NARI NewsWatch
Aug. 6, 2014

Small business guide to summer marketing
Business 2 Community
Some businesses thrive during the summer: landscapers, resorts and ice cream shops, for example. Others languish in the summer heat, wondering where all their customers have gone. When the sun sizzles your business doesn't have to fizzle; even if you're not a "summer business," you can take advantage of warm weather and get creative to boost sales during the summer months. The following small business guide to summer marketing will help you reel in customers all summer long.More

Legal Corner: Do I have to pay overtime?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
This month’s Legal Corner blog focuses on the age old question of how you differentiate an exempt employee from a salaried employee. Although rules sometimes differ from state to state, there are two tests outlined under the Fair Labor Standards Act: the salary basis test and primary job duties test. Read this month’s Legal Corner and find out how to use these tests to ensure you’re not misclassifying an employee and forgoing overtime payment incorrectly. More

How did YOU build your business?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Do you want to share the story of how you created your company to be the successful business it is today? This popular column illustrates the various routes—and various ups and downs—a NARI member takes to get to the place they’re at currently, in their own words. There are so many different paths to building a successful company, won’t you share yours with your fellow NARI members?

Columns are 600 to 800 words, answering, in your own words, the question: How did you build your business. Please e-mail that you’re interested, and we will get your column scheduled.

To read past columns, please visit the NARI blog. More

NARI's online CotY Awards system eases entry process
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

Have you responded to NARI's Call to Action?
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Are you one of the 136 NARI members who have responded to NARI’s Call to Action on OSHA’s proposed rule-making on silica? Although there is currently a regulation on silica already in place, OSHA is proposing to greatly reduce the permissible exposure limits as well as add employee medical monitoring.

For a 10-employee residential remodeling firm, the cost of the proposed rule would be approximately $35,000 or about $3,500 per employee. Costs vary by industry and firm size.

NARI is asking you to send a message to your congressional leader, urging them to send a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Labor in opposition of this proposed rule.

If you haven’t sent your letter, please do so right now by following this link. More

OSHA online game helps ID construction hazards
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
OSHA has introduced an online game, “Hazard Identification Training Tool,” which offers game-based training for small businesses interested in learning how to identify hazards in their work place. According to OSHA, the tool will not only help business owners and workers find hazards in their workplace, but it will also raise awareness for the online resources that OSHA has available to help combat workplace hazards.

Find out more and play a game on the online training tool on OSHA’s website. More

Save up to 15 percent with the WEX Fuel Card Program!
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
WEX is the industry leader in fuel management. WEX provides universal fuel cards that can be used at 90% of the stations across the U.S.

That’s over 180,000 locations! By using tools WEX provides you can reduce your fuel consumption by 10-15 percent. For example, one of the ways this can be done, is by setting rules and regulations on the cards to prevent negligent purchases. You will save a substantial amount of time by using the WEX reporting features. This program is FREE with your NARI membership. This means the only bill you’ll ever have will be for the fuel itself.

To learn more about the WEX Program please contact your Savings Consultant, Veronica Pratt at 603-628-2337 or More

Nominate a deserving tradesperson for Tradesperson of the Year Award
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Rebuilding Together is extending the deadline to nominate someone to be their 4th Annual Tradesperson of the Year! You now have until August 21 to nominate a pro who volunteers their skills to make their community a better place. The winner receives a $5,000 Lowe's Home Improvement gift card! Then come to the Remodeling Show and DeckExpo as MyFixitUpLife, Chris Grundy, and Kayleen McCabe announce the winner! Go to to nominate someone today!More

Talk contract concerns with Central Indiana
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Paul J. Carroll, with Mercer Belanger, will be reviewing contracts with NARI Central Indiana Thurs., Aug. 14, addressing both the Home Improvement Contract Act, as well as other contract concerns. The meeting will take place from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Woodstock Country Club, in Indianapolis. Reservations are not required. To find out more about this NARI Central Indiana, visit the chapter’s website.More

Greater Omaha hosts two events in August
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join Greater Omaha NARI for a casual After Hours event on Thurs., Aug. 14 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Hosted by Echo Systems, this event provides a free networking opportunity for members.

The August membership meeting will take place later this month on Thurs., Aug. 28 from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. The speaker will be Jay Davis, from the City of Omaha Permits & Inspections Department. This free meeting will be hosted by Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces.

