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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.

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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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