Meet Our Members: Michael Sears of Michael Sears Web Design

Tell us about your business and your background.
My business started as a co-op job opportunity in late 2008. I started with a company designing a new Website for their business. When I started I had little knowledge of web coding and design and knew that it would be a great learning experience for me. I soon taught myself everything I know about design and coding and soon became interested in designing other sites for other companies. It was soon after I finished up the major portion of their Website where I wanted to gain more clients and learn more about Web design. I have always wanted to do something creative, but just couldn’t find the right niche until I started designing Web sites. I really enjoy what I do and I believe that is the most important thing in life is to enjoy what you have and do for a living rather than just settling for something. I recently graduated from Rowan Cabarrus Community College with a Computer Information Technology Associates Degree and am now concentrating on receiving my Web Technologies degree.

How did you hear about GBC?
I was recommended by a friend of mine to GBC. He was really enthused about the business and how much you can make and what great opportunities it would be to expand my business; and he wasn’t kidding. It has been great for me.

Why did you decide to become a GBC member?
I decided to become a GBC member because the benefits of barter exchange are great and with the economy down it gives small business owners a way to stay afloat and receive more business through other means such as trading. This was a great opportunity for me to do more work and get my business established and also establish a network of connections.

Had you used business barter before joining GBC?
No, I haven’t used barter for business before. Although I was offered it, I just couldn’t use the service that they were offering at the time and had to pass it up. But GBC makes the barter exchange so much easier and less complex!
Did you have any concerns before joining GBC? How were your concerns addressed?
I really didn’t have any concerns before I joined it was pretty straightforward and seemed like a really good deal.

What is the benefit of GBC membership that has been most valuable?
The benefit I get from GBC is the work, I have been so busy lately with work through GBC that it will lead later on to cash customers. The benefits are great and GBC has done a great job in getting everything organized.

What services do you barter?
The services that I barter are Web design and Web development.

What services have you bartered for?
I haven’t done any bartering for service yet, I am still working on a few things and trying to narrow down what I want to use it for.

Do you have any advice for other professionals considering a GBC membership?
Advice I would give to any professional that is interested is that I wouldn’t look twice about it; this is a great deal to get you more business and possibly more opportunities for creating a wider network of contacts. Your broker will help you find work and will recommend your work to others when needed. Don’t stick to the same ole situation of exchanging a currency, just exchange your work for other work.

Meet Our Members: Yazmin Taylor of YAZZFITNESS

For Yazmin Taylor of YAZZ FITNESS, being active has been an important part of her life since early childhood. She competed in the Costa Rican National games and received fourth place early in life, so it’s no surprise that as an adult, Yaz has chosen to continue her active lifestyle as a fitness instructor and personal trainer.  She has her own business, YAZZ FITNESS, and teachers both individuals and group classes at corporations including Bayer, Time Warner and Fidelity as well as various hospitals and senior centers.

Studying directly with the founder of Zumba, Beto Perez on Williams, she holds various Zumba credentials including a Level II Zumba Trainer and a Zumba Gold Trainer certification. She loves Zumba because it “actually gives you more energy and you feel better about yourself.”

She is also a certified personal Trainer. She holds additional certifications as a group fitness trainer, a water aerobics instructor and an arthritis fitness trainer.  Her additional specializations include pre-natal and senior fitness.  Yaz’s philosophy is to “teach you how to tone your body, build muscle, and strengthen your core with or without the use of machines.”

While living in Florida and building her business, she heard of Global Barter Corp.  Yaz had some friend who were members and she noticed that “they were always going to restaurants and getting stuff like TVs without paying any money.”  She didn’t have to be convinced to join since she already saw the benefits in action.  She decided that membership would work for her both personally and professionally.

Today, Yaz barters her experience as a personal trainer for dinners out, dentist visits, clothing and even iPods.  She says that the only money she spends is the yearly membership fee and the 6% transaction when she decided to use her barter dollars.

Her advice to those who are thinking about joining GBC?  “It is a good deal!”

Interested in learning more about YAZZ FITNESS?  Visit her website for more information at www.yazzfitness.com.

Who is GBC?

The value of an organization is in its members – and GBC is consistently growing its membership base of over 24,000 businesses across the US!

