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Start 2020 Off Right

Most of us make personal resolutions for the New Year so why not make them as business owners too? What would make your company better? One area that many offices can benefit from is to be better organized and January is a great time to tackle this effort. With the start of a New Year, there’s a spirit of wanting to start new, refresh, and clear out. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. It’s hard not to keep everything because it might be important. But most of us keep way too much paper. Begin by sorting through past years and decide what can be shredded. If you have a lot to shred, there are companies that will come to your office and shred onsite. Also purge computer files. Backup anything that needs saving but delete what doesn’t. Invest in a shared cloud storage system that can be accessed by the staff but doesn’t take up space on individual computers. You may not become a completely paperless office, but less paper makes for less clutter and less stress.
  1. Create an area for files that staff members need to reach that is easily accessible. Tidy up the office, donate old electronics, and make sure that break room is a pleasant place for staff.
  1. It could be time for you to update your accounting systems. There are many services and software systems that will automatically invoice, track payments, and record expenses. Not only will this help with organization, it could free up staff time to focus on other projects.
  1. Review if there are any documents that need to be updated or put in order, including local and state licenses or tax information. When in doubt, consult your accountant or attorney to make sure you’re current.

If this seems like an overwhelming task, get your staff involved. Create a casual “clean up” day and bring in pizza. If it’s still too much to handle, contact a professional organizer to help. There are companies and services that specialize in office organization, shredding, and IT updates. However, you accomplish it, having a more organized office to start the New Year will help get everyone on track and productive.

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‘Tis the Season: Reflecting on Success and Saying Thanks in the Busy Year-End

December brings a multitude of seemingly constantly competing demands on time: last-minute client requests, customer get-togethers, company parties, cementing 2020 business proposals, wrapping up 2019 business tasks, work and family commitments, holiday shopping, taking time off, and much more. The demands seem to pile up as fast as a sudden winter snowstorm. While business and personal schedules certainly get more hectic at year end, it’s important to make the time to evaluate the year’s successes and blessings, to determine the people who helped make those happen, and to thank them appropriately. At The Barter Company, we make it a practice to do this as much as possible.

 

What Are You Thankful for This Year?

Year-end is the perfect time to evaluate goals and accomplishments – from both business and personal standpoints. On the business side, what worked well this year for your company: employees collaborating, clients increasing their business, vendors offering unique solutions, fun co-workers, a profitable year, increased sales, goals exceeded, a new product line? Who were the people who helped these successes happen? Have you said ‘thank you’ adequately to them, or do still need to do that?

 

Now, consider your personal life. What are you thankful for there: having a loving family, friends who care, a home to live in, pets who love unconditionally, being part of a faith community? Have you taken the time to tell them you are grateful for them? Have you thanked the people who help you manage your day-to-day responsibilities? How did you do that – in person, in writing, via a thoughtful and personal gift?

The Survey Says: Showing Gratitude Brings Many Benefits

Many research studies have demonstrated that consciously and regularly thinking about the positive aspects of our lives and showing gratitude for them – and the people who make them possible – provides numerous benefits. These include:

  • Emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Greater happiness
  • Improved quality of relationships

 

Explore these benefits in detail via this PositivePsychology.com article or read on here to see how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and what The Barter Company is thankful for this year.

 

Find Ways to Cultivate Gratitude and Say Thanks

There are many ways to begin including gratitude into your regular routine. Check out these three suggestions:

  1. Harvard Health Publishing, a unit of Harvard Medical School, notes ways to incorporate gratitude in your life, both during this busy end-of-year season and throughout the year.
  2. Looking for ways to say thanks to co-workers or employees? The Society of Human Resources Management offers 15 simple and memorable methods to say thanks.
  3. com offers 11 creative ways to thank customers.

Whatever method you choose, reflecting on your company’s successes and thanking the people who helped achieve them is time well spent.

 

What We Are Thankful for at The Barter Company

At The Barter Company, we are thankful for many things that occurred in 2019. Once again, we’ve had a successful year with existing clients and lots of new ones too. With the help of our supportive clients, we raised another $10,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation-SE Region bringing our multi-year total to more than $50,000. We also enjoyed our Casino Night (the next one in January 2020), client events, and the annual Holiday Trade Show. Most importantly, we’re thankful for our clients who not only sustain our business but make our lives bright every day. Thank you to the entire The Barter Company family!

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Barter is smarter than you think…Why use cash to buy things? Use barter instead!

Imagine paying for things with trade instead of cash. Many people in your area are doing just that, including David and Susan Leach, owners of Dave’s Front Row.

