NARI NewsWatch
Aug. 13, 2014

3 powerful marketing tools to create customers for life
By Sydni Craig-Hart
As a small-business owner, you’ve probably given some thought to your target market. After all, you’re not trying to sell life-coaching services to everyone in the world, right? You’re simply trying to sell your product or service to the people who want and need it most. Finding out who those people are, and learning to connect with them in a meaningful way, is what marketing is all about. When you are clear about your target market, niche and ideal client, you’re able to create marketing materials that easily turn prospects into paying customers.More

How I built my business: EXOVATIONS
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
This Georgia-based exterior remodeling company downsized and invested heavily in marketing and advertising during the economic downturn, focusing heavily on processes that it now offers to franchisees. EXOVATIONS spends time training its consultants on products and installation techniques to cater to clients, who have already done research via the Internet. Find out more about how this successful company was built on NARI’s blog.More

Need CEUs? Learn at your leisure with NARI's on-demand Webinars
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI offers an on-demand library of 50+ Webinars for you to use to earn CEUs or for staff lunch and learns. These Webinars cover a variety of topics under the following categories: Best Business Practices, Design, Green Remodeling, Human Resources, Lead Renovate Repair & Painting Rule, Project Management and Sales/Marketing. Take 45 minutes and learn something that could help you grow your business today. Find NARI webinars, as well as NARI Radio podcasts, at http://www.nari.org/learning.More

Don't miss out on The Home Depot's 2 percent rebate program
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Has your credit card, debit card or checking account information changed since you signed up for The Home Depot rebate program? Don’t forget to sign back in and update that information or you’ll risk not receiving the money for the purchases you’ve made. If you haven’t signed up for The Home Depot rebate program, and you shop there, don’t leave money on the table. Sign into the Members Only side and get instructions on how to receive 2 percent of your money back on your purchases.More

Learn SEO tricks with Diablo Valley
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Diablo Valley (Calif.) on Mon., Aug. 18 for its Monthly Networking Dinner Mixer from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. , at Altera Design Kitchen and Bath. This month’s topic is “Raising the SEO value of your website to generate leads,” and you will learn how to identify keywords and landing pages, how to create good meta-descriptions and about WordPress plugins that will help increase your online visibility.

The cost to register is $35 for members who register up to two days prior to meeting. First-time guests are $25. Registration fee includes food and beverages. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.More

Talk CotY Awards with NARI-BIE

The topic of NARI-BIE’s Tues., Aug. 19 meeting is the CotY Awards program. The Awards Committee will highlight the new online submission system, share positive stories and answer any questions you might have on the CotY entry process or value of winning an award. In addition, you will receive $15 savings off your first project entry fee and $10 off each additional project entered for the 2014 Awards program. The meeting will be at Brookside Country Club. The cost to attend is $25. For more information and to register, visit the chapter's website.

Join the chapter later in August for another “Dirty” Networking event at The Brick House. Come as you are on Thurs., Aug. 28 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. and meet in the bar area. This is a great way to meet members of the chapter. No need to register ahead of time. More

Get social with Silicon Valley
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI of Silicon Valley will host a summer social Wed., Aug. 20 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Jake’s of Saratoga. Join the chapter for networking, dinner and an educational program. There is no fee to attend, but food and drinks are available for purchase. To RSVP to this event, e-mail info@narisv.org. To learn more about the chapter, visit the chapter’s website.More

5 unexplored ways your small business loses money
The Huffington Post
Cash flow is an important aspect of any business. And, it's particularly critical for a small business growing on a shoestring and a prayer. In the hectic day-to-day operation of a business, it's common to overlook the many holes in your small business through which your cash is leaking.More

The best time to start a small business
Credit.com via CBS MoneyWatch
Ah, the excitement of a great business idea. You can see the yellow brick road spread out before you. The future has never looked brighter. But you ask yourself, is now the right time to launch? Am I ready? Here's how to tell.More

As consumer confidence soars, businesses scramble to catch up
By Katina Smallwood
The U.S. job market is showing signs of warming as small businesses and high-wage jobs are beginning to hire again. In July, the Consumer Confidence Index reached 90.9, the highest level since October 2007, marking the sixth straight month of job gains this year. Along with job gains, consumer spending increased by 0.4 percent in June. The harsh winter, a lagging housing market and inflation all had negative impact on the economy during the first half of the year, but things have heated up along with the weather.More