Who Are GBC Members?
GBC members comprise all facets of industry, services, and retail.   Need a lawyer to revise your will and trust documents, a chiropractor to align your back, a web developer to build a new site, a wedding cake for your daughter’s big day, or perhaps a Zumba lesson to get in shape?  GBC members come from diverse industries and have a variety of skills and products to barter.

One of GBC’s newest members is Atlantic Creative Communications; a full-service video, audio and production company located in Raleigh.  “Joining Global Barter Corporation was an easy decision for us at Atlantic Creative Communications,” said Rich Bailey, Vice President and General Manager.  “Through our membership, we will be able to leverage the relationships with other members to build our business, as well as make our services available to a wider group of customers.”

As a member of GBC, Atlantic Creative Communications joins thousands of other members businesses and services that have taken advantage of the business barter membership .  How can you grow your business with the help of GBC’s members?  The possibilities are limitless.

Staff and Principals
GBC has a hardworking staff to manage members’ requests.  GBC brokers and principals have more than 50 years of experience in the business barter industry.   The staff works hard to acting as third party bookkeepers, maintaining accurate records of each transaction and keeping track of Trade Dollar balances.  GBC staff follow strict guidelines and rigorously monitor all transactions, adhering to the stringent policies, rules and regulations of GBC trade practice and the IRS – so that member’s can focus on other aspects of their businesses.

Are you ready to forge new relationships, preserve your cash and have remarkable access to everything you need and buy them for cents on the dollar? Become a Global Barter Corp member today.

Do you bill by the hour, appointment or project? Make Barter Work for Your Business

Are you interested in of barter, but you’re not sure how it would work for your business? If you bill by the hour, appointment or project – the potential benefits of barter are powerful!

Here’s how it works – If you’re not booking an appointment or working on a project, you’ve lost money. As someone who has a billing structure based on time, you know that downtime won’t pay the bills. If you bill this way, it is very easy to rack up a vanishing inventory – you are essentially losing money as your time disappears.

However, if you take on an extra client, your additional cost is minimal, if not zero. When you take on a new client through Global Barter Corp, you’re able to minimize your downtime and maximize your working hours. Your business is introduced to the barter network and grows through new clients and referrals, which add to your portfolio and minimize any of your scheduling gaps.

Since the outlay of your cost is unused time and labor, but you are trading for full retail price, you are getting a tremendous bargain. By filling the gaps in your work schedule, you are able to trade your time for a variety of goods and services. The potential gains from barter are undeniable. Buying what you need for cents on the dollar, increasing your business through new customers and conserving your cash resources are smart business strategies.

Examples of professionals who use downtime to barter for goods and services include:

• Lawyers
• Spa and Salon Professionals
• Auto Mechanics
• Accountants
• Chiropractors
• Electricians
• Consultants
• Financial Planners
• Copywriters
• Programmers
• Editors
• Dentists
• Carpenters

Do you have any questions about how your business would benefit from membership in a barter exchange? Don’t hesitate to contact Global Barter Corp.   Interested in hearing from Global Barter Corp members who bill by the hour, appointment or project directly? GBC member interviews coming soon!

Barter in the News – Links You Can Use

  • According to the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch Blog, “In spite of financial pressures, many small business owners still feel they have levers to pull before they would be forced to close. If their financial situation does not improve, 34% would resort to either layoffs or changing their mix of products or services, according to the survey. About a third would barter with customers, suppliers and employees to minimize the use of cash, while 31% would reduce operating hours. Twenty-nine percent would purchase a technology to increase the efficiency of their business.”
  • Real Simple Magazine dishes on how to barter anything
  • The University of Illinois has a bartering checklist – great for brainstorming what services you have to offer through barter.
  • Forbes profiles John Huntsman from barterer to billionaire.  Huntsman recalls when he first realized the value of barter when, “The only way we could get polystyrene, since it was so costly in the marketplace, was to find companies who produced it and give them something they badly needed that they couldn’t find in the market.  That type of trading became known as bartering–no money would change hands, but we would give butadiene or ethylene or some other product that a company would need, and they would trade us polystyrene in return. We found out very quickly, after one or two trades, that we didn’t need to just get polystyrene in return–we just needed to keep bartering until we could find a product that was worth considerably more than what we started with in the first transaction in the barter system. Sometimes we would trade six or seven products to end up with some type of chemical or petrochemical that was very hard to find, but we could end up selling it for cash and a handsome profit.”
  • CBS Moneywatch on the basics of barter.
  • The IRS’s Bartering Tax Center can answer any questions you have about reporting your bartering deals on your taxes.  Forbes gives a great overview if you need a primer about taxes and barter.

