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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit      April 09, 2014


 



Microsoft ends support for Windows XP: What small businesses need to know
FOX Business
On April 8, Microsoft ended technical support and security updates to the Windows XP operating system. The company also stopped supporting Office 2003 software. Dave Aitel, the CEO of security firm Immunity, says Microsoft’s decision has major security implications for small businesses using the past-its-prime operating system.
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NARI NEWS


How I built my business: Leff Construction Design/Build
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Construction work wins out over law degree to create this remodeling business that incorporates sustainable practices. But it was working for a client who wrote about what makes businesses succeed that took Leff Construction Design/Build to the next level, allowing the owner to work “on” his company, not “in” it. Read the full story here.
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NARI EDUCATION UPDATE


Mark your calendars for end-of-summer test dates
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Prep courses are winding down for the spring certification testing dates May 9-10, but there’s plenty of time to prepare for the Aug. 29-30, or Sept. 5-6, test dates. The following prep classes will be taking place in the next few months:

June 4: The 12-week High-Performance Remodeling prep course addresses the concepts of Green Remodeling; building science, indoor air quality, renewable energy, deconstruction, energy conservation, and green process associated with building trades. Click here for prep program application. This course fulfills the green education requirement to take the Green Certified Professional Exam.

June 25: The eight-week Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) prep course addresses project cost management, communication, project planning, quality assurance, record keeping, and risk management. Click here for prep program application.

July 8: The four-week Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) prep course addresses the concepts of Universal Design; client’s needs assessment, design applications, construction techniques, electrical systems, and plumbing systems. This course fulfills the universal design education requirement to take the UDCP exam. Click here for the prep program application.

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CHAPTER NEWS


NARI of Southern Arizona hosts April meeting
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Tuesday, April 15, isn’t just tax day — it’s also the date for NARI of Southern Arizona’s April meeting. The guest speaker will be Jason Tankersley from The Fairfax Company. The dinner meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Accessible Home Remodeling and Family Air. RSVP by April 10, calling (520) 310-3386. Non-members are free for their first two meetings; otherwise it’s $45 at the door.
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Mix and mingle with NARI of Greater Cleveland
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join NARI of Greater Cleveland Thurs., April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a Member Mingle at Sims-Lohman in Broadview Heights. This event is free to members, and guests are welcome. To find out more and register, visit the chapter’s website.
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Get your contracts in order with San Francisco NARI
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
San Francisco Bay Area NARI is hosting a half-day home improvement contracts workshop Sat., April 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. This workshop will focus specifically on the defense and indemnity provisions. The cost to attend this meeting is $300. Attendees will receive a Word template with sample indemnity and defense language. To find out more and to register, visit the chapter’s website.
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SMALL BUSINESS UPDATE


Productivity hacks for small businesses
The Huffington Post
Many know the feeling of having a full day ahead and no motivation to get work done. But as a small business owner — whether you're a notary or a landscaper — procrastination is not an option. So for these types of days, The Huffington Post has found that productivity can be kicked into gear with a few hacks.
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Disturbing trends in small-business hiring
The Washington Post
Small businesses suffered a rough winter on the hiring front, which many analysts blamed on a series of particularly brutal snowstorms. However, even with the weather heating up last month, small employers were still slow to add new openings. Which begs the question — is there something else going on here?
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4 steps to effective performance management
By D. Albert Brannen
Getting the most out of employees has always challenged employers. It is particularly difficult in today's highly-regulated business environment with increased global competition and changing employee attitudes. Performance management is not just about dealing with the poor performers. Instead, as explained in the following paragraphs, it is a more holistic process that begins with getting the right people, setting employee expectations, coaching employees and ultimately dismissing the poor performers or employees who do not fit the organization.
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SALES AND MARKETING INTEL


How your business can harness the year of mindfulness
By Emma Fitzpatrick
2014 has been dubbed "the year of mindfulness." In fact, mindfulness has been named one of the top 10 trends that will shape the world this year. People are growing weary of being constantly connected to their digital screens. They want a way to detox, to unwind and rediscover peace, and this movement is spreading quickly. Happiness is being redefined, so it's time to brainstorm how your business industry fits into the mindfulness movement. Read on to learn why and how mindfulness is shaping 2014, and how your business can take hold of this movement.
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Marketing on a shoestring budget
U.S. News & World Report
If you run any kind of small business, from an Etsy shop to an established bricks-and-mortar store, then you know what a challenge it can be to market your business on a budget. This is especially the case if you run the business on your own or with just a few others. Either way, you’re not alone. There are 23 million small businesses in the U.S., all of which are trying hard to stand out from the crowd, make a name for themselves and generate awareness of their brand. While this can be an expensive project, there are a number of ways to market your business without spending a lot of money in the process.
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Facebook wants to turn 25 million small businesses into advertisers
Ad Age
After years of courting the nation's biggest advertisers, Facebook is going after the 99 percent. That figure represents the long tail of advertisers; the plumbers and dentists, restaurants and political candidates, app developers and direct-response advertisers. These small and mid-sized businesses don't have Facebook account reps and are left to figure out Facebook advertising for themselves.
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6 ways to save money on small business marketing
Business 2 Community
Running a small business in today’s economic climate is especially difficult. Customers are scarce, competition is stout, and if you’re not on the cutting edge, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. However, one thing’s for sure: you don’t have any chance to be successful without an effective marketing strategy. But this doesn’t mean you need to outspend the competition. Actually, there are many ways to save money on the marketing of your small business.
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5 questions to ask a content writer in an interview
By Nicole Karlis
Are you using content in your marketing strategy? Making sure your content writers are prepared for the job is critical for them to produce quality content for you and your brand. Knowing the right questions to ask can help you grow your business. Here are the five questions to ask content writers that will help you (and them) determine if they are ready for the job at hand.
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BY THE NUMBERS


Small business optimism rebounds in March
FOX Business
Small business owners felt better in March, helped by more normal weather patterns, according to a report released recently. The National Federation of Independent Business's small business optimism index picked up to 93.4 in March after harsh weather pulled the index to 91.4 in February from 94.1 in January. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the index to increase to 93.0.
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Higher home values fuel resurgence in remodeling
The Patriot Ledger
With residential values rising and the number of houses to purchase at an all-time low, more homeowners are choosing to remodel. Housing analysts say that U.S. expenditures for home remodeling and improvements could hit a record high this year after a solid gain in 2013. Americans spent about $310 billion on these projects last year.
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Construction spending is a key driver for the US economy
Market Realist
The Construction Put in Place Survey is released monthly by the Census Bureau and it measures the total dollar value of construction work in the U.S. It covers both the public and private sectors and includes new structures as well as improvements to existing structures. The data includes the cost of labor, materials, architectural work, engineering work, overhead, interest, taxes and contractor profits.
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TECHNOLOGY NEWS


Bitcoin for small business: House weighs pros and cons
Business News Daily
It's not just businesses that are curious about accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. The government is all ears, too. On April 2, the House Small Business Committee conducted its first-ever hearing on the cryptocurrency. The hearing examined the benefits and risks for small businesses of using bitcoin as a digital payment system.
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New weapon for small businesses: Data mining
Financial Post
The David and Goliath story is an old one, and for small companies staring down large competitors, it's still relevant. Now, one Toronto-based marketing expert is promoting a new weapon for small businesses to level the playing field: data science. Across North America, stories are emerging of people mining data for insights.
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NARI NewsWatch
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lauren Swan, Content Editor, 202.684.7496  
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