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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.

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Leaders Need to Recharge to Keep Taking Charge

How many hours a week does a CEO typically work? 50? 60? More? According to a 12-year Harvard Business Journal study of 27 CEOs published last year, they work 62.5 hours a week and conduct business on 79% of weekend days, on average. Clearly, their time, energy and ideas are always in demand by employees, customers, and colleagues. That type of packed schedule leaves a CEO (or anyone working a similarly demanding schedule) scrambling to fit in time to spend with family and friends, working on hobbies or relaxing!

To keep fit mentally for such intensive schedules, many CEOs and entrepreneurs herald the importance of taking time off to recharge, reenergize and reconnect. Recently, The Barter Company owner Ric Zampatti took the opportunity to get away on a trip to Israel and France. “The timing of this trip was perfect. We visited Israel just a few weeks before Easter and in Paris we were lucky to see Notre Dame Cathedral just before the fire,” said Zampatti. “During our downtime and on the plane, I had a chance to reflect and think about the big picture and our overall company goals in the coming year. And, I never worried about the day-to-day details.”

Zampatti came back energized and full of ideas for how The Barter Company can better tackle business at hand and make plans for future growth. As a side benefit of his trip, The Barter Company team members reported that they were able to accomplish many tasks as well as keeping clients happy – a win-win for everyone!

Whether you are a CEO or have another leadership role in an organization, it’s important to give your brain and body a break and time to refuel. In his book “Wired for Thought,” NY Times best-selling author, brain scientist and entrepreneur, Jeff Stibel writes that, “If you overtax your heart, the next thing you need to do is relax, or you’ll die.” He notes that the same care is required for the brain. “Do too much, and you’ll burn it out. You’ll make bad choices.”

Consider these strategies to prepare for and take time away from the office for much-needed mental recharging:

  • Plan a trip that you look forward to taking,
  • Delegate responsibilities to trusted employees,
  • Let key customers know you will be out and who to contact during that time,
  • Commit to checking email rarely, if at all, while on vacation, and
  • Bring a journal to write down ideas that may start flowing as you unwind.

After preparing for your time out of the office, head out with confidence that your team can handle whatever comes up. You will come back find yourself – and your team – rejuvenated and ready for business.

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Mid-Year Offers Perfect Time to Take Stock of Your Company’s Finances

Maycember. That’s what many people have begun to call May with its overload of graduations, end-of-school parties, recitals, and children’s sports tournaments that are all scheduled within in the same few weeks. May schedules can be daunting, but June soon follows — the perfect month to take stock of your business and personal finances and update plans for the rest of the calendar year.

Setting a regular schedule to create and update financial plans is a smart business practice. When times are good financially, it can be easy to just keep moving forward with day-to-day tasks without planning ahead. During favorable economic times, it’s hard to think about preparing for a business or economic slowdown. However, that’s exactly when business owners should make it a priority to conduct financial reviews to ensure your plan helps you prepare for times when sales and cash flow are reduced. Having time set aside for planning can help make it become a habit for you and your business.

One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, famously noted about the importance of planning when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Whenever you conduct your business planning, do some research to see how barter can help with cash flow. Many business owners are under the misconception that barter is useful only in an economic downturn or when you’re starting a business. In reality, most businesses can only handle approximately 5-10% of total sales (depending upon the company size) attributed to barter. Now, when times are good for most businesses, barter can be easily integrated into your cash management system. Then, if there is a downturn you will already have saved cash on many everyday expenses. In addition, barter offers you the opportunity to sell excess inventory and merchandise to get things you need for yourself or your business.

Consider barter as you update your financial plan for the rest of this calendar year or prepare for your new fiscal year. Barter can help you save cash, gain new customers, and grow your business in good and bad times … and even during crazy #Maycember times.

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Kennesaw’s Barter Company Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement

Kennesaw’s Barter Company Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement

Barter Company CEO Ric Zampatti received a Lifetime Achievement award from the National Association of Trade Exchanges at their convention.

KENNESAW, Ga. — At the 35 th Annual National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) Convention, Ric Zampatti, Founder and CEO of The Barter Company was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to a pivotal member of the organization who has provided ongoing leadership, guidance, and support to NATE during their membership.Zampatti founded The Barter Company in 1996 as a one-person operation in a small office. Today, The Barter Company is located in Kennesaw and exists to help its more than 2,500 clients prosper and have the best, most beneficial experience in the barter industry. The company operates throughout the Southeast and serves thousands of clients who, combined, trade an average of $15 million annually.

