NARI NewsWatch
Jul. 23, 2014

The irony of successful sales growth
The following scenario plays out every day on Main Street: "My business is really growing these days," a small business owner confides to his friend, "but we're still experiencing too much negative cash." And then, with that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face, he completes his concern, "I thought by now, with sales and profits up, cash flow would be the least of my worries. I used to be afraid I couldn’t grow my business; now I’m worried that’ll collapse."More

Remodeling Business Pulse shows jump in current market indicators
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
All current remodeling market indicators showed an increase in the second-quarter 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse survey. However, the three-month outlook for business declined for the first time since September 2013, dropping to 6.32 from the previous high last quarter of 6.51.

“As the industry slowly recovers from the 2008 downturn and comparisons are being made to healthier year-ago periods, we mays see these ratings soften some,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman.

From the comments section, the negative outlook can be tied to two common themes: pricing and the lack of skilled labor.

Pricing continues to be an issue, with an underground economy of contractors cutting corners and underpricing those who are following the rules. In addition, the difficulty in finding skilled labor seems to be holding companies back from taking on more work.

NARI’s Remodeling Business Pulse survey is sent to a panel of 700+ remodeling contractor members. If you’re interested in joining the panel, email

To see the full Remodeling Business Pulse report, visit NARI's website. More

LED lights in the kitchen top homeowner's tech wish list
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Not surprisingly, homeowners most want technology to help with cleanup in the kitchen, according to the technology portion of RICKI's research, “Consumer Kitchen Trends: From Remodeling Rates to Technology Trends.”

In terms of the top 5 kitchen technologies currently, homeowners rank LED lighting for the kitchen at No. 1 (at 47 percent), anti-bacterial surfaces second (at 39 percent) and faucets that come on when tapped, (37 percent). Closely behind those top three are induction cooktop for rapid heating but cool to the touch (36 percent) and touch less faucets (35 percent).

To read more of the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence’s findings, visit NARI's blog.More

NARI welcomes new National Member
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Danver/Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens provides stainless steel cabinetry, cooking, cooling, and bar equipment, and a wide selection of outdoor living and entertaining products. Danver also offers installation and unique design support, and a lifetime warranty. The Danver difference is in the attention to details.More

Save the date for upcoming NARI University August/September programs
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
There are a lot of great ways to continue your business education in August and September through NARI’s year-long NARI University learning experience. These monthly discussion groups and Webinars provide you and your employees the foundation you need to grow your business. Coming up in August, NARI offers its Straight from the Certification webinar, “Understand your insurance needs and the impact of exclusions,” taught by Brian Downs, CRA. This Webinar will be held at noon Central time on Thurs., Aug. 21 and costs $49.

Coming up in July, NARI will have an interactive discussion on Thurs., Sept. 18 at noon Central, on the topic “Why (or why not) you should do energy-efficiency upgrades.” This discussion will bring together members nationwide and is moderated by NARI’s Bylaws and Ethics Committee Chairman Don Van Cura Sr., MCR, CKBR, GCP, CLC, UDCP. The cost to participate in this discussion is $25.

The final September webinar is an Industry Trends webinar, presented by Lutron. On Tues., Sept. 23 at noon Central, Lutron will present “Lutron helps automate the home, from window shades to lighting controls,” featuring wireless control systems. These webinars are free, but do require registration.

To find out more about what upcoming courses are available through NARI University, visit the NARI University page of NARI’s website.More

Claim your Porch profile
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI and have are helping you get connected to homeowners in your area looking to hire a professional to complete a remodeling project. is a data-driven home improvement network to connect homeowners to pros, with insights from the more than 1.5 million professionals and 90 million projects on its site. The Porch network includes 75 percent of U.S. homes, and $2 trillion worth of home improvement project data.

As a NARI member, NARI has sponsored a year of the Porch Plus subscription (a $420 value), which will not only provide NARI members with the free profile, but with the data specific to the ZIP codes in which you work. To claim your profile, visit the NARI member link on More

One home, two purple hearts
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
"We're not really used to being the recipients of service from someone else," said U.S. veteran Todd Shaw. "We're used to being the ones lending a hand."

Although the Shaws welcome their neighbors into their home, veterans who are disabled, including Todd, have difficulty navigating the house itself. "I fall almost once a week," he said. "I've broken bones and even smashed up the kitchen countertop with one fall." When Todd's injuries periodically require him to have surgery, he is confined to a wheelchair. There's no ramp to get him in and out of the house safely during recovery.

Continue reading to learn about how Rebuilding Together helped these heroes at home.

To find out how you can get involved with Rebuilding Together, contact Linley Beckbridge at To learn more about Rebuilding Together, visit and/or follow them on Twitter @RebldgTogthr.More

DelChester presents Part 2 of electronic marketing seminar
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Thursday, Aug. 7, DelChester NARI will host the second part of its Electronic Marketing Seminar, presented by Dan Gomez of GGN Group and the chapter’s intern Colin Ward. The focus will be on the benefits of electronic newsletters and how to make them work best for your company. This meeting will take place at Media Rooms Inc. in West Chester from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Please note, this is Part 2, so if you registered for both events, you don’t need to register again. The cost to attend is $30 for NARI members and $35 for non-members. To find out more information and to register, please visit the chapter’s website. More

NARI of Minnesota introduces Contractor's Corner
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Minnesota for its August meeting on Tues., Aug. 12, where it will introduce Contractor’s Corner. Several contractors will have five minutes to share ideas and experiences that will benefit other contractors. In addition, a representative from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore will present on how to use ReStore to save money, help the environment and aid in the work of Habitat for Humanity in the Twin Cities. The meeting will be held at International Market Square, Suite 185 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The price to attend includes dinner and is $35 for members who RSVP by Aug. 7. The price is $50 for non-members. To find out more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.

