NARI NewsWatch
Feb. 26, 2014

Small businesses underestimating online reviews
FOX Business
Small businesses and consumers aren’t quite seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to online reviews, according to a new survey. According to marketing company Yodle, 90 percent of consumers are influenced by positive online reviews — but only half of small business owners believe these reviews are important. Nearly 25 percent say online reviews are unimportant.More

Hire the right person for your job
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The hiring process is painful from both the employer and potential employee side. But focusing on the interviewing process and using good listening skills can greatly increase your chance of hiring a quality employee the first time. Here’s how.More

How do you Houzz?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Although Houzz.com has been around for a few years, it’s worth revisiting how NARI members are using it to successfully market their companies. Also, Houzz will teach NARI members how to effectively use its platform at NARI’s Spring Business Meeting March 27, in New Orleans. Register here.More

NARI welcomes new National Members
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Saniflo: Saniflo’s extraordinary success is directly linked to the company’s revolutionary macerator system. With its invention and introduction, the Saniflo macerator made it possible to install toilets and complete bathrooms anywhere in a house or an apartment. Whereas conventional plumbing places limitations on where a toilet or bathroom can be located, with Saniflo there are no such limitations. Saniflo products make renovations easy and affordable because construction is greatly simplified. There are no walls to tear down or floors to rip up; therefore, no costly construction is involved.

Florida Tile: is a U.S.-based manufacturer of porcelain and ceramic tile. It is one of the United States’ largest producers of glazed and unglazed porcelain and ceramic wall, floor tile and ceramic wall tile. It is also an importer and distributor of ceramic and porcelain wall and floor tile, natural stone, glass and metal tiles.More

NARI nominated for JDR Annual Blogger Awards
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
For the second time in two years, NARI is nominated in the Microblog category of the JDR Annual Blogger Awards. The 2014 JDR Industry Blogger Awards will bring additional recognition to the work of the best blogs in the business, while supporting Jackson Design & Remodeling’s efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and inspire its clients with the latest trends in home design. Voting is open through 4 p.m. PST April 11, with winners announced April 15. Please support NARI’s nomination by voting.More

Plan ahead for March and sign up for NARI University offerings
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
March is right around the corner, and NARI University is hosting two learning opportunities you won’t want to miss. On March 20, at 12 p.m. Central, Don Van Cura Sr., MCR, CKBR, GCP, CLC, UDCP, will host a discussion on profiting on disaster restoration work. This discussion group is $25. NARI University will also host an industry trends webinar in March, with OSI Sealants on March 25, at 12 p.m. Central. This webinar will explore the world of sealants, focusing on eco-friendly products. This webinar is free, but please register so we know you’re attending. You can get the full list of NARI University educational classes and register through NARI’s website.More

New NARI on-demand webinar available
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI just added an on-demand webinar to its online learning portal. “Making Money with High-Performance Remodeling” will help you understand the concepts and tools required to develop, sell and build a high-performance remodeling package. You can find this webinar under the green tab under webinars.

NARI’s on-demand webinars are free and provide 1 continuing education unit, or CEU. While you’re there, check out the other 60+ webinars that focus on sales, marketing, best business practices, green, design and more. More

NARI partner Rebuilding Together Invites you to the National Healthy Homes Conference
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join housing and health professionals at the Music City Center in Nashville, May 28-30, as the National Healthy Homes Conference brings together leaders from the forefront of the healthy homes movement. Nearly 2,000 attendees will convene to share new research and emerging trends in preventing and remediating unsafe housing conditions. This unique event offers the opportunity to learn from professionals, stakeholders and leading experts that are guiding the nation toward healthier homes and communities. Visit www.healthyhomesconference.org to register and learn more.

Brought to you by the Rebuilding Together, HGTV, and DIY Network and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 2014 Conference features over 130 sessions in six dynamic tracks, chances to earn CEUs, and the opportunity to volunteer at a one-of-a-kind community rebuild event that puts words into action, Building a Healthy Neighborhood, hosted by Rebuilding Together. We are also pleased to announce that HGTV and DIY Network stars Chris Lambton, Matt Muenster and Tiffany Brooks will be in Nashville to share their expertise with conference attendees. More

NARI Fox Valley announces award winners
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI Fox Valley handed out its Level Best Awards during the week of Feb. 17. These prestigious awards recognize achievements for remodeling projects between July 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013. Projects are judged by an impartial panel of experts from within the remodeling industry and associated fields, as well as a representative from Fox Cities Magazine. View this year’s award-winning projects on the chapter website.More

Chapter photo fun
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The NARI Diablo Valley chapter had a great turnout for its monthly meeting in February, focusing on insurance issues. Want to see what goes on at a chapter meeting? Check out the chapter’s photos on Facebook.

