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Alternative Currencies: How Does Barter Fit In?

Alternative currencies, specifically cryptocurrencies, have been in the news again – only this time it’s been reported that there might be a “crypto winter” as many of these digital currencies lose value. Bitcoin is still the most prominent of these cryptocurrencies with several more that have now entered into the market. These digital currencies are the latest form of an alternative currency which groups of people have used for years. As a quick review, an alternative currency is any type of currency that is accepted between the individuals or groups that are using it. Unlike a national currency that is controlled by a country, alternative currencies work outside a country’s regulations with their own set of rules.

Alternative currencies can range from the ultramodern cryptocurrencies to a very low-tech type of currency called Berk Shares. Berk Shares are used in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts and consist of paper and coin denominations issued at the local banks – all to support local businesses. This encourages the concept of “shopping locally” and those who use the currency know it is only accepted by this specific group.

A complementary currency is similar to an alternative currency as it is not legal tender and used only by those individuals within a closed group who also agree to its value. Complementary currencies are meant to work with a national currency to provide additional value. Frequent flier miles can be described as a complementary currency but are limited to travel with a specific airline and its travel partners.

From an historical perspective, barter is perhaps the “oldest” alternative currency since it most likely existed before currency was even created! Managed correctly, barter can provide exceptional benefits for business owners and individuals by helping them control and save their cash money by using an alternative currency. Like gold (or a government) supports their local currency, the users of a barter system back each other’s products and services thereby providing value. That’s why a barter network is only as good as the people and companies that participate in it. If you’re interested in learning more about barter, check out our website and this short video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tax Deductible Donations During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us and it’s the perfect time of year to give back! Being a client of The Barter Company gives you access to making trade donations to some incredible non-profit groups who would greatly appreciate your support. Here are some organizations you can make a tax deductible donation to:

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation for Children – GA Chapter – The PBTF-GA is the first line of support for families of children with brain tumors in Georgia, with some programs extending into eight other states.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S (provides fun outings, nutritional products to obese children ages 3 – 17 boys & girls)

To make a donation, please call our office at (770) 591-4343.

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Today is “Giving Tuesday”… How Will You Give?

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and people around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

Being a client of The Barter Company also gives you access to making trade donations to some incredible non-profit groups who would greatly appreciate your support. Here are some organizations you can make a tax deductible donation to:

To make a donation, please call our office at (770) 591-4343.

 

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Barter Business Industry Sees Changes and Consolidation

Like most industries, the barter economy has seen some changes. During the Recession, many barter exchanges throughout the country closed their doors. Those of us that survived, tightened up and weathered the storm.

Once the economy picked up, a number of “new” independent and franchised-owned trade exchanges jumped to open locations in several major markets in the United States – thinking that it’s an easy business to be in. However, after a couple of years, we’ve seen many of these start-ups shut down leaving customers with trade dollars and no place to spend them. Others have merged or consolidated with other trade exchanges once they experienced some growing pains. These consolidated trade exchanges hope to improve their revenue by cutting overhead and sharing administrative costs.

Running a trade exchange is not easy as it would appear to some. Not only do you have to sign-up clients, you have to identify those businesses that would be beneficial to the exchange. Once on board, clients need constant education about how the system works and why they should think “barter” before spending cash. Those clients who get it, can’t live without it. It helps them manage their cash flow and bring in new customers. Strong and stable customer service is also essential. Having dedicated trade coordinators working with clients, like The Barter Company does, is just one way to make sure clients stay engaged with the system.

We believe that the business-to-business (B2B) barter industry is still in a healthy growth phase. Technology has been at the core of taking the ancient practice of trading into the 21st Century. Mobile devices and apps have helped make round-robin trading simple and convenient in the palm of your hand. Emerging technology and a positive economic outlook will continue to impact trade exchanges. We’re seeing this as more people are confident about the growing economy, they open new businesses and look for ways to grow their business. Of course, a solid, trustworthy barter exchange can assist any business – large, medium or small – with that by saving cash and providing new customers. B2B barter will remain a valuable component of business management for many years to come.

 

 

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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 Sen-tinel 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 www.thebartercompany.com or call 770-591-4343.

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Managing a Business Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Do you get anxious just thinking about the administration part of running your business — like managing cash flow? Do you dread it as much as a visit to the dentist? Actually, the dentist can be the perfect place to learn about managing cash flow. Dr. Clarence Kegler of Artistic Smiles has a unique method to alleviate fears about dental work as well as business worries.

Dr. Kegler manages his dentistry practice with less anxiety by using barter to exchange goods and services for some of the things he needs to run the business. For the past seven years, he has been a member of The Barter Company and has traded dental services for advertising, printing, painting, contracting, and promotional items. “I have to buy these items anyway to help run the practice,” said Dr. Kegler. “If I can get these services through barter, it’s an easy way to save cash … or use that cash in other ways to hire a new person, expand, and grow the business.”