In addition, the chapter will be hosting lead training re-certification classes in September for those who obtained their certification when the Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule was first announced. Classes are four hours and provide you with four contractor continuing education credits. Tuition is $125 per person for NARI member companies and $165 for non-NARI member companies. To find out class dates and times, visit the chapter's website.More

NARI of Madison hosts vendor fair
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Madison Mon., Aug. 18 for its August Membership Meeting and Vendor Fair, at the Marriott West in Middleton. The meeting starts at 4:00 p.m. with registration and networking, with the vendor fair starting at 4:30 p.m. and door prizes being awarded at 6:30 p.m. The evening includes dinner. One member from each company may attend for free when they pre-register by Thurs., Aug. 14 at noon. Walk-ins, no-shows and additional company attendees are $25. To find out more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.More

Should you have Twitter and Facebook for your small business?
Business 2 Community
It's a common question all small businesses ask themselves, should I have social media for my business? The question keeps doing the rounds as there's no definitive answer; it really does depend on quite a few factors such as: your budget, business model, target market, spare time and knowledge of social media.More

Tips for engaging small business customers
USA Today
Capturing your website visitors' email addresses is one of the smartest things you can do to create new customers. Why? Because if they give it to you, then you begin to create an email list of people giving you permission to contact them again. Down the road, you can use this list to offer them discounts, sales, special promotions and much more.More

How to get online reviews for your small business
Bloomberg Businessweek
Particularly if your sales are focused online, it's tough to compete if you don't have any reviews. A recent poll showed most Americans deny that social media marketing influences their purchases. But a majority of shoppers admit that they trust online reviews and have been influenced by them when making purchases.More

67 percent of US consumers plan home improvements in next 6 months
World Property Channel
According to's latest Home Improvement Survey, 67 percent of U.S. consumers nationwide plan a home renovation within the next six months. More than 1,500 people participated in the survey. Over two-thirds of respondents plan to renovate an area of their homes immediately, and 20 percent of those surveyed plan to list their homes for sale before the end of 2014. More

3 tips to overcome homeowner fear in the sales process
By Timothy Clark
Every homeowner has a need or a want that only qualified contractors and designers can fulfill. They need a roof repaired or they want to update their master bath. When they finally "pull the trigger" and invite a home improvement company to their kitchen table, your sales rep faces an uphill battle. Today, nearly every homeowner is afraid of you. Even before your rep makes a sales pitch, homeowners prepare themselves for the sticker shock. How do you overcome this fear?More

Study looks at return on remodeling investment via Houston Chronicle
Planning a home renovation? Do it for your own enjoyment, because there's no guarantee you'll get all of your expenses back when you sell. That's one lesson from a 2014 Remodeling magazine study. The magazine looked at prices on 35 popular home renovation projects &mdahs; and how much of that money homeowners can expect to recoup when they sell.More

What makes small businesses successful?
The first week of June, Mike Glauser, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State Univeristy and Co-Founder of My New Enterprise, and his team set off on a cross-country bicycle tour with the goal of interviewing and documenting the stories of 100 small business owners in 100 cities across the country. They started in Florence, Oregon and will end up in Washington, D.C. on July 28. More

5 sites that make your small business life easier
The Huffington Post
Starting a business is easy. Running your business is the difficult part. Anyone can start a business by forming a Limited Liability Company, filing the necessary paper work, getting office space, a desk and a computer. Execution or running the business is the part that many struggle with. According to the Small Business Administration, about half of all new businesses survive five years or more. What's the survival rate of businesses less than five years?More

Small businesses are finding bank loans easier to come by
The New York Times
Jake Fitzsimmons opened his first Stuft Burger Bar in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2010, after the worst recession in decades. It turned out to be an excellent time to open a burger joint — Coloradans were downsizing their dinners out — but a terrible time to apply for a loan. "Why even bother?" Fitzsimmons remembers thinking.More

How to run your business from your iPad
Miranda Marquit writes: Many entrepreneurs start businesses because they want more flexibility in their lives. Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever to create flexibility in your business environment. I’ve run my own business from the beach, thanks to the magic of the Internet and devices that allow me to remain connected wherever I go.More

Lessons learned building an online publication from a blog
Small Business Trends
If you are reading this you already know how important Small Business Trends is in providing expert small business advice, while helping us all keep up with the latest news and developments. But some may not be aware that Anita Campbell started Small Business Trends as a personal blog using Blogger in 2003 to help her share expertise with her small business clients. Today, the site is an online publication built on WordPress, with hundreds of contributors and a dedicated team Anita has assembled; with well over a million combined monthly visitors across its sister sites BizSugar and TweakYourBiz. More