President of NATE Kim Ames presented the award to Zampatti.

“While we have many active members, the choice for the Lifetime Achievement Award this year was easy,” she said. “Ric Zampatti has built his trade exchange from the ground up with integrity and professionalism every step of the way. At the same time, he has provided direction and support to NATE. He was an early adopter of barter technology and is always looking for ways to positively impact our organization and the industry.”

 

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Harness the Power of Technology Disruption to Your Advantage

In his 1964 song “The Times They Are A Changin’,” Bob Dylan sang:

There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Dylan was referring to societal changes happening in the U.S. in the 1960s. But his lyrics can also apply to the rapid pace of technological advancement occurring today.

Newly developed technologies are quickly displacing or disrupting established ones and hold the potential to dramatically change how we live and work. These technologies include 3D printing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. They are expected to usher in new industries, companies, jobs, and economic growth in what’s being referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

How should we as humans and companies prepare for this type of change? Experts advise that we become lifelong learners, ready to adapt to and even embrace technological changes that affect our businesses and lives. In addition, we must teach children how to learn, handle complexity, use data to make good decisions, and be flexible in their thinking and approach to solving problems.

Technology has already begun to change how companies in the barter industry conduct business with customers and connect with other exchanges. Fundamentally, all exchanges want to offer a good user experience and process transactions smoothly and seamlessly.

At The Barter Company, our convenient mobile app lets clients easily manage their account and make trades. Our app is a small part of the technological advancements that are coming to transform our lives, but it is mighty in the barter industry. Clients can use it to find barter clients nearby, search available products and services, authorize trades, and see their QR certificates. It’s easy to use, and clients love it!

Finally, as we all journey together in our changing times, we are wise to heed Dylan’s advice:

Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled

 

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Why use cash to buy things? Use barter instead!

Imagine paying for things with trade instead of cash. Many people and businesses in your area are doing just that, including Stars and Strikes with locations throughout Atlanta and the South.

Brad VanBuskirk, Director of Purchasing for Stars and Strikes, explains how barter has been beneficial for them for several reasons:

Markets our product to a large network of people who may have never visited one of our locations.

Offers our product in exchange for a wide variety of products and services we need such as marketing, advertising, and carpet cleaning.

Rewards staff with incentives such as golf outings, cabin rentals, Six Flags tickets, and the Tennessee Tri Pass.

Push more money to our bottom line by trad-ing instead of coming out of pocket.

“The options available through barter are endless!”

 

Ready to see how barter can work for you? Contact us today at barterco.com or call 770-591-4343.

 

“When I was planning my husband’s surprise birthday party, I found that Stars and Strikes was the perfect place. We had a private room, food, drinks, and bowling. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to have his party. Everyone had a great time and he was completely surprised! And, everything was taken care of through barter!”

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Invest in Yourself: Volunteer in Your Industry Association to Build Skills and Meet People

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a deep observer of life and people, wrote those words more than 225 years ago. Like much of his wise counsel, those words hold as true now as they did then. In today’s incredibly fast-paced business environment, investing in knowledge for yourself is important to help you and your company remain competitive and current. A proven way to invest in knowledge is to volunteer your ideas and leadership talents in your specific industry association and learn from the people you meet along the way.

Getting involved in a professional association will help you learn more about your industry and its trends, tactics, technologies, and best practices. You can volunteer to serve on or lead a project or committee to learn new skills or offer to speak at a meeting to share your knowledge with others. Through these types of opportunities – and others offered by your particular association – you will develop helpful professional and leadership skills and build your personal brand. You’ll also expand your network which will let you explore new business opportunities. You’ll also have fun as you get to know more people and they get to know you and your company!

The Barter Company is a proud member of the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE). Owner Ric Zampatti is a four-time past president of the organization and a past board member on the NATE Board of Directors. He enjoys learning from others, sharing his knowledge, and influencing the direction and standards of the industry. The Barter Company has sponsored numerous national conventions and reciprocates with more than 50 exchanges nationwide. By reciprocating with these exchanges, the company gives clients access to thousands of barter options across the U.S.