For 12 years, Artistic Smiles has offered patients state-of-the-art dental procedures that leave patients looking and feeling great as pain-free as possible. During his years in practice, Dr. Kegler has learned that barter can take the pain away from managing his cash flow. It has also helped him grow his practice. “Once a patient comes in through barter, they become a regular patient. And, they usually bring in their family members and refer friends and neighbors who then become patients too,” explained Kegler. “Barter helps reduce the stress of running the practice and then I can focus more on my patients.” Less fear and anxiety about managing a business will give any business owner something to smile about.

Clients like Dr. Kegler at Artistic Smiles have realized the benefits of barter to their business. At The Barter Company, we’re here to help take away some of the “pain” of managing a business by offering a barter experience based on long-term client relationships, thousands of available goods and services, and barter coordinators who provide individual client service. We work hard each day to help our clients live out our motto – “barter is smarter.”

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Tammy celebrates 21 years with TBC!

Tammy has been with TBC since 1997, and is celebrating 21 years this June! She works as a senior broker and travel manager in the TBC office.  Congratulations Tammy on a successful career and thank you for all you do for our team and our clients! You are very loved!

You can reach her at (770) 591-4343 or by emailing tammy@barterco.comCheck out a few fun facts about Tammy below! 

tammyWhat’s your favorite thing about working at TBC? My favorite thing is working with all of the staff we have a great team and we all get along very well.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? One of our office cats, they get to sleep all day.

Do you have any hidden talents?  I was a Jazzercise instructor for years and love to workout. 

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? It would be some sort of an Italian dish, I love anything Italian!

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Why Celebrating Small Businesses is Important Every Day

This year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated its annual Small Business Week from April 29 – May 5, 2018. During this week, the SBA recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the United States. They’re also offering a virtual conference on May 1 along with Hackathons, Twitter chats, awards, and a bus tour throughout the Southeast.

Why all this attention just for small businesses? The answer is easy: more than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

In Georgia, the figures are equally impressive. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, small business in Georgia is booming. Here are some distinctions:

  • The state ranks #10 in Growth Entrepreneurship (Kauffman Foundation,2015).
  • The state also scores an “A” and ranks in the top 5 for small business friendliness (Thumbtack,2016).

Georgia has also maintained its number one standing in the nation in which to do business for five years in a row according to Site Selection Magazine – for businesses large and small.

Small businesses are also important because most provide products and/or services that larger organizations can’t or won’t produce. For example, a family-owned farmer can sell products directly to customers at a local farmers market without incurring shipping charges. The customer not only gets the produce they want at a good price, the quality tends to be better. Or, a CPA provides accounting and tax services at her small firm. Because the CPA firm is small in scale, the accountants and staff have the flexibility to spend more time with clients and develop relationships that are rare at larger firms.

As a fellow small business, The Barter Company celebrates these important companies during the SBA Small Business Week. And, if you’re interested in seeing how barter can help your small business grow, please let us know. We’re here to help you succeed.

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It’s Time to Prepare for the Taxman

Famous author Margaret Mitchell had a way with words when she said: “Death, taxes, and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” Certainly, many would agree. However, the tax deadline is quickly approaching – you must file by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

This year, there has been a lot of news about tax reforms for 2018, however, taxes filed for 2017 won’t include the new changes so now is a good time to focus on getting these filed. For clients of The Barter Company, you should have received your 1099-B forms that reflect your barter activity for 2017. There won’t be any changes concerning barter in 2018 – you’ll still have to report it as taxable income just as in years past.

If you file your own personal taxes, it’s a good idea to get organized. Make sure you have all your paperwork including W-2 forms, 1099s, receipts, quarterly payments, and any other pertinent documentation. Since the tax code is complicated, working with an accountant or tax preparation firm might be a better way to handle taxes. Any tax professional will need the same paperwork so put your files in order and maintain a good tax organization system throughout the year.

Filing electronically is how many accountants and CPAs recommend businesses and individuals submit their taxes. It’s the safest and most secure way to file your taxes. It helps avoid filing mistakes, offers faster preparation, and provides quicker refunds if you’re expecting one. Most states accept electronic filing as well when you file your federal taxes. And, there is no charge to e-file either federal or state taxes. If you have to pay additional taxes, you can still file electronically and either send a check or share your bank account information with the IRS to automatically deduct the amount due.

For 2018, start reviewing the new tax code and understand how it impacts your business. There are changes to deductions that could work to your advantage or disadvantage. Again, spending time with an accountant is usually money well spent – especially when there are a number of changes.

If you need help with getting your taxes organized or finding a reliable CPA or tax preparation firm, contact The Barter Company. We have a list of barter clients that can help you prepare and file for 2017, plan for 2018, and provide tax advice for business owners and individuals.

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