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Pets Enrich Our Lives with Joy and Love

Dogs and cats had quite a year in 2020. While the year will be remembered for many illustrious reasons, one positive that emerged was the dramatic increase in pet ownership in the United States. People who found themselves at home every day began adopting furry companions in droves, particularly from animal shelters, many of which ran out of pets available for adoption. This trend was so pronounced that Time Magazine named rescue pets as the 2020 Pet of the Year.

The pet industry is big in the U.S. In 2020, pet owners spent $103.6 billion on pet food, treats, supplies, vet care, medicine, and grooming services, up from $97.1 billion the previous year, according to the American Pet Products Association.


At The Barter Company, we have a variety of clients who offer pet-related products and services ranging from grooming to food and supplies to veterinary care. One client is The Pet Set which recently used barter to create an engaging video showcasing their pet grooming and spa services.

We are a bunch of animal lovers at The Barter Company and enjoy seeing others benefit from the love and joy we know that pets bring. Most of us have pets at home and proudly feature pictures of them on our website. We also delight in caring for Roscoe, our office cat. He cheerfully greets everyone who comes into the office and makes them smile.

We know the importance of helping shelter animals find their forever homes and have partnered with no-kill local and international animal rescue organizations to spread awareness. Two of our greatest success stories are with Jack and Phoenix adopted by our very own CEO, Ric Zampatti. Jack was rescued in China by New York-based rescue organization No Dogs Left Behind. Phoenix was abandoned in South Korea and was rescued by Florida-based Nana’s Haven. Although Jack and Phoenix were properly vaccinated, sterilized, and cared for once rescued, their needs were great and funds were scarce. Scared and malnourished, they were both flown to this country. Now, with excellent medical care, proper diet, and plenty of love, they are healthy and happy!

To learn more about how to help with this needy but highly rewarding cause, please reach out to Susie Zampatti at Susiezampatti@gmail.com. You can also learn more about these organizations by clicking on the links above to their websites or follow them on social media.

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From Start-Up to Celebrating Our Silver Anniversary: 25 Years of Helping Clients Prosper

Happy birthday to us!

This month, we are excited to celebrate our silver anniversary of helping clients prosper and have the best, most beneficial experience in the barter industry. Our CEO and Founder Ric Zampatti launched The Barter Company in 1996, the same year that Pokémon made its debut, the New York Yankees became World Series Champions, and the average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.22.

In the beginning, The Barter Company did not have any technology, employees, or even much money.

Zampatti simply started the company with a strong vision of helping small business owners save cash by bartering for the goods and services they needed, gain new customers, and grow.

Through the past two and a half decades, he has successfully grown The Barter Company to have 12 employees who serve more than 2,000 clients in the Southeast. These team members work hard to create the ideal partnership with clients’ businesses through integrity and professionalism. They are a key reason behind our company’s growth and success.

Also, gone are the days of not using technology!

Now, The Barter Company offers clients the latest in barter technology to facilitate and account for trades quickly and easily. We’re also a proud member of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) and the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE). Zampatti has served as president of NATE twice and has also served on its Board of Directors. In addition, The Barter Company reciprocates with more than 50 barter exchanges nationwide to give clients access to thousands of barter options across the U.S.

Focusing on clients’ needs and satisfaction is crucial to continued success. Our team aims to provide “better than expected” customer service that helps small businesses grow. Zampatti is proud that some clients have been with the company since the earliest days, like O’Brien Productions and Regency Fine Art and Frame.

Today, The Barter Company continues to be a leader in the barter industry and looks forward to serving clients and the community for the next 25 years. Click here to learn how more about the benefits of barter – how barter works, what a successful barter exchange like ours offers, and how we can help your business grow and prosper.

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What Do Your Customers Need Now?

When did you last talk with your customers to see how they are doing and what they need? Their priorities may have shifted as they adapted to the changes brought on by the pandemic. Touching base regularly with customers to assess their pain points and share how your business may help is key to retaining their business and growing it.

There are many ways to reach out and get feedback including surveys, phone calls, and emails. At The Barter Company, we conduct an annual survey asking clients how satisfied they are with our service (93% in our most recent survey!), how we can improve, and if they would recommend us. We receive insightful information from the responses and use it to guide our business planning. However, you reach out to customers, consider these four tips for success.

 

Set a regular schedule to connect.
Determine a schedule to connect with customers – and stick to it. Plan monthly or quarterly calls or meetings and who at your company will connect with them. These can be with you, your leadership team, or your sales or customer service representatives. If you have too many customers to reach individually, consider an online update or email and provide a feedback form.

