Words: Cassandra Stern
Photos: RiverNorthPhotography, J_MichaelJones
In a recent survey, “when asked whether they look for deals when they shop, 97% of respondents answered yes. Consumers today are driven by the art of the deal. It’s clear it’s in everyone’s best interest to provide buyers with financial incentives to purchase virtually any product.
At MCAA, we are aware that a majority of our readers are either independent contractors or staff smaller contract firms and businesses, and that no matter how big or small, any business or professional can benefit from additional savings. For those unaware, as an MCAA member, one of the membership benefits is the MCAA Perks, which is a program that offers discounts on many products and services that you may already use.
From exclusive members-only savings on daily expenses like fuel to discounts on vital services like mobile phone services, MCAA’s Perks program was founded on the idea that your membership should work for you, not the other way around. Thanks to these partnerships and discounts through MCAA’s Perks program, “MCAA members saved a total of $117,826 on business expenses by utilizing the cost savings programs” in the last year alone, and are well underway to even greater savings utilization this year as well.
With over 21 programs to choose from, an MCAA member can find 2-3 programs that can instantly start mostly savings. It’s easy to see how multiple discounts can quickly add up. For example, fuel rebates and discounts offered through the program are the number one utilized deal, which makes sense, according to Savings4Members Director of Operations Sean Pare.
“Fuel cards are probably not something that everybody thinks about, but are something that goes into every business,” says Pare, “especially if you are a contractor going from jobsite to jobsite, you spend a lot of time in the trunk and fuel is a big expense.” Options on fuel savings are numerous through the MCAA Perks program and include a variety of common proprietors like Circle K, Exxon Mobile, Philips66, Stripes, Sunoco, and Wex.
Over 30 MCAA members are currently saving an average of $2,000 per year through this program, on expenses that would most certainly otherwise be incurred already.
In addition to traditional gasoline, a separate discount is offered on propane gas through Ferrellgas.
For MCAA members like Dick Dentinger of B&D Associates, LLC, “here in the northern climate in Minnesota, we use a lot of propane for heating on our projects in the winter. So we’d be using it anyway, but we might as well get the discount…It’s just an easy choice as a way to get savings and business that you’re going to do anyway. You need the products, and they’re partners in our industry, you might as well have mutual benefit, and it will more than pay for your dues.”
MCAA Member Anna Weickhardt, the Project Administrator with Kalish Masonry, LLC of Wisconsin, agrees stating, “Ferrellgas would be great for anyone who uses LP (liquid propane). Not only is their pricing substantially less than others, but they will also pick up and deliver LP tanks as needed, at the job site or at our shop. This has saved us so much time and eliminated the time we used to spend loading up the empty tanks, returning the tanks to the other side of town, and loading up new tanks.”
The cost of wasted time is an often overlooked expenditure and is important to make note of. With the bundled benefits of service and product, savings on propane is important to weigh when considering the benefits of MCAA membership.
Another way MCAA members can capitalize on savings through MCAA Perks program would be on credit card processing fees. “A necessary evil,” acknowledges Sean, “it’s the most common way we take payments today, and our program is very aggressively priced.” In an innovative move, Savings4Members have ensured that “it’s the only program and pricing platform that truly benefits the members, which is a good thing,” Sean says. “There’s a few out there, but this is the only one that truly will benefit the member as far as making sure the costs are as low as they can be.”
Another popular program used by MCAA members is the “65% off over 1,025 ‘Best Value’ Items, plus fast and free delivery” from Office Depot. MCAA Member Anna highly recommends all MCAA members heartily utilize the Office Depot discounts. Says Anna, “Any members that are currently using a local vendor for their office supplies need to sign up for Office Depot. They have free next day shipping AND we aren’t forced to purchase in volume in order to get a better price. They also have fantastic customer service.”
On a wider scale, MCAA members typically see average annual savings in upwards of $700, and “that’s a pretty good expense for most members as well, especially those with larger operations that have either one major location or potentially multiple locations that their employees are working out of,” notes Sean. With additional discounts offered through Stapes, this offer is another means of dramatically cutting costs on products that would be purchased regardless, freeing up funds to devote to other aspects of the business.
MCAA Perks partnership with Sprint offers one of, if not the greatest value and return on investment. This program offers “up to 25% off on applicable plans and accessories, with members averaging 50% savings off competitor plans,” says Sean.
In addition to the obvious savings on mobile devices and service, “Sprint also offers some pretty cool solutions when it comes to vehicle tracking and asset tracking and I guess empowering mobile workforces which many contractors are, so if you couple those benefits with a potential six thousand dollar average savings, it’s pretty significant,” he maintains.
Member Dick Dentinger agrees wholeheartedly, adding that he admits “Sprint was the first one [perk] we added. Honestly, it was a little embarrassing at first when I realized every month we were sending them a check for our phone service and there was a discount I could have had all along!”
Dentinger sums it up nicely, however, reiterating that “it’s just an easy choice as a way to get savings and business that you’re going to do anyway. You need the products, and they’re partners in our industry, you might as well have mutual benefit, and it will more than pay for your dues.”
In addition, MCAA also offers 10 to 30% savings on safety equipment through Beeline. But also discounts on services to better the lives, health, and safety of employees. Corporate. “Their prices, services, and equipment are great,” Safety Director of Brazos Masonry, Zach Everett states. “You can get anything you buy from any major distributor from Beeline. You can even incorporate logos with the products.”
When it’s time to get away from the office, the MCAA Perks program grants access to several exclusive members-only deals that are specifically intended to benefit members and their families. These exclusive deals allow you to stretch your family vacation further with discounts at Walt Disney World’s four theme parks, Universal Orlando Resort, and more.
Discounts like these can make for a serious meaningful vacation. Since vacations are not everyday occurrences, MCAA Perks program also helps you save at home with discounts on sporting events, movie tickets, and shows.
“Our focus is the member. We want to make sure the member is saving as much money as possible, and doing it as effectively and efficiently as possible, and in the least amount of time so that way they can focus on running their business,” said Sean. It is our goal that by offering a diverse range of discounts like these, we will continue to make MCAA membership a profitable one for both your business and personal ventures.
MCAA’s Membership Perks program is affordable and easy to implement. If you are interested in taking advantage of any of the MCAA Perks program and members-only savings, it’s easy as signing up online at www.masoncontractors.org/perks. For those who are not a member of the MCAA call our Director of Development, Todd Fredrick at 800-536-2225 to learn more about these savings programs and the countless benefits you receive at the MCAA.
“Whether you’re currently a member of the MCAA or considering membership, a short five-minute phone call can start you on a path to significant savings,” said Fredrick. “Even if you’re a currently a member enrolled in a program, I’d love to talk to you about additional savings opportunities, and if you’re looking to become a member I’m happy to talk with you more about the wide range of benefits you’re missing out on by not being a member of the MCAA.”
The MCAA is always striving to deliver the best benefits for our members and we are proud to offer our MCAA Perks program. As Dick Dentinger so eloquently conveys, “there are 50 different ways we can spend money on any given day as we try to manage our business, but these perks through the membership are ways where we can actually save money.”