Put Benjamin Franklin’s advice to work for you. Check out your professional association today to see how you can invest in some knowledge for yourself and your company. There is always room for leaders in a professional association to expand their network, develop professional and leadership skills, explore new technologies, and develop their personal brand. Get involved today!

 

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In 2019, I Resolve to Spend Less and Save More. How Do I Do That?

How many times have you told yourself that THIS is the year you will improve your life by making an important change like exercising more, eating healthier, spending less or saving more? If your 2019 New Year’s resolutions involve money, a recent Fidelity Investments study indicates that you’re not alone. In fact, the survey shows that nearly one-third of Americans plan to make a money resolution for 2019, with 48 percent planning to save more, 29 percent aiming to pay down debt, and 15 percent aspiring to spend less.

The article lists 20 options for people to consider if they are making money resolutions. They include proven methods such as identifying your financial goals, tracking spending, paying off debt and automating savings, to name a few options. These are certainly good methods, but there is one missing: barter. Bartering is an excellent way that individuals and companies can achieve important money goals like saving more and spending less. And, for people who own a company, bartering for business-to-business (B2B) services offers another avenue for improved cash management.

Barter is not a new concept. In fact, simple trading has existed for centuries. While it’s not flashy or new, barter offers a good option of how people can “pay” for some products and services. With B2B bartering, companies can get the added benefit of gaining new customers and increasing profits. From a business accounting standpoint, barter income is treated the same as cash income, so trading purchases that are normally tax deductible as business expenses are also tax deductible when purchased on trade. And, using a trustworthy, experienced barter company, makes it easy to do.

As you consider your money resolutions, consider barter as a good way to help you make 2019 THE year you achieve at least one of your New Year’s resolutions. Exercising more and eating healthier are up to you, although you can explore barter options for gym memberships, restaurants, or other services to help you achieve those too!

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Why use cash to buy things? Use barter instead!

Imagine paying for things with trade instead of cash. Many people and businesses in your area are doing just that, including The Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery Center in north Atlanta.

“One morning, I saw the daily news from The Barter Company and decided it was time for me to get Lasik surgery,” said Office Manager Yolanda Ducksworth. “The whole process was very easy. I called our Trade Coordinator to get started. Soon after that, I researched the eye doctor options they offered, looked at reviews, and set up a consultation with Atlanta Vision Institute.” A mere two weeks later, she had a successful, bartered surgery.

Ducksworth praised how effortless it was to arrange the trade. The Trade Coordinator at The Barter Company worked directly with the doctor she selected. “Having the surgery and using The Barter Company was the best decision I ever made!”

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 us-ing 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 www.thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

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Small Business Taxes: What to Expect in 2019

(courtesy of Business News Daily)

2019 may not see major changes to the small business tax code, but there are some important things to keep in mind. Last year, Congress introduced some major adjustments to business tax law, including a lower corporate tax rate, new rules for pass-through businesses and a tax break for some industries. As these laws and regulations continue to be implemented, 2019 will be a year of adjusting to change as opposed to incorporating new ones.

“The tax changes were so significant, I would imagine that there’s still a lot of issues in terms of digesting what has occurred,” said Wayne Winegarden, senior fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute and managing editor of EconoSTATS.

This adjustment means your taxes could be different from last year. If you’re a small business operating domestically, Anthony Parent, founding partner of Parent & Parent LLP, said you should experience mostly positive changes.

“People haven’t seen most of the impact of it yet, and you’re not going to see it until next year,” Parent said. “This is really when you’re going to get surprised – sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Generally, if you’re a domestic business owner, this should be good news for you.”

Tax reform in 2018 resulted in a major overhaul for small business taxes. Last year, small business insurance company Insureon partnered with Manta to poll 2,700 small businesses about the new tax legislation’s potential impact. The survey found that 83 percent of small businesses owners are optimistic about the tax bill, and 38 percent said they would hire additional employees because of the savings. This kind of positivity, combined with the actual benefits from the legislation, can act as a catalyst for small business and economic growth.

“With respect to the current tax law changes … we wanted to understand what this meant for small business and what the general attitude and tone among small businesses are as they contemplate the impact that this might have on their future growth” said Jeff Somers, president at Insureon.

