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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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Working from Home? Make Time to Clear Clutter and Get Organized

Are you working from home these days? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to spring clean your home office area and your electronic files. De-cluttering your workspace, eliminating digital clutter, and setting up regular cleaning processes can help you be more in control of your work life.

 

De-Clutter Desks and Workspaces

Workspaces can quickly become scenes of “organized chaos” with papers, files, and other materials spread randomly or stacked in piles. Research has shown that cluttered spaces can negatively impact an individual’s mental health by causing increased stress and anxiety and hurt long-term productivity.

 

Eliminate Digital Clutter

Digital disorganization presents the same frustration and lost productivity as physical clutter. Studies have routinely shown that employees can lose up to two hours per week searching for digital documents if their files are not organized well. Clean out your inbox, purge unnecessary electronic files, organize digital folders, and back-up files regularly, not just in the spring.

 

Assign a Space for Everything

Assign places for everything in your office. Use drawers to group like things together, such as envelopes with stamps and return address labels, paper clips with staples and other fasteners, and pens with pads of paper. This simple organization step can dramatically reduce the time you spend looking for things you need.

 

Set Time to Clean Your Office or Home

Set time on your calendar to clean regularly. According to the 2020 National Cleaning Survey, not having enough time is one of the top reasons that adults will not do spring cleaning. Taking the step to put time for cleaning on your calendar helps make this necessary chore a commitment and keeps you accountable for getting it done.

 

Explore How Barter Can Help

Consider the variety of cleaning services and products fellow barter companies provide, including carpet cleaning, building maintenance, commercial cleaning, office supplies, storage spaces, home and building repairs, and computer services. Once this quarantine ends, use barter to have a caterer provide food or provide other types of incentives such as gift cards and tickets to sporting events or other entertainment to help spur employees on as they clean their workspaces. Check out the possibilities barter offers here.

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Calling to Say I Love You and Other Ways to Show Appreciation

As Valentine’s Day approaches, people think about how to show others how much they care. In fact, Americans are expected to set a record for Valentine’s Day spending this year, according to an annual survey conducted by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. People plan to spend an average of $196.31 that day, an increase of 21% from last year. Total spending is expected to be $27.4 billion, up from 32% from 2019. That’s big money.

 

Of course, there are many ways to show appreciation, and not all of them cost money. Stevie Wonder croons about calling to express his love in the song “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” You may not want to call customers or employees to say, “I love you” specifically, so here are some other ways to show appreciation.

 

Handwritten Notes Pack a Positive Punch

In this digital age, sending a handwritten card expressing how you value someone can really stand out. In the note, share what you appreciate about the person and how they support you and your business. Check out this how-to guide for thank you notes from indeed.com.

 

Offer a Special Discount or Gift Card

Along with a handwritten note, provide a discount for your products or include a gift card for a service or event you believe the recipient would appreciate. Consider spa services, restaurant certificates and tickets to a play or sporting event.

 

Respond to Feedback

Customers and employees want to be heard, whether they are giving praise or criticism. Respond promptly to their feedback to show that you value them and their opinion. Acknowledge that you heard how an employee went above and beyond or how you will address issues or improve processes that have been brought to your attention.

 

Barter Can Help

Consider the possibilities barter offers. Explore the variety of services and products, including flowers, tickets to sporting events and other entertainment options, jewelry, restaurants, spa services, hotel packages and much more. Choose something that speaks to your customers or employees and shows them how much you care this Valentine’s Day and beyond!

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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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