NARI NewsWatch
May. 14, 2014

Taking steps to prevent cyber attacks
Data breaches at large companies like Target and Michaels grab headlines, but that doesn't mean small businesses aren't at risk. A recent Symantec survey found that 30 percent of targeted cyber-attacks in 2013 were aimed at small businesses, and targeted attack campaigns grew 91 percent, year over year, across all industry sizes.More

NARI names new chief executive officer
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The Executive Search Committee is proud to share that the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has named a successor to outgoing Executive Vice President, Mary Harris. Following an exhaustive national search, which commenced in January, our Executive Search Committee engaged in a very thorough and methodical process to review scores of resumes and interview many highly qualified candidates for the position.

Fred Ulreich, former NARI National Director of Business Development and National Membership since September 2013, has been named the new CEO and has begun transitioning into this position. Fred's work experience and background are uniquely suited to the criteria sought for the position. With executive experience at the United States Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo and Affinity Center International, Fred is a strong team leader, bringing a strategic perspective and collaborative work approach to the diversity of stakeholders within NARI.

Fred is the right person at the right time to partner with elected leaders and staff, leading NARI toward NARI 2020 and its next phase of development. More

Are you running a safe business?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
If you haven’t already downloaded it, NARI’s Safe Business Checklist will help you prepare for the most common business challenges in the remodeling industry. Created by the Bylaws and Ethics Committee, the Safe Business Checklist covers such areas as business basics (including financial, insurance and security issues), communication (including contracts, emails and social media), safety, training and more. NARI will continue to build out a resource library of sample forms to assist its members in handling many of these business issues.More

NARI introduces new member benefit:
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI has partnered with the website, to provide members with another avenue for marketing their company. is a data-driven home improvement network connecting homeowners to the right home professionals. With insights from more than 1.5 million professionals and 90 million projects, Porch empowers consumers to make smart home improvement decisions by connecting homeowners to professionals who have previously worked in their neighborhood and who have been endorsed by their neighbors & friends.

NARI is sponsoring a year free of the Porch Plus profile, providing its members (a $420 value) with:

NARI members should have received an email the week of May 12, with a unique URL to claim their company’s profile and start using their Porch Plus membership. If you can’t find that email, feel free to contact NARI’s marketing department at also has a NARI-specific email set up if you’re needing additional help with your profile, and they have committed to a quick turnaround on replies when you email questions or concerns to

NARI welcomes new National Member
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
PODS: PODS is the perfect solution for remodels and renovations, as well as retail resets and refurbishments. Whether you’re a 2,000-location general merchandiser or a boutique remodeling contractor, be assured that PODS can support nearly any size renovation project. Contractors have long relied on the convenience and efficiency that PODS® on-site storage brings to a project.More

NARI congratulates new Master Certified Remodeler
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Congratulations to Todd Schmidt, MCR, UDCP, of Renovations Unlimited Inc., in Grove City, Ohio, on earning his Master Certified Remodeler designation. In order to become an MCR, you have held a Certified Remodeler designation for at least 10 years, you must have another NARI designation, adhere to NARI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and be involved as a leader with a local NARI chapter and/or local community leader. To earn your MCR, you must submit letters of recommendations on your behalf.More

Milwaukee hosts After 5 event in May
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Milwaukee NARI will host an After 5 event Tuesday, May 20, from 4-7 p.m. at PRO-CAST Inc. Join the chapter for a night of networking, relationship building and idea sharing. Enjoy looking at product in an updated showroom, meeting new friends, having a bite to eat — and you might even win a door prize! RSVP for this free event by Friday, May 16. Find out more and send in your reservation on the chapter’s website.More

NARI-BIE has come-as-you-are networking event
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI-BIE (Pennsylvania) Thursday, May 29, from 5-6:30 p.m. at The Brick House for a “Dirty” Networking Happy Hour. This come-as-you-are event allows you to network, talk shop and enjoy some after-work bar snacks and chat. This event is a cash bar.