As a small business owner, it’s important to stay up to date on current tax laws so you can ensure you’re paying the right amount each year. [Doing your taxes on your own? Find the best software to use in our reviews of the Best Tax Software for Business 2019.]

  • International business: If you run a small or medium-size business that operates overseas, there have been some major regulation developments that are important to be aware of. Parent said many SMBs could have a rude awakening in 2019 if they have significant operations abroad. “There are a lot of small and medium businesses that have some sort of international components,” he said. “We’re trying to get ahead of it and warn people.” International taxation and regulation are very complicated, so it’s important to work directly with a professional to ensure you’re being taxed at the correct rate.
  • SALT cap: Filers can now only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local property and income taxes. While this applies to more than just small business owners, many business owners operating a pass-through entity in a high-tax state can take advantage of SALT deductions. Winegarden said all business owners should be aware of this new cap. “I really think in the high-tax states, the SALT cap is going to be meaningful, more for small businesses just because they’re going to be filing through their personal taxes,” he said.

These are two minor aspects of tax law to keep in mind in 2019. 2018 tax reform is still taking effect, and understanding all of the regulations that will be implemented is important for working with your tax professional. The noteworthy changes include deductions for pass throughs, first-year bonus depreciation and net operating loss changes.

The biggest change all businesses are facing this year is a significant deduction for both pass-through and corporate entities. Pass-through businesses are small businesses structured as S corporations, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and partnerships. Pass throughs make up about 95 percent of U.S. businesses. The new bill provides a 20 percent deduction for all of those businesses. The only limitation is on service-based businesses, like law and accounting firms making more than $315,000 per year ($157,500 if single).

C corporations are also getting a big deduction: The new legislation lowers the tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. This slashed rate aims to bring major corporations back to the U.S. to employ workers and create wealth.

The first-year bonus depreciation deduction is going from 50 to 100 percent. In other words, businesses making eligible equipment and property purchases can deduct the full amount of the purchase, instead of writing off a portion of the expense each year. This provides businesses with more money upfront, which lawmakers hope will be invested back into the business or used to hire workers.

“The new tax plan will allow businesses to write off the cost of assets in one shot,” said Josh Zimmelman, founder of Westwood Tax & Consulting. “A company can invest in vehicles, computers and equipment, and claim the entire expense on their 2018 tax return.”

Winegarden said the break is an incentive for businesses to spend more.

“Anything that gets you closer to complete expensing is going to increase the value of the depreciation, lower the tax burden and reward those capital-intensive firms,” he said.

Net operating losses (NOL) can no longer be carried back for two years, but instead can be applied for an indefinite amount of time going forward. Net operating losses occur when a business’s tax deductions are greater than its taxable income. It functions as a form of tax relief for businesses, where business owners can apply a NOL to future tax payments.

The change eliminates the ability for businesses to restructure taxes completed in years past, but it extends net operating losses’ lifespan indefinitely. This can only be applied to 80 percent of taxable income.

Winegarden said the thinking behind this change is to incentivize businesses to take risks and spend more money.

“Knowing you can carry [net operating loss] forward and carry it forward indefinitely … lowers the cost of failure,” he said.

In addition to some structural changes, there are some important deadlines to keep in mind as well:

  • S corporations need to file their business taxes by March 15.
  • The deadline for 2018 tax returns is April 15.
  • Quarterly estimated tax deadlines are April 17, June 15, September 17 and January 15.

If you’ve just bought a business, or are new to small business tax structures, there are a few things you should keep in mind. While it is possible to do your taxes on your own, you should seriously consider working with a CPA. A tax professional can ensure your business is taking advantage of all the deductions available and, more importantly, can ensure you’re paying everything you owe. Other tips:

  • Think about taxes all year long. Small business owners should not treat income taxes as a once-a-year event. Rather, tax planning should be a year-round activity. Waiting until the last minute makes tax preparation more complicated, and it limits your money-saving options.
  • Be aware of law changes. Even with the help of a skilled professional, a small business owner must keep up with news related to laws. This will ensure your tax professional is doing the best possible job, and it keeps you informed as a business owner. Read the business papers and keep up with Congress’ work on tax laws.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Tax planning, to some extent, is a gamble. Never make business decisions assuming that particular tax breaks will pass, or that certain policies will be enacted.
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