefits & Investments With Barter

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Before you do any trades, take some time (preferably right now) to identify the normal business expenses you are paying with cash. The best way to do this is to go through your recent income and expense statement, general ledger and accounts payable listing, or just review your business check register.

Make sure you also fill out a Cash Flow Analysis Form. This will help your trade coordinator find items/services you currently pay cash for and get you switched to paying barter for them instead…which puts CASH BACK IN YOUR WALLET!

Be sure to visit our website here and log-in to see all the ways you can use barter! If you need help accessing your barter account number or pin, call us at (770) 591-4343. Use this same login information to download our FREE mobile apps via the iTunes and Google Play stores.

If you need to purchase items or services that you don’t see in the online directory on our website, you have options available to help you conserve your cash through trade:

1. Call your trade coordinator at our main office and tell her what you need and the time frame in which you need it. Your coordinator will immediately go to work for you within the local system and also the national affiliates network of the National Association of Trade Exchanges.

2. If your needs can wait over the next 30 days or more and your trade coordinator can’t assist you within the local system or network, The Barter Company will attempt to sign up a company to provide the goods or services you need.

3. If your need is not time-sensitive, you can benefit in 2 ways from referring a client for your needs! Not only will you assist in signing on a new client to provide the service you need, you will also GET PAID! You will receive $100 cash and $100 trade every time you refer a client. If the client happens to be on our Monthly Top 10 List, you will be paid $200cash/$200trade! (* note – you may not refer someone you already pay cash to, as TBC does not condone “cash converting”). Be sure to login to your account each month so that you can be up-to-date with the current Top 10 List.

 

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