Do your homework.
Prior to connecting with customers, do your homework. Check their social media and websites to learn what they have been doing since you last talked or met. Have they launched new products or services? Have they changed or closed parts of their business? Researching in advance will help you be prepared for productive conversations and connections.

Assess their pain points and how your business can help.
When you talk with customers, seek to understand their successes and problems. Find out the following information in your conversation:

  • What are their biggest successes and challenges?
  • What contributed to the successes and challenges?
  • If they could change anything in their business, what would it be?
  • What kind of information, service, or product would make their jobs easier?
  • What can you do to help them in addition to what you are doing now?

Show customers you care.
When customers share feedback, reward that candor by following up with them about what you did to address the questions or issues they identified. Also be sure to show you care about them throughout the year. Take note of their organization’s key events or anniversaries. Send a congratulatory hand-written note or gift when they hit a big milestone and congratulate them publicly on your business’ social media.

Following these four steps to connect regularly and successfully with customers can make a big impact on your business relationships and help them grow.

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Atlanta Small Business Check-Up: Four Tips to Evaluate Marketing Methods

Each year, companies set goals and strategies to reach customers, increase sales, and improve efficiencies. As you kick off the year, include a marketing check-up for your business. When did you last review the effectiveness of your marketing messages and channels? Are you taking advantage of search engine optimization strategies and tools? What do your customers think about your company? Here are four ways to evaluate your marketing strategy and tactics and answer these important questions:

1. Connect with Your Customers

The start of a new year presents a great time to connect with customers. Develop and send a short email survey to learn what they are focused on in 2021 and what changes they made in response to the challenges 2020 brought. Include a question about how your company served them last year. The responses you receive will offer valuable insight and may offer testimonials you can use in your marketing efforts.

2. Review Website from a Customer Perspective

Review your company’s website from the perspective of your customers, both current and potential. Does your content and graphics clearly identify the services and products you offer and the benefit they provide? Do you have strong client testimonials listed on the site? Is it easy for customers to contact you? Ask a customer or two to visit your site and share what strikes them about your company as a result. Of course, you can use barter to provide them with something in exchange for their help!

3. List Your Company on Google My Business

Help potential customers find you easily via Google searches. On Google My Business, you can set up a free profile of your business to connect with potential customers on Google Search and Maps.  For small businesses that conduct most of their business in Metro Atlanta, this is a critical component of your Atlanta Small Business Check-up.

4. Your Atlanta Small Business Check-up should also include an SEO Audit

Search Engines rely on many factors to rank a website. A comprehensive SEO Audit will provide a clear and actionable list of recommendations to help improve.  You want your website to come up on the first page of responses when people search topics related to what your organization offers. To help that happen, you need to regularly update your site with key words that attract search engines’ attention. A search engine optimization (SEO) audit will identify how well your site is doing that and what words you should include. Learn more via the SEO Simplified in 30 Minutes webinar offered by SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

As part of your Atlanta Small Business Check-up, explore the marketing services that The Barter Company member organizations offer and check out video testimonials to learn other ways our clients have used barter.

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Use Barter This Holiday Season and Support Small Businesses in Georgia

The holiday shopping frenzy is almost upon us! Some experts predict families will spend more this year on toys and gifts in an effort to substitute for the lack of ability to go places and do things outside the home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Others believe families could spend less as they pull back due to reduced work hours or job losses. Barter offers a great way to acquire gifts for family members, employees, and customers without spending cash.

With more than 600,000 businesses registered in Georgia, you have many choices of where to spend holiday money, not to mention the seemingly endless online options. The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy estimates that there were 1.1 million small businesses in Georgia in 2019, which made up 99.6% of all businesses in the state. Clearly, small businesses are an economic powerhouse in the state, but many of them are hurting from reduced sales during this unusual pandemic-driven year.

Support small businesses as you shop this holiday season, particularly on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, deemed “Small Business Saturday” by a major U.S. credit card issuer. Of course, you don’t have to charge your holiday purchases – use barter that day and every day to save cash. Check out our holiday Virtual Trade Show and Auction. Or, come visit us at our Holiday Showroom to view members’ offerings, including gift baskets, toys, sports memorabilia, electronics, and much more! The Barter Company can also help with planning Holiday parties (socially distant of course) and providing the perfect employee gifts and end-of-the-year thank you gift cards.

The Barter Company is the leading force in the barter industry with more than 2,000 businesses in Atlanta and the Southeast. It provides these companies and nonprofits with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions. Consider how barter may be useful to find what you need for your family and business – without spending cash – during the holidays. Learn what products and services The Barter Company clients offer and explore how barter works.

