NARI NewsWatch
Dec. 31, 2014

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The 10 commandments of hiring and employee retention
By Mel Kleiman
From April 16: Recruiting and hiring the right employees is essential to the success of your business. If you are going to succeed, you cannot settle for run-of-the-mill employees. Mediocre employees breed mediocrity, so make sure you recruit and select only the best employees. If you will follow these commandments and remain focused, dedicated and committed to hiring the best, you will soon see that your organization becomes just that — the best. More

Employee turnover vs. retention — which one costs you more?
By Harry J. Friedman
From Jan. 29: Almost every retail business owner knows employee turnover is a fact of life, as it is in most any kind of business. It's just multiplied by about 10 zillion in retail. The number of employees leaving their jobs may have dropped during the recent recession, but turnover is already starting to increase again as the economy heals. The typical view on employee turnover is that it's costly in terms of the time and money to find and train someone new. Another important consideration that's often overlooked is the cost in terms of customer loyalty. More

Why company culture is so important
By Erica Cohen
From Jan. 15: Unless you've spent the last decade or so living under a rock, you've definitely heard the phrase "company culture" being bandied about. And while it's become the center of attention in many discussions about how to build a successful company, I have to wonder if everyone who talks about company culture actually understands what it means and how to create and maintain an authentic one. Let's consider the definition of company or organizational culture and why it matters. More

4 simple questions to ask in each selling situation
By Marc Wayshak
From May 28: Over 500,000 startups are born each year in the United States alone. Impressed by that number? Don't be — because 50 percent of those startups fail within their first year. And, within the next four years, another 50 percent or more will fail. The environment for small business is hostile. If you're running a small business today, you know what I mean. Luckily, there are ways to master your environment and give your company a leg up. The number one rule is this: You absolutely must know how to sell your product or service. And you need to do it better than your competitors do. More

3 ways to turn a small business in to a big business
By Greg L. Alston
From June 18: Too many small business owners take a bunch of money, throw it at a problem and hope it works. This is why the failure rate of new businesses is 44 percent by the end of the third year of operation. So in my never-ending quest to give simple answers to incredibly complex questions, I have attempted to give a quick explanation of: What makes a business successful and worthy of growing in to a big business? There are really only three things that matter. More

Making a first impression with words
By Molly Hamilton
From Feb. 19: How do you interact with your customers, prospects and partners? Chances are, you are sending emails and letters, or posting to a blog or website. Perhaps you maintain a LinkedIn profile or corporate Facebook page. Each one of these platforms provides a way to interact with your professional network, so it's critical that your materials are both well written and effective. Such correspondence is often the first — and perhaps only — impression you will make with prospective clients. To ensure they reflect well on you and your business, the following tips provide an important checklist before hitting "send" or pressing "publish." More

Writing the letter that gets you more referrals
By Jeffrey Dobkin
From Oct. 22: What's the best way to get more referral business? It's by writing a thank-you letter. Here's how it works: First, you get a referral. I know — I'm as surprised as you are, but sometimes it happens. Someone liked you, and somewhere down the line they passed on some good words to a new customer or prospect who calls you. To encourage them to refer you again and again, send them a "thank you for your referral" letter. Why? First, your thank-you letter elevates you from the silent majority — you know, the people who never bothered to express their appreciation for receiving a referral. More

Stop storytelling and start story-sharing
By Timothy Clark
From Oct. 8: When it comes to marketing, it's time to start differentiating your home improvement company from everyone else. And here's how to do it. For decades, home pros have told the story of their business. One company was founded by two brothers who learned the trade from their hard-working father. Another has been in business since 1946. This one has earned 17 major awards, and that one has a five-star rating. Marketing experts have told small businesses to tell their story to sell products and services. The problem is that all of your competitors are doing this, too. More

3 trends integral to marketing your business
By Emma Fitzpatrick
From Sept. 17: What trends does your business need to keep afoot of in the marketing world? The guessing game is over in the world of marketing. Now, you can say without doubt what's having the biggest impact on brand awareness and even sales. We've got the top three biggest trends in marketing and communications. Read on to unlock the secrets and keep your business a step ahead of the rest. More

Handling negative feedback on social media
By Mayur Kisani
From Aug. 13: 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