NARI NewsWatch
Jul. 16, 2014

Small business lack a strategic vision on social networks
Business 2 Community
Small businesses use social networks, but not as they should. Developing an effective presence in social media is much more than having a profile registered, and publishing from time to time some deals and content. Social selling is a must have skill, and these actions should be subject to a strategy, and be designed around a clearly defined goal.More

How I built my business: Ramsey Builders
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Learning from each construction experience, Jeff Ramsey learned both how to run a successful business and how to use your values as your guide to decision-making. His company’s success was built using technology, both through encouraging online reviews and referrals as well as using project management systems and 3-D computer-aided design. Read more how this Philly-based company weathered starting up during the recession. More

Best practices in using customer service feedback
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI is happy to announce a new monthly column, Measuring Up, which will provide examples of best practices of members’ using customer service feedback to improve their business. This column, contributed by GuildQuality, will show you not only what to measure, but how you can use those metrics to turn a negative into a long-term positive for your company. Read this month about how Twin Cities Siding Professionals using its customer feedback.More

Have you signed up for NARI's Fall Leadership Summit?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI is hosting the 2014 Fall Leadership Summit September 18 & 19 at The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR, and you won’t want to miss this event. As a key stakeholder in the NARI community, we know you’ll appreciate the speakers and topics we’ve lined up for our fall session.

NARI National will provide reimbursement of up to $1,000 ($500 each, for up-to two chapter attendees) directly to NARI chapters.

Our goal is to help NARI Leaders:

NARI National Members will also find value in these sessions, as well as the opportunity to network with NARI chapter leaders from across the country. And besides critical learning, we’ve built in some FUN!

For more information, to register, and to book hotel accommodations, go to our event page.More

2015 CotY program now open
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Seven regions. Thirty-seven categories. One National winner. Shouldn’t that be you? NARI’s online entry system streamlines your CotY submission process. There are no binders to assemble, and you can upload your entry at your convenience. NARI has expanded the program categories this year to better reflect the projects our members are completing. New categories include landscape design and basements. Also, Regional and National winners receive certification scholarships, in addition to the many marketing opportunities provided by winning a CotY.

Updated fees and deadlines for this year’s program:

Entries must be paid and submitted by published dates for special pricing.

Learn more on NARI’s website.More

Charlotte chapter hosts NARI National Treasurer at July meeting
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Greater Charlotte for its July meeting, Thurs., July 31, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Harkey Tile & Stone. One the program for the evening is a CotY Awards update, a golf outing update, a Parade of Playhouses update and a visit from NARI National Secretary Dale Contant, MCR, UDCP. Prior to the meeting, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Jeff Griffin, from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, will be offering Part II of “North Carolina Residential Energy Code Requirements,” for CEU credit. The cost to attend this meeting is $20, which includes food and drink. For more information and to register, visit the chapter's website.More

Network with Greater Cleveland
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI Greater Cleveland for a networking night aboard the Nautica Queen, on Thurs., July 24. Boarding time is 6:00 p.m., sailing time is 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy a summer evening out on the lake sailing for a night of networking, music and fun with your industry peers. The cost is $40 per person and includes champagne upon boarding (plus a cash bar), selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, rocking music and lots of networking. Deadline for reservations and payment is Fri., July 18. For more information and to register, visit the chapter's website.More

Golf with Southeast Michigan
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI of Southeast Michigan’s annual golf outing will take place Fri. Aug. 8 at 9:00 a.m. at Hickory Creek Golf Club. The $50 per person cost includes 18 holes, cart, lunch at the turn and food following the event. Teams of four players are encouraged. There will be a cash bar and prizes. This event is open to members and non-members. For more information and to register, visit the chapter's website.More

6 marketing ideas small businesses can learn from big brands
Marketing veteran Rob Schuham spends a lot of time encouraging big brands to act like small companies. Be nimble, he advises, be creative, be agile. Take a risk, he tells them, and act like a startup. And when major clients on his roster at Denver-based Match Action Marketing have listened to his counsel, they’ve backed some groundbreaking campaigns that are instructive not only for their Fortune 100 brethren, but to the little guys, as well.More

8 vital marketing and sales tools for the new entrepreneur to feel complete
Regardless of the field or industry, every practitioner, artist, consultant and professional requires a capable set of tools to get their jobs done efficiently. Whether it's a pen, shovel or piece of software, tools enable us to remain relevant, gain a competitive advantage and serve clients well. They cannot be ignored or taken for granted.More