Lessons in Business Barter from Donald Trump

From his multiple business books to the advice he gives the contestants on the Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump’s actions and advice are often emulated.  If you’re looking to barter, Trump is one to learn from.  He has banked some high-stakes deals through barter that have bolstered his bottom line and his brand name – even when the deals eventually went bust.

Lessons from ‘The Donald’

“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump

You don’t have to rely on money.
Trump partnered with the luxury publishing house, Ocean Drive Media, to create Trump Magazine which was sold commercially and given to guests at his multiple properties.  While the magazine eventually folded in 2009, Trump says he “put up no money” for the deal, according to Barter News.

When you barter, go for long-term wins.
Trump was involved in a deal with investment partners in Hong Kong.  The original agreement took place during a period of financial hardship for Trump, and he pulled out of the deal, but bartered for 30% interest in the new partnership by providing the license of his name and his business guidance.

When bartering think big.
Because Donald Trump is not only a business baron, but also a celebrity in the public eye, Trump’s once owned items are showing up on bartering and trade websites.  One lists a paper clip claimed to be used by Trump.  Would Donald approve?  Maybe if bartering his other items could lead to greater publicity and brand equity.  As he’s said, “I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.”

Celebrities Use Barter to Grow Their Personal Wealth

According to Barter News, many celebrities are using the power of barter to grow their personal brand and their bottom line.

Sandra Bullock
Staring in the Blindside earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar, but if she wasn’t open to barter, the box office success may have never been.  The film was produced by a small production company, Alcon Entertainment, which persuaded her to star in the film in exchange for a stake of company’s profits.  So far the film’s revenue has surpassed its production costs three times.

Bono
Bono and his wife founded Edun, a socially conscious clothing company.  Luxury Goods powerhouse LVMH’s equity investment in the company means that Edun will be exclusively managed by LVMH and have access to its marketing and operational experts.  The deal helps Bono’s business gets a boost, while LVMH can be invested brand with socially conscious business ethics.

Howard Stern
When Howard Stern jumped from FM to Sirius Sattellite Radio, he settled his contract at $500 million dollars, but not all of his earnings were cold hard cash.   Stern took stock options that  give him a 2.5% stake in the company.  By being open to barter, Stern used his celebrity to help grow his share from $110 million dollars to $219.8 million dollars in a mere sixteen months, according to Barter News.

Bruce Willis
When Bruce Wills agreed to promote Sobieski Vodka and bartered his face recognition for a 3.3% equity stake in the beverage company that owns Sobieski, Belvedere, it is reported that shares rose 10%.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to make barter work for your personal brand or business.  Get your business on the A-list through a barter network.

Forget the Business Loan, Try Barter Instead

Expanding small businesses need capital, and in the last few years, it has been more difficult for small businesses to get a line of credit through a business loan.  According to CNN, “In the last three months of 2008, the number of loans made through the SBA’s main lending program fell 57% compared to a year earlier. Other recession-related factors contributed to that drop, but several banks specifically cited the secondary market freeze to explain their lending pullback.”

If you’re a small business having trouble securing a loan, rest assured that loans aren’t the only option.  Over 450,000 businesses use business barter to expand their business – with no added interest.

How Barter Can Help When You Can’t Get a Loan

  • Barter Can Preserve Cash Flow
    When you use barter to pay for goods and services that you would normally purchase, you preserve your cash flow.  More money in the bank every month keeps your bank statement balanced.
  • Barter Can Increase Sales and Market Share
    When you join a business barter association, you are joining a business network.  Your products and services are introduced to a new group of clients, customers and potential partnerships.
  • Barter Can Save Money
    Business barter can also save your business money.  With business barter, your company buys products and services at your own variable cost and pays for purchases with all new sales generated through the business barter network.  No matter what business you’re in, your variable cost is a fraction of the selling cost, increasing your bartering ability.  You’re able to purchase for cents on the dollar of the actual cost to your business.

If you’re looking for a business loan, you’re most likely trying to increase your share and market sales.  With an entrepreneurial mindset, you’re trying to always save money and perfect your P&L statements.  It doesn’t always take a loan to achieve your business goals.  Business barter may be the relief your business needs.