If you enjoy golfing, you’ll want to save the date for Monday, June 16, when NARI-BIE will hold its annual golf tournament. The event will take place at Twin Ponds Golf Course, with check-in at 10:45 a.m., with shot gun at 11 a.m. This event will be in a scramble format. Golf costs $80 per person or $320 per foursome. You can attend the BBQ meal at 3:30 p.m. for $20. Reserve your spot now by visiting the chapter’s website. More

NARI's 17th Remodeled Homes Tour
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The Madison chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, NARI, will present its 17th NARI Remodeled Homes Tour on Sunday, June 1. 18 Madison area homes throughout the city will highlight additions, universal design, kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, bedroom remodels and more to showcase the craftsmanship of local NARI remodeling contractors.

Homes in the NARI Remodeled Homes Tour will be open Sunday, June 1, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. A $10 ticket will allow entry for a family into all of the homes on the Tour. Pre-order your tickets by calling the NARI office, 608-222-0670 or visit the website,

Tickets for the tour may be purchased at any one of the Tour site locations the day of the event. The locations will be available on NARI’s website and in the Wisconsin State Journal the week prior to the Tour. Included in the admission is a Tour Guidebook with pictures, highlights and directions to each home. NARI’s Home Remodeling Directory, which is the definitive source of remodeling information and tips, will also be provided to each attendee. You can download the NARI Tour app in your Android or Apple App store.More

Facebook wants ads from small businesses
The Columbus Dispatch
Facebook wants to increase its advertising and get more clicks on all kinds of ads. It believes tapping into the lucrative small-business market will help it achieve those goals. Sheryl Sandberg, the social-media company’s operating chief and author of the book Lean In, said the key is showing business owners how to find new customers by creating Facebook pages and by buying ads that appear on individual Facebook users’ pages.More

10 steps to use LinkedIn to help grow your small business
Business 2 Community
LinkedIn is the marketing hub of many social selling executives and solopreneurs. What about small businesses using LinkedIn to reach their goals? 80 percent of small business owners, with 200 or fewer employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and LinkedIn is one of them, as they report.More

8 expert online marketing tips for small businesses
Today, businesses have more ways — and places — than ever to market themselves. But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small or even a mid-sized business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult. While social media marketing is generally free, it can be time-consuming; and the same goes for blogging. But traditional print advertising, as well as digital advertising, can be expensive.More

The ultimate email marketing strategy for a small business in 7 steps
Email marketing was already old before social media marketing came of age. It's a testimony to the efficacy of this mode that this continues to be an important channel for millions of small businesses. Email marketing lists are considered priceless and businesses go to great lengths to develop and maintain them for two reasons: sales and more sales. More

Don't neglect your online presence
StatePoint via Scoop San Diego
If you own a small business, you know that online visibility is one of the keys to success. And these days, harnessing the Web is crucial to any marketing plan. “While most small business owners know they need a strong Web presence, many of them are not taking enough action to build and maintain it,” says Tim Carroll, Vice President of Small Business Engagement at Deluxe Corp., a provider of marketing services and products for small businesses. More

Content strategy: Fee or free?
By Randall Craig
Many organizations are considering how inbound marketing can be used to attract new members, new customers or new partners. They are stopped, however, by two simple questions: If the content is so valuable, why should we give it away for free? And if it isn't valuable, then why would anyone be interested? The old paradigm of marketing was clear: If you were part of the club, then you got things for free. Yet, in today's inbound marketing world, the more that is released for free, the more likely you will be discovered and credentialized. More

Small business sentiment jumps in April
FOX Business
U.S. small business sentiment jumped to its highest level in 6-1/2 years in April, which should bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second quarter. The National Federation of Independent Business said recently its Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to 95.2 last month, the highest reading since October 2007, when the economy was on the cusp of its worst recession since the 1930s. More