8 content marketing tips for when no one reads your content
The Huffington Post
Congrats on posting your infographic, blog, video or webinar. One problem: Uncle Jeb is your only reader. So what should you do?More

3 C's of driving sales: connect, convince, collaborate
In sales, there is a big difference between finishing first and second. First place finishers make the sale and pocket the money, while second place finishers leave empty handed. To better understand what makes that difference, Mike Schultz and John Doerr, of the sales training and consulting firm RAIN Group, studied more than 700 business-to-business purchases made by buyers responsible for $3.1 billion in purchasing power.More

Why we still don't know how many small businesses signed up through Obamacare
The Washington Post
In contrast to the widely publicized enrollment numbers on the health care law's individual marketplace, there’s apparently no way to know how many business owners and employees have signed up through the law’s new small-business exchanges. By all indications, though, it’s not very many.More

The truth about SBA loans via FoxBusiness
When you're a small business looking for funding, you’ll find one of the first places people recommend you go is the Small Business Administration. The SBA has a variety of loan programs available, and given their consistent support of Main Street, it's easy to see why you would choose this as a starting point. However, you might be surprised to learn that the SBA doesn't make direct loans.More

Modern tools and apps to help small businesses compete with the big guys
Business 2 Community
Your small business offers something unique, special and useful. You're sure of it. But when you watch TV and see ads rolling for Coca Cola and Geico, you wonder how you'll survive. If you run a more traditional business, you get freaked out when you see the Uber and Lyfts of the world turning things upside down.More

A higher minimum wage is good for business
U.S. News & World Report
Five years ago this month, the minimum wage reached the lofty sum of $7.25 per hour, the last step in a series of increases Congress set in motion in 2007. It hasn’t been raised since, and after taking inflation into account, the minimum has fallen to an adjusted level of only $6.54. That may change soon. More

Microsoft tweaks Office 365 for smaller businesses
Tech Crunch
Microsoft announced a raft of new Office 365 plans for smaller businesses that will eventually supplant its extant offerings. The company is lowering the price of its most expensive smaller business offering — from $15 per seat per month to $12.50 — and raising the employee cap in some cases to 300 from 25. Microsoft has preserved a $5 per seat per month Office 365 option that includes its cloud products, but not desktop versions of Office proper.More

How 3-D printing is speeding up small businesses
Bloomberg Businessweek
Since David Friedfeld took over ClearVision Optical from his father in 1985, he's seen most eyewear manufacturing move overseas. The 120-employee company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., is bringing a small piece of it back. Last year, Friedfeld purchased an entry-level 3-D printer for just under $3,000. He still does the bulk of his manufacturing abroad, but he can now print eyeglass prototypes in-house.More

Mobile website vs. mobile app: What's the difference?
It's no secret that businesses only stand to benefit by making themselves accessible via mobile devices. With a mobile website or mobile app, businesses can boost sales, retain loyal customers and expand their reach. The question is, which type of mobile presence is best for your business? Or should you have both?More

Finding ways to use big data to help small shops
The New York Times
Brian Janezic, 27, was in the equipment room of one of the two Auto Wash Express self-service locations he owns in Tucson, Arizona, going through his cleaning supplies and vending machine items to determine what to reorder, when it hit him. "We have machines that automatically size and wash a car, mix chemicals, activate pumps, turn on lights — and here I am still counting inventory by hand."More

Not quite healthy, but all is not lost for the housing industry
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The late 2000s signified dark times for the housing market. But in the last two years, the industry has been on a definite mend, with 2014 being touted as the year that will see reversal of fortune for many. Leading experts from the industry have been quite hopeful about rising figures and the recovery of the market. But a recent survey paints a different picture of consumer confidence. According to the survey, most Americans don't feel that the housing and mortgage crisis is really over. More

The ultimate cheat sheet to improve working capital
By Scott Wolfe
The 2008 recession burned a lot of construction and building companies and made them become more financially disciplined. This discipline, however, is being challenged by improving market conditions. Since improving economies present high financial risks, it is more important than ever to understand and improve a company's working capital position. As the old business saying goes, "Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is king." How can you boost your working capital? This article provides you with a cheat sheet.More

All shook up: Boomers are rattling projections for the 55-plus market
By Michael J. Berens
Are they moving or not? That is the question baffling the 55-plus market as it pins its hopes for recovery on the aging baby boomers. Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, most boomer homeowners have been sitting tight, locked into their current homes by declining prices, tighter mortgage requirements and support for their children and aging parents. As the economy and housing market have begun to improve, there are signs that boomers are on the move. Is this a first wave or just a spurt of pent-up demand?More