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Non-Profits Use Barter to Acquire Services and Keep Admin Costs Down

Pictured is from The Barter Company’s 2019 Annual Golf Tournament benefitting The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation 

 

Increased demand for services. Fewer volunteers. Decreased donations. Higher expenses. These daunting changes are just a few of the challenges that non-profit organizations face because of the pandemic. In addition to working extra hard to maintain their financial stability this year, non-profits regularly need goods and services to help them serve clients. Barter offers a great way for organizations to pay for administrative costs instead of having to spend cash that is often in short supply.

Administrative costs for nonprofits can include rent, legal advice, tax services, payroll, marketing, promotional items, advertising, storage, and cleaning services. Many companies offer these kinds of services on The Barter Company barter exchange.

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation – SE Region is one nonprofit that uses barter to keep its costs low. The group serves children and teens battling brain tumors by investing in the most promising research and providing practical, informational, and emotional support to families.

“Every penny we receive in donations is vital to the work we do,” said PBTF Regional Director Tammy Bates. “Barter allows us to use the money we raise to directly help these kids and their families instead of for administrative expenses.”

The Barter Company supports other nonprofits as well. Last year, The Barter Company helped provide more than 175 meals for public safety families in Cobb County, Georgia as part of the Blue Thanksgiving community outreach program. It also regularly provides much-needed supplies to local schools and churches throughout the Metro Atlanta area.

The Barter Company has established itself as the leading force in the barter industry throughout the Southeast. It provides businesses and nonprofits with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions. Explore the rules of bartering and how barter works to determine how your nonprofit can use barter to pay for key expenses and keep donations focused on advancing your mission.

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Tips for Ongoing School Success This Year

The African proverb that states “it takes village to raise a child” is especially true this year. As your children dive into the school year, you may find they (or you) need additional support. Don’t go it alone. Trying to be a math, science, or English teacher for your children can be exhausting, as can serving as tech-support for online learning. Engage a tutor or academic coach to help — perhaps an older student in your neighborhood can offer support. No matter what learning looks like this year, here are four tips to set your family up for school success.

Get organized.

Establish school day routines by developing consistent times for homework and play and enforcing reasonable bedtimes. Children like to know what is expected of them and by when. Also set up a dedicated space for online learning and/or homework. Keep school supplies close by and clear the area of distractions. The list of supplies for school may look different this year as desks, chairs, and laptops may be needed in addition to the usual paper, pencils, and folders. Check out clients at The Barter Company which offer goods and services that can help with furniture or IT needs.

Take advantage of after-school activities.

The pandemic has changed aspects of after-school activities for the time being, but many are still being offered with some modifications. For example, music teachers offer virtual lessons or focus on different aspects of musical learning such as rhythm or theory. Also, many sports leagues are operating with precautions such as masks or social distancing in place. Check out what is offered in your area and the routines put in place to help kids stay safe while getting some needed exercise and social time.

Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine.

A typical back to school season is stressful, and this year is even more so. Many fitness centers are offering virtual exercise and mindfulness classes, and some are working with people individually. The Barter Company has many wellness and fun exercise clients that accept barter. Find out what services they offer as a possible way to incorporate stress relieving activities into your day. If you find that you need more than regular exercise to help with stress, get counseling assistance for yourself or your children when needed. Having someone to listen and offer encouragement can make all the difference.

As you and your family returns to school, be sure to consider how barter may be useful to find what you need without spending cash. Review what The Barter Company clients offer and learn how barter works.

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Back to the Office: Businesses Use Barter to Adapt Workspaces and Operations

Most businesses are making changes to get employees back to the office and customers in the door safely during this pandemic. A business owner’s checklist for returning can feel overwhelming and expensive. Changes required may include:

  • Print and place social distancing floor stickers or other signage
  • Store existing office furniture or acquire new items to support office changes
  • Rearrange work areas to meet social distancing needs
  • Offer curbside delivery
  • Clean surfaces nearly constantly
  • Communicate safety protocols to employees and customers

Many companies are turning to barter to absorb these unanticipated – and thus unbudgeted – expenses and conserve cash. They are using barter in a variety of ways to support their back-to-the-office needs or to shift business or service operations to meet new requirements or customer needs.

