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TBC’s Super Savvy Mobile Apps

If you haven’t downloaded our FREE mobile apps, you are missing out! TBC is now offering free apps available for iPhone, iPad and Droid.  Get ’em today!

TBC Mobile Apps - Menu     Mobile Apps1

Our “Trade Studio” app makes it simple to:

– View and update your account

–  View products and services

– Find barter businesses nearby using your phone’s GPS

– See what’s new

– Authorize a trade

 

Click here to get the iPhone app.

Click here to get the Droid app.

Click here to get the iPad app.

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Barter in the News: In Lean Times Restaurants Barter for Trade Services

From The Wall Street Journal story. See the full story here.

Independent restaurants are turning to an old-fashioned method to fill tables—barter.

As they struggle to keep customers and pay the monthly bills, restaurants are swapping food for services like oven-hood cleaning and pest control.

Bartering helps restaurants fill seats, reassuring prospective customers who might be turned off by the sight of a vacant eatery. It also attracts new customers when tradespeople bring friends along, reduces some costs, and helps retain employees who can’t scoop tips off empty tables.

It’s hardly a permanent fix for ailing restaurants, which still need cash to cover such expenses as rent, mortgages, taxes and utilities. But bartering is an especially useful tool for independent restaurants that, unlike some chains, lack access to corporate credit lines or cash.

Empty Tables

Many restaurants are using barter exchanges that track and manage the transactions, which count as taxable income and must be recorded for tax purposes. Rather than traditional bartering, in which services are swapped directly between vendors, most barter exchanges use a “round robin” approach that offers flexibility for both restaurants and service people. For example, a plumber uses trade credits accumulated at an exchange to pay for a restaurant meal. The restaurant owner can use the credits spent by the plumber to “purchase” a variety of services offered by appliance repairmen, electricians and other exchange clients. The exchange acts as a bank, keeping track of credits and collecting fees on each transaction.

Tony Romano, owner of Marcello’s Pasta Grill in Tempe, Ariz., where business is off 40% from three years ago, joined the Arizona Trade Exchange in October. Since joining the exchange, he says he’s been averaging $2,000 per week in trade credits from tradespeople, which has allowed him to pay for almost all of his monthly expenses—from laundry to fire-extinguisher maintenance—without writing a check.

Although the restaurant doesn’t receive cash for the food, the tradespeople usually tip well, Mr. Romano says, which keeps his wait staff happy.

He says his traffic has increased 10% in the last month. New exchange clients also have led to catering jobs. “A lot of small businesses can’t afford to take their employees out for a Christmas party, but they can barter it,” he says. “I’ve booked two lawyers’ offices and three dentists’ holiday parties.”

Iberian Pig

Independent restaurants have fared slightly better in the last year than chain restaurants, though it’s hard to say how much bartering has helped. Same-store sales at independent restaurants declined 9% for the year ended Sept. 30, while same-store sales at chains declined 9.7% during that time, according to restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.

Rob Miller, president of the Arizona Trade Exchange, says he now has more than 30 restaurants involved in his exchange, up 20% from a year ago. The exchange charges a one-time $495 membership fee as well as a $12.50 monthly fee, and takes a 12% cut of each transaction from the person making the trade purchase.

Ric Zampatti, chief executive of The Barter Company, an Atlanta-based trade exchange with clients in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, says his business is up 10% in the last year, due partly to signing up 35 new restaurants.

Tradespeople also appear to be spending more when they go out to eat. A trade credit is worth a dollar; Mr. Miller says he used to see tradespeople buy restaurant credits in batches of 100 or 200; lately, he says people are buying restaurant trade credits worth $300 to $500 at a time.

Cody Smith, owner of Dynamic Pest Control in Mesa, Ariz., has been cashing in his trade credits at restaurants more frequently in the past six months. “It’s a great way to take the family out, enjoy a meal and walk away with very little cash out of your pocket.”

Trading his pest control services for restaurant meals and other services has brought in new clients and boosted his sales by 15% in the last year, due partly to new cash-paying clients who aren’t part of the exchange, Mr. Smith says.

Atlanta restaurateur Nancy Castellucci recently opened a fourth eatery called the Iberian Pig in an historic building that needed to be brought up to code. She used barter credits to cover 60% of the refurbishment costs.

“We would have had to go to the bank otherwise and we didn’t want to go to the bank. When you have barter dollars, it’s a much cheaper way to borrow money because you’re not actually borrowing money, you’re borrowing goods and services and not paying interest.”