For more information or to register for either event, visit the chapter’s website. More

BBQ with Greater Cleveland
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Grill in style with NARI Greater Cleveland at NARI Mingle Night on Thurs., Aug. 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Mason Structural Steel. Tour the showroom of fireplaces, cultured stone, BBQ grills and enjoy great food and refreshments while networking with your industry peers. Free to NARI Cleveland members, but advanced reservations are required by Mon., Aug. 18. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website. More

How small employers can prepare for minimum wage hikes
Bloomberg Businessweek
Ralph Askar already pays above minimum wage and provides health insurance for the eight employees of his two San Diego Instant Imprints stores. But if a city ordinance hiking the minimum wage goes forward as expected, Askar figures he will have to boost his employees’ wages as well — and raise prices to keep up.More

Why your company's next growth opportunity might surprise you
Small Business Trends
In business, there are plenty of surprises. Some of them are good while others can create challenges. But Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, would argue that surprises in business are never actually bad. Even those that create challenges ultimately lead to other opportunities.More

Why small business lending has not recovered
During the 2008 financial crisis, small businesses were hampered in securing bank credit because of a perfect storm of their falling sales and weakened collateral, and growing risk aversion among lenders. Those days are not over. While lingering cyclical factors from the crisis may still be constraining access to bank credit, there are also structural barriers that seem to be preventing banks, both large and small, from ever fully returning to the small business market.More

Remodeling industry gains momentum, trending upward
Michael J. Berens
After a disappointing first quarter, the remodeling industry bounced back in the second quarter of 2014, with notable month-over-month gains. Current projections indicate that trend will continue into the second half of the year, with the industry as a whole experiencing a substantial year-over-year increase. Improved weather conditions, employment figures and home sales helped boost remodeling activity in the second quarter. All the major indexes reported increased activity.More

7 window treatments that can lower energy bills
Whether it’s a pair of drapes hung to frame a pleasant view or a cheery striped awning floating above a picture window, homeowners often dress up their windows for beauty rather than function. But with the right materials and proper placement, these decorations might actually help lower monthly energy bills.More

Will renovation spending offset drop in construction spending?
Housing Wire
After the biggest drop in construction spending since January 2011, contractors may find some relief in the finding that 67 percent of consumers plan home renovations within the next six months, according to the latest home improvement survey. Construction spending in June came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $950.2 billion, down 1.8 percent from the revised May estimate of $967.8 billion.More

Time to rebrand? Follow these 3 steps
One of the first things you must do when you launch a business is develop and market your own unique company brand. As the business evolves and grows, its present state may not accurately reflect the brand you built when you started. When this happens, you might need to rebrand. "A rebrand is a large undertaking regardless of company size, so it's not for every business," said Nina Brakel-Schutt, branding expert at digital asset management company Widen Enterprises. More

Big marketing mistakes are more likely than small ones
Advertising Age
Al Ries writes: Years and years ago, we got an inquiry from a company called "Seattle Computer Products." With a name like that, I didn't follow-up on the inquiry because I thought it was a local company in the Northwest. Big mistake. As it turned out, Tim Patterson at Seattle Computer Products developed a 16-bit personal-computer operating system call QDOS which he sold to Microsoft for $50,000. Another big mistake.More

Does your company suffer from a weak website? via FoxBusiness
Are you doing the bare minimum when it comes to your small business website? Just having a website is no longer enough. You’ve got to take action to get potential customers to discover, engage with and buy from your business. And that means creating an integrated online marketing plan where all parts of your Web presence work together.More

Will Google my business kill SEO?
No, you're not alone. Trying to get your business found online is indeed dark magic. Search engine optimization has always been difficult for most businesses, particular smaller ones like mine. Just about every client is trying to find the silver bullet of search: The secret way to get your company listed on the first page of Google without paying for it. More

Research reveals rise of small business mobile adoption
Today, more than three-quarters of small businesses are using mobile, compared with 66 percent last year. The 23 percent who do not use mobile, and have no plans to, cite various reasons such as lack of customer demand, lack of know-how in using them for their business needs, no time to implement mobile strategies, not owning a work-related mobile and that mobile is not relevant to their business.More