To adjust workplaces to meet social distancing guidelines, companies are bartering for goods and services from printing to furniture to cleaning. For example, many clients have used barter to acquire furniture or temporary walls, design and print floor stickers or health-related signage and renovate check-in or payment areas. Others have stocked up on masks for customers or staff, gotten carpets cleaned, acquired air purifiers to meet new standards or purchased sanitizing and cleaning services – all by using barter. In addition, many restaurant owners have turned to barter to support their changing needs and service offerings. Bartering for tents, tables and chairs needed to extend outdoor dining areas or support curbside delivery has been a key area of barter activity recently.

These examples represent just some of the ways business owners are using barter to help employees and customers be as safe and comfortable as possible as they return to business. To help you prepare, consider all the goods and services offered by The Barter Company’s clients and learn how barter works.

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Barter Clients Love How Two Long-Term Trade Coordinators Help Them Succeed

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”

These famous words spoken by celebrated American author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou offer important insight into how to treat others, both personally and professionally. At The Barter Company, we take pride in helping clients prosper and have the best, most beneficial experience in the barter industry. We love to hear how we are serving their needs and making them feel special as they explore and take advantage of barter options. We are especially grateful when they take the time to acknowledge how our hard-working employees helped them achieve their business goals.

 

Two of our team members, Tammy Stinnett and Paula Doricchi, have worked for a combined 38 years to serve clients and regularly get accolades and kudos. Here’s a sampling of what clients have said:

  • “I love my trade coordinator Paula. She is the best.”
  • “Tammy and Paula are amazing!”
  • “I enjoy working with Tammy Stinnett. She is very responsive and helpful. She is the #1 reason we stay involved with barter.”
  • “Your best asset is by far… Tammy!!”
  • “Paula, our agent, and the rest of the team are great!”

Ric Zampatti, owner of The Barter Company, agrees. “Paula and Tammy are rock stars! They get to know their clients’ businesses and scout trade opportunities based on their specific needs and goals. They then assist with the trades as well as promotions. They are an essential part of how we deliver on our promise to help clients succeed and have the best barter experience.”

Tammy joined The Barter Company in 1997, a year after the company was founded. Since then, she has worked in many key roles, always focused on making clients feel valued in their barter experience. Today, Tammy serves as a senior trade coordinator and travel manager, advising clients about trade opportunities and coordinating travel options. Outside of work, she enjoys working out, loves Italian food, and secretly wishes to be one of the office cats who receive attention and pampering all day.

Paula joined the company in 2005 and has served in many capacities since then. Prior to joining the company, she was a barter client for seven years which gave her first-hand knowledge of what clients need as they evaluate barter options and trades. Today, she is a senior trade coordinator who advises and assists clients with all aspects of their barter experience. When not working at The Barter Company, she relishes time with her husband, two daughters, three grandsons, and dog Lady.

Both Tammy and Paula personify the company’s goal of providing clients with an excellent trading experience that makes them feel valued and helps them reach their organization’s goals. Learn more about how Tammy, Paula, and the entire team at The Barter Company can help your company reach new customers, increase profits, and save cash.

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Local Businesses Use Barter and Barter Lines of Credit to Help Keep Doors Open and Save Cash

Many companies across a wide variety of industries are using their barter accounts and barter lines of credit to promote their businesses, secure equipment to make important operational changes, get repair work done at their facilities, and more. In fact, more than 2,000 businesses in the Southeast trade with The Barter Company to help them save cash. Learn how a car wash, a painting company, and a restaurant chain in Metro Atlanta have used barter recently to improve their operations and promote their businesses.

Jimmy Tester owns Mammoth Hand Car Wash and Detail Salon in Alpharetta, Georgia, and has used barter for the last several years to benefit his two locations. He has worked with both personal and professional service companies to repair and purchase HVAC systems, remodel his car washes, host an employee party, get electrical and plumbing work done, and service his garage doors.

During this challenging business time, Tester has used barter to continue to make key repairs and improvements to his locations. He recently used a barter line of credit to obtain an air conditioning unit that one of his detailing salons needed.

“With barter, I have been able to provide services to entice new customers who may not typically purchase a hand car wash or detailing services,” Tester said. “It also allows me to acquire items and services without spending cash.”

Tester has also previously used barter to have his house painted.

Speaking of painting houses, The Painting Company in Roswell offers residential and commercial painting services, including gutters and deck staining. The company recently used barter to purchase both radio ads and billboards to market its services and offerings.

Copeland’s New Orleans, a restaurant chain with locations in Kennesaw and Cumberland, recently used barter to get pop-up tents they needed to safely offer curbside delivery to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ways these businesses have used barter are just a few examples of how trading via barter can help a company reach new customers, increase profits, and save cash. No matter what your business needs, consider how barter can help your company achieve its goals. Barter is Smarter!

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