NARI NewsWatch
Jun. 18, 2014

3 ways to turn a small business in to a big business
By Greg L. Alston
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

How to prepare for a media interview
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The press releases your company has been sending out finally attract attention, and a reporter calls you to set up an interview on remodeling trends. How you respond could be the key to success for your public relations efforts. With a little preparation, here's how to make your knowledge shine during that phone call.More

NARI welcomes new National Member
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Clear Estimates was developed a decade ago by a NARI member's son and has since helped thousands of remodelers save time and money with easy and accurate estimating. Our easy-to-use software will help you get your estimates out in minutes instead of hours; and because it is cloud-based you can access your estimates from anywhere with any device (iPad, iPhone, Android phone or tablet, Mac or Windows computer, and more).

As a NARI member, you will get 10 percent off your subscription to Clear Estimates along with the ease of creating professional looking estimates. Our partnership with RemodelMAX provides you with over ten thousand regionally specific and up-to-date material and labor prices, so right out of the box you can be confident that your estimates are accurate. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial then 10 percent off the subscription using your NARI discount. 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

If you have already claimed your profile and need some assistance in adding project information, you can watch these demo videos or e-mail

Golf outings this summer
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Join your NARI of Minnesota colleagues and friends for the best networking event of the year! The golf package includes 18 breathtaking holes of golf at the beautiful Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, a cart, lunch and dinner catered by David's Chophouse, and prizes out on the course. This event is a great way to entertain clients, reward staff, forge new business connections, and enjoy the event with other professionals in the remodeling industry. The golf outing will take place Thurs., July 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reservations are due by June 26. The cost of $120 per NARI member includes lunch and dinner. Non-members are $155. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.

The 20th annual Milwaukee/NARI Foundation Golf Outing will take place Wed., July 16 at Ironwood Golf Course. The funds raised at this golf outing help the foundation fund scholarships and other educational programs for the benefit of the public with respect to home improvement and remodeling. During the golf outing, there will be exciting giveaways on select holes. The $145 cost of the event includes green fees and half share of a power golf cart, lunch, two drink tickets, a no-hassle bracelet that provides entry into the putting contest and one mulligan and dinner. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m., with a shotgun start time of 11:00 a.m. The day also includes a silent auction from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., with dinner at 5:00 p.m. You’re welcome to join the chapter later for dinner, which is $35. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.

NARI of Greater Cleveland will host its annual golf outing Thurs., July 17 at Briarwood Golf Club. Gold packages are $135 for members and $160 for non-members and include 18 holes of golf, a power cart, Bloody Mary bar, lunch at the turn, steak dinner and beverages throughout the day. Don’t golf? Join the chapter for dinner instead. All reservations are due by July 11. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.More

Using postcards to generate calls and referrals
By Jeffrey Dobkin
A letter is the best marketing tool. In a letter, you have time and space to sell, sell, sell. You can explain benefits and features. You can show facts and figures. But a letter is a lot of work and expense: printing, folding, including a brochure to add a harder sell and credibility, envelope, mail shop services for inserting, postage, affixing postage, imaging name and address. Lots of handling. Postcards, on the other hand, can be effective and are certainly less work. Postcards enjoy high readership because once the recipient picks it up and is ready to toss it out — hey, she's read it!More

As a small business, should I invest in content marketing or advertising?
Business 2 Community
Where advertising seeks to create a problem, content marketing seeks to solve problems. Do you want to create more problems and add to the interruption that traditional advertising has become, or would you like to join the digital marketers on a quest to help people through inbound marketing? Ultimately, the choice is yours. More

Infographic: The small business path to digital marketing success
If the quest for success in small business today required a soundtrack, surely the theme from Cheers would make the cut. "Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got" is more than just a lyric from the iconic sitcom's theme song. It's an unwavering truth when comes to achieving marketing success.More

Small business budget, big business ideas for Twitter advertising, World Cup edition
There are a number of different ways that small and medium-sized businesses can use Twitter to tap into the World Cup buzz happening on the social network. The World Cup has only just begun, but it has already been cited as the most-talked about sporting event globally on social media, according to recent data by the Adobe Social Index. With 48 percent of the total social buzz coming from the Americas, the Twittersphere is a prime location for small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. to capture and engage potential customers interested in the World Cup.More

13 must-have tools for small businesses
NBC News
As a small business owner, it's your job to follow your passion and run your business. While the number of online tools available to small businesses can be overwhelming, here are 13 tools that will keep your small business vital.More

The secret way to get paid on aged accounts today
By Scott Wolfe
Most contractors can relate to payment and accounts receivable aging problems. Customers feed out excuse after excuse to delay paying a pay application or invoice in the construction industry. This is why a poll in Construction Week Online found that 0 percent of contractors could report that they were always "paid fairly and on time," and conversely, 78 percent responded that they were facing "serious difficulty getting" paid. In this article, we're going to explore the cause of payment delay in the construction industry, and what companies can do to offset these causes. And it's easy.More

Retiring boomers spark home building and remodeling boom
Woodworking Network
Baby boomers are set to become even bigger customers for new home building and remodeling. As they plan for retirement, or just after, boomers are building their dream house or remodeling their current abode to be their idea model of design, comfort and functionality. A study by Wakefield Research for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate found Boomers will try to make themselves comfortable by remodeling and refurnishing our current abode: 70 percent expect the house they retire in will be the best home in which they have ever lived, according to the study. More

3-D printing is revolutionizing construction and design fields
By Renee Eaton
Additive manufacturing — or 3-D printing as it often called — is a process in which a solid object is made when a CAD model directs the printer to apply hundreds to thousands of successive layers in the required shape. Most people have heard the stories about 3-D-printed gun and body parts. Now, additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the interior design, architectural and construction fields because it overcomes many of the limitations traditional practices have faced.More

Construction renovation: Property flips and insurance
Insurance Journal
The number of U.S. single family home sales attributed to flipping is on the decline but that isn't deterring investors. Despite the percentage of flipped homes shrinking to 3.7 percent of the total homes sold, the profits from flipping a house are up to 30 percent, according to a recent report by RealtyTrac.More

How small firms can make customers feel safe online
The Wall Street Journal
It's hard enough for big companies to reassure customers that their sites are safe from hackers. So how do small companies make people feel safe? Simply having a site that's well protected against attacks isn't enough, especially when small businesses seem like much easier targets than big operators. Security professionals and entrepreneurs say small-business owners need to aggressively sell existing customers and potential ones on the idea that the sites are safe, using a number of methods.More

What you need to know about mobile app development
IT leaders across most industries prioritize mobility for both workforce and consumers. Implementing successful mobile app development is challenging, involving performance and quality optimization on top of development of app functionality. Slow, bug-riddled apps negatively affect return on investment and can also harm a company's reputation.More

The next 20 years are going to make the last 20 look like we accomplished nothing in tech
Business Insider
The world is hitting its stride in technological advances and futurists have been making wild-sounding bets on what we'll accomplish in the not-so-distant future. Futurist Ray Kurzweil, for example, believes that by 2040 artificial intelligence will be so good, humans will be fully-immersed in virtual reality and that something called The Singularity, when technology becomes so advanced that it actually changes the human race irreversibly, will occur. More