Mr. Zampatti of the Atlanta exchange says he’s seeing restaurants increasingly use barter for routine maintenance costs. “In the past, restaurant owners would use barter to upgrade their lifestyle, like to go on vacation or buy jewelry, but because of the economy, now they’re using it to pay for their business expenses.”

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restaurant empty tables chart

In Lean Times, Restaurants Barter for Trade Services

Originally published in Wall Street Journal – click HERE to view story.

Independent restaurants are turning to an old-fashioned method to fill tables—barter.

As they struggle to keep customers and pay the monthly bills, restaurants are swapping food for services like oven-hood cleaning and pest control.

Bartering helps restaurants fill seats, reassuring prospective customers who might be turned off by the sight of a vacant eatery. It also attracts new customers when tradespeople bring friends along, reduces some costs, and helps retain employees who can’t scoop tips off empty tables.

It’s hardly a permanent fix for ailing restaurants, which still need cash to cover such expenses as rent, mortgages, taxes and utilities. But bartering is an especially useful tool for independent restaurants that, unlike some chains, lack access to corporate credit lines or cash.

~~Many restaurants are using barter exchanges that track and manage the transactions, which count as taxable income and must be recorded for tax purposes. Rather than traditional bartering, in which services are swapped directly between vendors, most barter exchanges use a “round robin” approach that offers flexibility for both restaurants and service people. For example, a plumber uses trade credits accumulated at an exchange to pay for a restaurant meal. The restaurant owner can use the credits spent by the plumber to “purchase” a variety of services offered by appliance repairmen, electricians and other exchange clients. The exchange acts as a bank, keeping track of credits and collecting fees on each transaction.

Tony Romano, owner of Marcello’s Pasta Grill in Tempe, Ariz., where business is off 40% from three years ago, joined the Arizona Trade Exchange in October. Since joining the exchange, he says he’s been averaging $2,000 per week in trade credits from tradespeople, which has allowed him to pay for almost all of his monthly expenses—from laundry to fire-extinguisher maintenance—without writing a check.

Although the restaurant doesn’t receive cash for the food, the tradespeople usually tip well, Mr. Romano says, which keeps his wait staff happy.

He says his traffic has increased 10% in the last month. New exchange clients also have led to catering jobs. “A lot of small businesses can’t afford to take their employees out for a Christmas party, but they can barter it,” he says. “I’ve booked two lawyers’ offices and three dentists’ holiday parties.”

~~Independent restaurants have fared slightly better in the last year than chain restaurants, though it’s hard to say how much bartering has helped. Same-store sales at independent restaurants declined 9% for the year ended Sept. 30, while same-store sales at chains declined 9.7% during that time, according to restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.

Rob Miller, president of the Arizona Trade Exchange, says he now has more than 30 restaurants involved in his exchange, up 20% from a year ago. The exchange charges a one-time $495 membership fee as well as a $12.50 monthly fee, and takes a 12% cut of each transaction from the person making the trade purchase.

Ric Zampatti, chief executive of The Barter Company, an Atlanta-based trade exchange with clients in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, says his business is up 10% in the last year, due partly to signing up 35 new restaurants.

Tradespeople also appear to be spending more when they go out to eat. A trade credit is worth a dollar; Mr. Miller says he used to see tradespeople buy restaurant credits in batches of 100 or 200; lately, he says people are buying restaurant trade credits worth $300 to $500 at a time.

Cody Smith, owner of Dynamic Pest Control in Mesa, Ariz., has been cashing in his trade credits at restaurants more frequently in the past six months. “It’s a great way to take the family out, enjoy a meal and walk away with very little cash out of your pocket.”

Trading his pest control services for restaurant meals and other services has brought in new clients and boosted his sales by 15% in the last year, due partly to new cash-paying clients who aren’t part of the exchange, Mr. Smith says.

Atlanta restaurateur Nancy Castellucci recently opened a fourth eatery called the Iberian Pig in an historic building that needed to be brought up to code. She used barter credits to cover 60% of the refurbishment costs.

“We would have had to go to the bank otherwise and we didn’t want to go to the bank. When you have barter dollars, it’s a much cheaper way to borrow money because you’re not actually borrowing money, you’re borrowing goods and services and not paying interest.”

Mr. Zampatti of the Atlanta exchange says he’s seeing restaurants increasingly use barter for routine maintenance costs. “In the past, restaurant owners would use barter to upgrade their lifestyle, like to go on vacation or buy jewelry, but because of the economy, now they’re using it to pay for their business expenses.”