Dave’s Front Row, based in Woodstock, Georgia, provides tickets to widely popular events, including college football games, concerts, and professional sporting events. The company recently reached The Barter Company’s million-dollar club level. To reach this level, Dave’s Front Row had to exchange goods/services worth $1 million within The Barter Company’s 2,500-client network.

Dave’s Front Row reached the milestone in half the time that it takes many other companies. In return for trading tickets, David Leach received home improvement and landscaping services, an Alaskan Cruise and other vacations, and personal services such as spa days.

“Business owners can benefit from having their own source for event tickets,” said David Leach. “The Barter Company makes this service even more valuable for clients since they don’t have to pay cash. And, my company benefits from having access to all the other barter clients in the network.”

Are you ready to see how barter can work for you? Contact The Barter Company today.

Visit thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

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What Do You Want People to Remember About You?

A popular exercise that business coaches use to help people and organizations set goals asks participants to answer the question: “What do you want people to remember about you when you leave the company or retire?” That question can be asked another way: “What legacy do you want to leave your customers and employees?” Since its founding in 1996, The Barter Company has helped thousands of clients achieve their goals. Along the way, it has supported many charitable organizations, creating a legacy of integrity, partnership, professionalism and community service along the way.

 

A Legacy Defined

The term “legacy” has several definitions. It most commonly refers to:

  • Money or property left to someone.
  • The history of things a person or organization accomplished.
  • A candidate being considered for membership in an organization who is given preferential status based on a family connection.

 

The Barter Company’s business goal is to help clients prosper and have the best, most beneficial experience in the barter industry. With more than 2,500 clients in the Southeast, they are a recognized leader that helps businesses get new customers, increase profits and save cash. Employees have been working toward this legacy since the company’s beginning.

 

Animals and People are Part of Our Legacy

In addition to helping clients achieve their goals, The Barter Company actively supports a variety of charitable causes and organizations. One of these is the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation-SE Region which works to eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors. The Barter Company employees help organize and promote an annual golf tournament to raise money for the foundation and assists it in bartering for items it needs to fulfill its mission. Now in its seventh year, the golf tournament has raised a total of more than $50,000.

 

“We are tremendously appreciative to receive support from The Barter Company’s golf tournament as well as barter for other items we need without having to spend cash,” said Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Southeast Regional Director Tammy Bates. “Every penny we receive in donations is vital to the work we do. Barter allows us to use the money we raise to directly help these kids and their families instead of for administrative expenses.”

 

In addition to helping the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, employees at The Barter Company enjoy partnering with local animal shelters to spread awareness of how many pets need loving homes. Over the years, employees have volunteered their time at Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption and the company has participated in Take Your Dog to Work Day. In fact, employees love animals so much that they use pictures of their pets to represent them on the company’s website! They also adopted and care for two cats – Bobo and Roscoe – who live at the office.

 

After more than 20 years in business, employees at The Barter Company are proud to look back and see how the organization has provided services that have positively benefitted others and how they have served as community partners. What better way to be remembered than through years of service to others – and they look forward to continuing to build this legacy during the next 20 years.

 

 

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Why use cash to buy things? Use barter instead!

Imagine paying for things with trade instead of cash. Many people in your area are doing just that, including Lauren Perkins, a digital media strategist and member of The Barter Company’s trade network.

Through The Barter Company, Lauren traded with four companies to plan and pay for her daughter’s birthday party. She gushed about how it made the party enjoyable for her guests and simple for her to coordinate. “

Advantage Printing handled the invitations for me,” Perkins said. “To match the party theme, Fairytale Friends sent a couple of famous princesses who sang, did a magic show, painted faces and played with the kids. They were fantastic!”

Perkins also used It’s My Party Rentals for additional tables and chairs for the party. “They set them up before guests arrived and took them down afterwards. It was so easy!”

Finally, she rented a princess castle bounce house from The Bounce House. “It was a huge hit with the kids!”

The Barter Company has established itself as the leading force in the barter industry throughout the Southeast. They’ve created an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions.

Are you ready to see how barter can work for you? Contact The Barter Company today. Visit thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

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A Good Company Culture Shouldn’t Be Hard to Find

In the popular television show “The Office,” branch manager Michael Scott tries hard to develop a good company culture – maybe even too hard. He throws outlandish holiday get-togethers, hosts crazy casino parties in the office, and invites co-workers on a motivational cruise that is anything but that! His over-the-top antics squash the morale he is trying to build and push office culture even further away from being a productive, happy place to work. Building a good company culture doesn’t have to be difficult.

 

What is Company Culture?