NARI of Madison members participated in the Love your Healthy Home symposium in February, sharing their expertise with one another to help strengthen their businesses. View photos on the chapter’s Facebook page.More

San Francisco chapter to learn about lighting
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
San Francisco Bay Area NARI will learn about lighting at its March 12, meeting, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Hosted by Metro Lighting, members will hear from a panel about LED lighting, as well as have an evening full of good food and great company. The cost for members to attend is $30, non-members are $40. If you’ve purchased a pre-paid pass from the chapter, this event is included in that purchase. To find out more and to register, visit the chapter’s website.More

Last chance to register for March meeting in Eastern Massachusetts

Kermit Baker, of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, will present “Remodeling Industry Forecast 2014” March 5, at 5:30 p.m. for the Eastern Massachuttes NARI’s March meeting. Deadline to RSVP is Feb. 28, to receive the rate of $55 (after Feb. 28, the cost goes up to $70). To learn more and reserve your spot, visit the chapter’s website.More

7 steps to hiring great hourly employees
By Mel Kleiman
Most employers don't take a systematic approach to hiring, especially when it comes to hourly employees. They just post an ad on their website or a job board, collect applications, interview a few people and choose one. Unfortunately, this no-system, easy-hire approach is self-defeating. It tells every applicant you just need a body to fill the position. And it's why the person hired will often turn out to have an "it's just a job" attitude because that's the impression the employer gave them. The better approach is to create a system and hire tough.More

Health law's new rules will increase costs for most small businesses
The Washington Post
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has spearheaded the implementation of the law, has acknowledged that new rules requiring insurers to offer guaranteed coverage and renewal options to small employers will likely drive up the price of insurance for some companies.More

4 things new entrepreneurs must learn about sales and marketing
Small Business Trends
Entrepreneurs are a special breed – they are risk takers, innovators and problem solvers. They are often enthusiastic, passionate and willing to stand up for their beliefs. But many entrepreneurs struggle with sales and marketing. If you’re one of these new entrepreneurs getting ready to launch your company, pay attention to these tips on how to get your sales and marketing done right.More

Cross-cultural approach to small business marketing
By Clarice Brough
The demographic landscape is changing in the United States, and so too in the world of retail. Traditional marketing evolved over decades to engage a number of diverse nationalities. But the number of nationalities comprising Latinos, Asians and other minorities, as well as multiracial Americans is growing and expanding. But before you jump on this marketing bandwagon, let's dig a little deeper. Marketing and advertising efforts do need to be different, but they also need to strike a balance between your steady consumers of today and the evolving consumers of tomorrow.More

Aligning sales and marketing
Business 2 Community
The dynamic of sales and marketing is a complex relationship indeed. Both departments heavily rely upon one another in order to function effectively but very rarely ever see eye-to-eye. This is often detrimental to the entire process and impedes the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts – even though it is always in everyone’s best interest to remain aligned.More

US housing construction down 16 percent in January
The Associated Press via ABC News
U.S. home construction fell in January for a second month, but the weakness in both months reflected severe winter weather in many parts of the country. The expectation is that housing will deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy. Builders started work at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000, down 16 percent from December, the Commerce Department reported.More

Number of non-employers grows, but average sales shrink
Small Business Trends
The number of non-employer businesses – companies that have at least $1,000 in annual sales and pay federal income tax, but have no paid workers – continues to grow, increasing by 1.7 percent in 2011, the Census Bureau’s latest estimates show. Despite a small decline during the depth of the Great Recession, the number of non-employer businesses has been on a long-term upward trend, rising almost continuously since the late 1990s. Between 1999 and 2011, the count of non-employer firms increased by 39.2 percent, and now totals 22.5 million companies.More

4 startup tech trends to look for in 2014
The Huffington Post
Every year, hundreds of new tech startups form to ride trends, create new ones and ultimately captivate the public with stunning momentum in hardware and fantastic new applications. Dozens of those companies rise to the top, shaping the direction of new generations of startup tech companies to come. This year, it seems, will be no exception to that movement. More

Should Comcast and Facebook be the gatekeepers of our content?
By Liz Murphy
Comcast and Facebook may seem quite different from each other — the former is the traditional faceless corporation, and the latter is a young, fun start-up that prides itself on social interaction and innovation. In reality, they are two sides of the same coin. Both companies are playing out that age-old refrain of rapid expansion and growing influence, predictably prompting criticisms of having too much power. This time, however, it's not about utilities or natural resources. Comcast and Facebook are major players in a new era where the Internet, social media and content are king.More

Online marketing trends are moving toward visual assets
Business 2 Community
The online marketing industry is evolving with each passing year. Earlier, online marketers focused more on search engines for the promotion of their marketing content. Back in the previous decade, more focus was given on keyword-based website content, optimized blog posts and bookmarking techniques to increase rankings and to come into the limelight. Now these trends are a thing of the past.More

Can APIs boost your small business performance?
Tech Page One
Consumer fraud is a major pain point for e-commerce businesses. For stores with high-volume transactions, fraud protection is impossible to conduct manually. This often leaves both the organization and its customers at risk. More