The 10 commandments of employee onboarding
By Mel Kleiman
It's important for businesses remain focused, dedicated and committed to hiring the best and giving them an outstanding onboarding process that builds lasting relationships. If you follow these commandments, your organization will become just that — the best. First off, tell every promising applicant not only what's wonderful about the job and the company, but also about what is challenging. This way, neither you nor your new hire will face an unpleasant surprise. More

6 ways to simplify small business life
As a small business owner, you are responsible for many key tasks in order to maintain your business — fulfilling orders, creative development, sales and marketing and the dreaded invoicing process; the list goes on and on. This National Small Business Week — the annual designated small business celebration this May 12-16 — set aside some time to congratulate yourself on your accomplishments with all of these tasks and take a moment to pinpoint how you can simplify your life moving forward.More

How to get your staff in the game
By Harry J. Friedman
Part of running a business involves utilizing and developing skills to get everyone to play the same game, to work toward the same goals and objectives. But what's the likelihood that all your employees are playing the same game you are? Athletes demonstrate the "big game" phenomenon all the time. When they're focused on the game, minor and even major injuries don't faze them, and they keep playing to win. Your ability to spread "big game" fever to everyone in your business will play a huge role in your success.More

It's not all about the money for small business owners
FOX Business
While retiring to your own private island may sound appealing, a majority of small-business owners say they would keep on working – even if they won the lottery. According to a new survey from BMO Harris Bank, only 39 percent of entrepreneurs say they would sell their company if they won the lotto. BMO Harris Bank head of small business banking, Daniela O’Leary-Gill, says the survey results touch upon the core of what it means to be an entrepreneur.More

To buy a new or an existing home? Why, how much, and where
Trulia Trends
Should you buy a newly built home or one that’s been previously lived in? Both have their advantages and both have people who love them. Trulia surveyed 2,048 Americans in late March and early April 2014 about their preferences for new versus existing homes, and also analyzed recent home-purchase and building-permit data from the CensusMore

Metrostudy releases quarter 1, 2014 Residential Remodeling Index
Digital Journal
Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, announced today the release of its First Quarter 2014 Residential Remodeling Index (RRI) detailing activity in the remodeling and replacement industry. Following its best year since 2008, the residential remodeling and replacement industry experienced a slightly weaker start to 2014 than originally forecasted. The seasonally adjusted first quarter national composite of the RRI registered a score of 95.2, which was a 0.7 percent improvement over the revised fourth quarter result of 94.5. More

National Small Business Week started May 12
The U.S. Small Business Administration
The week of May 12, America celebrates the difference-makers in our economy as we kickoff National Small Business Week at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. This year, the SBA is hosting events in San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston and Washington D.C., as well as a special online forum on May 14. The events, workshops and panels all week long will be live-streamed at More

Now is the perfect time to start flipping homes
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The real estate market made a strong comeback in 2013 as more people invested in houses than in the previous few years. Many experts thinks 2014 will lead to not just recovery but also hope. Though both home values and mortgage rates are expected to rise this year, this positive growth will not completely rule out foreclosures. The market right now is full of opportunities for the smart rehabber who can detect the right potential in a property and invest right away. You will not only have to rehab these properties the right away, but also play by the rules to make a profit.More

Mobile banking could help drive small business confidence
Media Room
Reports from the current small business market continue to reveal good news and tidings among owners and operators for the present and near future. Many believe the current climate is the best it may have been in this decade so far, and opportunities abound for new technologies like mobile apps.More

Choosing the right technology to advance your company
Small Business Trends
In a 2013 survey from the National Small Business Association, it was discovered that 70 percent of small business owners say that keeping up with new technology is very important to the success of their business. But technology is a significant financial investment, even for established small businesses, and the number of options can be overwhelming. In fact, according to a survey by Brother International, 63 percent of small business owners often feel overwhelmed when trying to decide which new technologies to adopt. More