A company’s culture is a key part of a business and affects many aspects of its organization. It includes hiring top talent, fostering professional development and job growth opportunities, recognizing employees for their contributions, and promoting positive work relationships. When a culture is not good, employees have a hard time engaging in their work, become less productive in their roles, and eventually leave for a better work environment.

 

How Companies Build Good Culture

Leaders can avoid this kind of unhealthy situation. In its 2018 Global Culture Report, O.C. Tanner, which develops employee recognition and reward solutions for companies all over the world, found that companies are moving toward “shaping more positive, meaningful experiences for employees every day.” To do this, O.C. Tanner suggests company leaders assess how they are doing in the following areas:

  • Do you offer meaningful purpose for employees?
  • Are there opportunities for growth?
  • How are employees recognized for their contributions?
  • Does your organization promote belonging and inclusion?

 

Working Together and Sharing Office Cats at The Barter Company

At The Barter Company, we promote a healthy work environment and positive company culture in both traditional and non-traditional ways. On the traditional side, we enjoy lunch as a team to build camaraderie, participate in fun trivia contests, and celebrate individual and team successes. We also barter with member organizations to provide on-the-spot perks such as restaurant or wellness gift certificates, sports lessons, and weekend getaways to reward employees who have reached their goals. Check out the services available from The Barter Company that can be offered to employees to help them feel appreciated for their work.

 

In addition, our team volunteers to support MUST Ministries, an Atlanta-based organization that works to restore lives one person and one community at a time. The Barter Company staff is also involved in the annual golf tournament that raises money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation-SE Region, and area animal rescue organizations. That’s how Bobo and Roscoe became a part of our office.

 

On the non-traditional side, our office is pet friendly. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s home to Bobo and Roscoe, two cats whom our team members take care of together. Bobo and Roscoe make sure they greet everyone who comes into the office and help visitors feel welcome. Everyone in the office takes turns caring for Bobo and Roscoe and taking them to the vet. This combined care and ownership helps build a sense of community and commitment among our team members and offers friendly faces with unconditional love throughout the day.

 

What Would Michael Scott Say?

Since “The Office” is now shown just in reruns, we’ll never know how Michael Scott might have fared in his culture-building attempts if he had followed better examples. Maybe if he had recognized employees or adopted an office cat, he might have been more successful.

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Aesop’s Fable Offers Sound Guidance for Both Grasshoppers and Business Owners

“There is a time for work and a time for play.” That’s the moral of The Ants and the Grasshopper, one of Aesop’s Fables, which have offered sound advice since they were written in the mid-sixth century. The powerful and enduring message imparted to a grasshopper by a group of ants continues to apply to people – and businesses – today.

In the fable, a family of ants was busy one fall day drying out grain they had collected and stored in the abundant days of summer. As they work, a grasshopper comes by and begs for food. The ants are shocked to learn that he had simply played his fiddle throughout the summer and didn’t prepare for the cold months when food is scarce. They don’t give him any food, leaving him to navigate on his own the consequences of his lack of planning.

Adapting the Moral

Children and adults the world over have benefitted from the tough lesson the ants impart on the grasshopper. The lesson also offers sound counsel for business owners and company leaders. For them, the moral could be adapted to say: “It’s always the right time to save money and manage cash flow.”

It’s easy for leaders to get lulled into complacency when the economy is humming, sales and revenue are consistently growing, customers are plentiful, and money is steadily rolling in. At the same time, caution and safeguards can tend to go down, expenses may creep up, and networking may all take a back seat to managing a booming business.

The grasshopper’s sad tale illustrates that the good times are precisely the right time that business leaders should save money, manage cash flow, look for new business, make connections, and reduce expenses. They should also put methods into place for when bad times hit. Barter offers business owners a great way to accomplish these important goals.

Save Money, Manage Cash Flow and Reduce Expenses

Barter offers companies the opportunity to run their business and pay bills by trading their products or services instead of spending cash. This helps businesses save money and manage cash flow for slower times or to have to use strategically to hire a new person or grow their business. For example, a business that needs to make a purchase for $1,000 could pay by check or with an equal amount of its product/service at its normal selling price to a new customer. Which sounds better to you?

Look for New Business and Make Connections

Barter also helps member companies generate new customers and expand their market area by allowing them to promote their products or services to a large network of people with whom they may not have done business previously. The Barter Company has more than 2,500 clients in the Southeast. When one of these clients becomes a new customer for another member organization, they pay retail prices, so the businesses get the full value of their goods and services, maintaining or increasing profitability at the same time.