Kitchen and bath remodels top homeowners' makeover list
By Michael J. Berens
Whether they are planning to sell or stay where they are, homeowners have remodeling on their minds. More than two-thirds of consumers across the U.S. have immediate plans to undertake one or more home improvement projects in the next six months, according to a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com. By nearly 2-to-1, the most desired projects are kitchen and bathroom remodels.More

NFIB: US small business sentiment rises in July
Reuters
U.S. small business sentiment rose in July, in a boost to the economic outlook at the start of the third quarter. The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index increased by 0.7 point to 95.7 last month. The NFIB index is a leading indicator for the economy and last month's rise followed a decline in June.More

Renovation solutions: Understanding the master bedroom madness
Deseret News
Home design is where art meets science, function meets beauty and a house becomes home. While the average homeowner can recognize a room that looks and feels good in real life, they can rarely feel what the architect has designed on paper. However, there is a method to the madness. Part of the method of design is to understand how the homeowner will use a room. Take the master bedroom for example. More

3 things homes with great curb appeal have in common
The Huffington Post
While "curb appeal" remains one of those painfully overused real estate catchphrases we have to admit, it's something we all wish we could master. A house with quality curb appeal doesn't just welcome guests &mdahs; it can actually help you sell your home faster, deter criminals and save on your home heating and cooling bills, as well.More

When customer loyalty isn't enough, turn to word-of-mouth
BusinessNewsDaily via FoxBusiness
There's no question that customer loyalty matters. According to a recent survey by digital business solutions provider Huzzah Media, repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals are the best sources of revenue for 80 percent of small businesses. But are you focusing enough on the latter to sustain business growth?More

3 ways to gain attention for your small business
Forbes
When you work for a corporation, you have the luxury of leaning on a variety of teams and resources to help you navigate day to day business. Whether it’s human resources or marketing, there’s always someone to turn to &mdahs; even if the answers you are seeking aren’t always there. When you work for yourself, however, internal teams are rarely the norm.More

Facebook ads become 'costlier' choice for small businesses
The Wall Street Journal
When it comes to advertising on Facebook these days, small-business owners are competing for more limited ad space — and paying more for ads even if they don't result in sales. During Facebook Inc.'s earnings call last month the social networking company revealed the average per ad price increased 123 percent in the most recent quarter compared with a year ago. More

Handling negative feedback on social media
By Mayur Kisani
Social media has become one of the most important and relevant forms of marketing, advertising and brand communication. For years, companies have had ways communicate to their audiences — newspapers, radio, TV — but now they have a way to listen to their audiences via the same channel. Social media is a dialogue, not a monologue. It's a platform where customers can give feedback — some of which will be negative. So how do you, as a business/brand, handle negative feedback and complaints?More

5 steps to bridge the gap between online marketing and sales
Business 2 Community
The biggest challenge in online marketing is generating business value out of campaigns. It's rewarding to see your creative initiatives get likes or shares. But even the attention garnered by the most tear-jerking ads or viral videos doesn’t guarantee return on investment. Giving attention is much easier than paying with money. More

How apps could improve business performance
The Guardian
Small businesses are increasingly turning to apps to improve business performance, generate sales leads, win new business, keep existing customers and promote their brand. Rob Hodges, digital executive at Mobiles.co.uk, believes small businesses should rethink their strategy with mobile devices in mind. More

Can lending technology revive America's small businesses?
Harvard Business Review
Ever since the early days of the recovery, it's been a common refrain that Wall Street was able to emerge from the Great Recession while Main Street was left behind. It’s more than just rhetoric. Main Street has in fact been slower to recover from the recession, and much-needed capital on which small businesses rely has been in shorter supply. More

4 IT security tips for every small business
Small Business Computing
For online scam artists, there's no such thing as too small a target, says Andrew Bagrin, CEO and founder of My Digital Shield, a small business security specialist. The newly-launched "security-as-a-service" startup leverages cloud computing to provide small businesses with enterprise-grade threat protection. More