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May Top 20 list

Earn CASH for referrals! Get paid $200 cash & $200 trade for referring a business on our Monthly Top 20 list! All other referrals pay out $100 cash & $100 trade.  Call (770) 591-4343 for more information.

Aerus Electrolux

  • Granite
  • Furniture Stores
  • Women’s Clothing
  • Tax/Collection Attorney
  • Copier Company
  • Deck Company
  • Dermatologist
  • Courier Services
  • Gutter Companies (that will go anywhere)
  • Phone Systems
  • Concrete Company
  • Stone Work
  • Florist in Cobb/Cherokee
  • Restaurant Equipment Repair
  • Windshield Repair
  • Carpet/Hardwood Stores
  • Awning Company
  • Electrician
  • Floor Installers
  • Floor Refinishing

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Small Businesses: Don’t Watch Your Out-of-Pocket Costs Fall Down the Rabbit Hole

Managing out-of-pocket costs can be challenging for any small business owner. Sometimes it seems that these costs disappear down a rabbit hole just like Alice in Wonderland. Turning to the White Rabbit or Cheshire Cat won’t help. However, The Mad Hatter offers great advice on how to keep cash in your business. Kevin Sparks, owner of The Mad Hatter explains: “I use The Barter Company to help manage my out-of-pocket costs because through them I can trade my services for things the company needs and I don’t have to pay cash.”

 

This particular Mad Hatter is a local company specializing in chimney sweep service, air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, fireplaces and fireplace accessories, and all kinds of outdoor living items from Big Green Eggs to pool supplies. For more than 10 years, The Mad Hatter and The Barter Company have worked together to manage the company’s cash flow and use trade rather than cash.

 Mad Hatter

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“Before I reach for my wallet, I call The Barter Company. Nine times out of ten they have a service or product I need,” said Sparks. “My trade coordinator works with me one-on-one and is very accommodating and actively seeks what I want. It’s a great concept.”

 

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.”

The Barter Company is a recognized leader in the barter industry with offices in Georgia and Florida. TBC provides businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle your transactions. TBC acts as a third-party records keeper, providing clients with monthly statements that reflect all barter purchases, sales and current barter dollar balance. For more information, please visit www.thebartercompany.com.

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Our May Barter BBQ Was a Huge Hit!

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients who came out to kick-off Summer with us for our Barter BBQ! We enjoyed the beautiful sun, delicious barbecue, fabulous shopping and of course LOTS of networking. Check back on our website and blog for news of more upcoming events. In the meantime, check out these fun photos from our Barter BBQ! Also, we’d love your feedback so please leave a comment if you attended!

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Running a Business Isn’t Easy … Even for The Big Easy.

There’s nothing easy about running a business even if that business is modeled after the Big Easy itself, New Orleans. One of the greatest challenges is managing costs especially in the competitive restaurant industry. Bartering within a professional network can save thousands of dollars every year. Now, that’s something every business owner can get jazzed about!

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For 10 years, Copeland’s of New Orleans, has been working with The Barter Company to exchange their services with other barter clients. “We estimate a net cash savings of 30% on every barter transaction,” said Bill Goudey, owner of two Copeland’s Atlanta locations. “Copeland’s does about $125,000 in barter per year, so the inflow and outflow is double that amount.”

Copeland’s of New Orleans restaurants serve New Orleans cuisine in a casual dining atmosphere. The extensive menu includes: seafood, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, and a kid’s menu.

Barter is one of the ways to make things a little easier in the restaurant business. Goudey explains: “We barter food and beverage from our restaurant primarily for marketing and repair services. That includes printing, print and broadcast media, restaurant cleaning services, supplies, general construction and maintenance services. We even use gift certificates for entertainment and dining as rewards and prizes.”

Copelands interior

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.”

The best reason of all to use barter, according to Goudey, is “the introduction of many new clients to the business that would not otherwise visit our establishment. That and the cash savings from leveraging the barter network. Effective bartering takes time so be committed to the concept. The Barter Company’s trade coordinators work hard to help us build barter traffic and spend our dollars wisely.” The Barter Company makes it easy.

The Barter Company is a recognized leader in the barter industry with offices in Georgia and Florida. TBC provides businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle your transactions. TBC acts as a third-party records keeper, providing clients with monthly statements that reflect all barter purchases, sales and current barter dollar balance. For more information, please visit www.thebartercompany.com.

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