It’s a Good Time to Start Preparing

If the ants in the fable had been inclined to help the grasshopper, they might have told him it was not too late to prepare and explained how to get started. Then, the moral might have become: “The sooner you start preparing, the better off you will be.” We will never know what Aesop would have thought about these adaptations to his wisdom. We DO know that barter is a great way for businesses to save cash, manage cash flow, gain new customers, and grow their business.

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Why use cash to pay your bills? Use barter instead!

Imagine running your business or non-profit and paying bills with trade instead of cash. Many organizations in your area are doing just that, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation – SE Region.

“We are tremendously appreciative to receive support from The Barter Company’s golf tournament as well as barter for other items we need without having to spend cash,” said PBTF Regional Director Tammy Bates. “Every penny we receive in donations is vital to the work we do. Barter allows us to use the money we raise to directly help these kids and their families instead of for administrative expenses.”

More than 28,000 children in the United States are living with the diagnosis of a brain tumor, and 13 more cases are identified every day. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation works to eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors.

The Barter Company has established itself as the leading force in the barter industry throughout the Southeast. They provide businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions.

Are you ready to see how barter can work for your company? Contact The Barter Company today.

Visit www.thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? How Barter Can Help Attract and Retain Employees

In the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” British punk rock band The Clash questions whether it’s time to move on to a new relationship. That same question comes to mind for many employees in today’s hot job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2019, employers in the United States added 224,000 jobs to their payrolls, while unemployment remained little changed at 3.7 percent. That means there are many opportunities for employees to easily find new employment that offers more pay, perks, or development options.

So, what’s an employer to do in this market? Here are three tips to help companies attract and retain good employees, and how barter can help provide these options and services.

Pay Competitively

Offering competitive pay is the number one factor in attracting and retaining employees. Employers should research pay practices for comparable jobs at nearby companies and be aware of trends in their industry and area. There are various ways to do this, such as looking at competitors’ job listing, checking out Glassdoor, and reviewing the Bureau of Labor Statistics to research pay by state and job type.

Paying competitively means offering more than wages or salary, though. A competitive compensation package might also include bonuses, health care services, flexible work plans, wellness programs, and gym memberships. That’s where barter can help.

There are many ways to use barter to supplement employee compensation without spending cash or increasing payroll costs. The Barter Company has more than 2,500 clients in the Southeast offering a large variety of goods and services that employees may need or want for themselves or family members. These include dental services, eye doctor visits, LASIK eye surgery, massage and chiropractic therapy, orthodontic work, contact lenses, fitness centers, wellness/weight loss programs, veterinarians and pet services, and much more.

Many employers also use barter to provide on-the-spot perks to employees or teams for a job or project well done. Restaurant gift certificates, golf lessons, and weekend getaways are excellent options that can be acquired through barter. Check out all the services available from The Barter Company that can be offered to employees and help make them feel appreciated.

Offer Professional Development Opportunities

A second, important way to attract and retain employees is to offer professional development or coaching opportunities that can help them polish existing skills or acquire new ones. Keeping skills up-to-date and learning new ones are important benefits to top performers. Barter can help companies provide these opportunities to employees as well as team building outings, such as conference space, zip line tours, and sports events.

Streamline Hiring Processes

The third tip for employers to help attract and retain employees is to evaluate the hiring process. How are available jobs advertised? How long does it take to hire someone? What methods are used to check an applicant’s background and references? Can these steps be done easier by an outside expert who specializes in these services versus being handled internally? Again, barter can help with the hiring process by providing background check and other business services.

Certainly, today’s job market makes it easy for people to find new employment opportunities. However, barter can help employers make sure top employees know that they should stay.

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Why use cash to pay your bills? Use barter instead!

Imagine running your business and paying bills with trade instead of cash. Many businesses in your area are doing just that, including Sentinel Exteriors.

“I’m constantly looking for ways to connect with other business owners and find like-minded people to do business with,” explained Sentinel Exteriors Owner Preston Carter. “By joining The Barter Company’s trade network, I now have access to other highly regarded business people and can barter our services with them. We trade for advertising, employee rewards, and customer incentives. We also fill gaps in our schedule with new customers. The Barter Company makes life a lot easier for us!”

Sentinel Exteriors is a roofer you can trust. Their team is dedicated to making sure you have the roof you need without any high-pressure sales pitches. Roofs from Sentinel Exteriors will help protect your home for decades to come.

The Barter Company has established itself as the leading force in the barter industry throughout the Southeast. They provide businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions.

Are you ready to see how barter can work for your company?

Contact The Barter Company today.

Visit thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

Read more