NARI NewsWatch
Aug. 27, 2014

11 ways to ensure stellar customer service
The Young Entrepreneur Council via FoxBusiness
What is one way we can make sure that our customer service remains excellent even as we grow by leaps and bounds? Here are 11 ways to ensure stellar customer service for your small business.More

Communication is the key to sales
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Have you ever thought you closed a job, only to have the client eventually turn you down? Perhaps it’s because you focused too much on the sales pitch and not enough time listening to the needs and wants of the potential client. Taking time to listen and empathize with their story brings a more human element to the sales process and can help you make the close. Read more here.More

Receive a certification scholarship with a CotY Award
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
In addition to the marketing mileage a CotY Award provides, you can also get money toward pursuing a NARI certification, with $100 scholarship for Regional winners and an additional $50 scholarship for National winners.

This year, 11 categories were added to the CotY Awards, including Basements and Landscape Design. Many of the other categories were expanded to include price points that more closely aligned with the work NARI members are doing.

As last year, this year’s program is an online entry system, making it easier for you to participate. Updated fees and deadlines for this year’s program:

To find more information or to register for the program, visit More

Follow-up: NARI Call to Action on OSHA silica
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
OSHA's proposed rulemaking to adjust its current crystalline silica rule stands to have a major impact on the construction industry.

According to comments submitted by OSHA's Small Business Review Panel, the rule would cost between $3 billion and $4 billion nationally, in lost personal income and would eliminate between 60,000 and 130,000 jobs.

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.

Earlier this month, NARI asked you to participate in a call to action, writing your congressional leaders to urge them to contact OSHA in objection to this rule.

In total, 210 members sent 634 messages to their congressional leaders, asking them to contact OSHA about this proposed rule.

Thank you to the following states, which garnered the most member participation:
New York

We hope that participation using the online system was easy. NARI continues to need your help to make its voice in government heard, and we hope to grow member action the next time we issue a call to action.

To read past issues of NARI on the Hill, click here. More

Save 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 percent 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. More

Minnesota Firm Night Sept. 9
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI of Minnesota’s next Firm Night will take place at All Inc. on Tues., Sept. 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Network and relax while enjoying a beverage and cigar on their spacious patio and be among the first to glimpse the Subzero/Wolf Living Kitchen, in addition to more than 40 full kitchen vignettes. Sample fresh foods from their professional chefs in five different kitchens set up throughout the space. The cost to attend is $20 for members, and the RSVP date is Thurs., Sept. 4. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website. More

Learn more about Porch in Madison
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
NARI of Madison will feature the seminar “What is Porch: How can it help your business?” at its September meeting, Mon., Sept. 15. The meeting will take place at the Sub-Zero Bakke Center from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch and networking will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You will have two chances during the meeting to catch the Porch seminar, once at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. One member from each company may attend for free when they pre-register. Each additional guest is $25. For more information and to register, visit the chapter’s website.More

Learn how to grow your business with Central Ohio
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
The focus of NARI of Central Ohio’s September meeting will be, “Growing Your Business Through Community Involvement.” The Thurs., Sept. 18 meeting is hosted by GreenScapes Landscape Architects & Contractors at the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus. Dinner and networking will take place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and the meeting and program will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $15 with reservation and $20 without reservation. Guests can register for free, to experience a NARI event. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit the chapter’s website. More

Is social media worth it for small businesses?
For many small businesses, social media feels like a never-ending party where attendance alone is insufficient — one must make a big, continuous splash. That pressure produces a classic, if disappointing, effort/reward imbalance for many small businesses. Indeed, a survey released by Manta earlier this year said that nearly 50 percent of businesses surveyed had increased their time on social media channels with another 55 percent actively using them for lead generation and customer engagement.More

Don't stop believin' (in email)
Direct Marketing News
Sometime email marketing feels like the gamble Journey sings about. But done right, email marketing is music to the ears of customers and brands alike. Here, we round up advice from several recent DMN articles on email marketing. Play on. "The people getting A's in email are moving to marketing to people more on a one-to-one basis. Instead of basing everything on a calendar and sending everybody the same message at a given time, the top quartile is saying lets create 10, 30, 40 messages and tie them to cart abandonment, post-purchase, and browse abandonment," says Loren McDonald, vice president of Industry Relations for Silverpop.More

Your small business needs SEO: Here are 6 reasons why
The Huffington Post
You have heard a million times that you need SEO, and you probably receive emails, phone calls and solicitations in the mail every single week from companies that all want to sell you SEO service. There is also a good chance that none of them are telling you why you need search engine optimization and why your business should be investing marketing dollars into being found in the organic search results.More

Google+: Do's and don'ts for small businesses
The jury may still be out on the value of Google+ for personal users, but for small businesses, Google+ can't be ignored. Google+ isn't just another social network a small business can use to boost its online presence, but it's also the ultimate resource to maximize visibility on Google search pages.More

Marketing automation tools for smaller tasks
While they may not be looking for advanced solutions, small businesses can benefit from many simple, free marketing automation tools. Here's a look at several of the options available. Marketing automation is a broad term that can mean something different to different people — and for small business owners, there's no doubt that marketing automation will mean something vastly different than it does to a large enterprise.More

6 different ways to repurpose your existing sales and marketing materials
Business 2 Community
Sales and marketing is essential for businesses &mdahs; both large and small. Yet, as a small business owner with a limited budget, buying sales and marketing materials can be pricey at times. When you are at a point in your business where you have maxed out your marketing budget and are both pressed for time and money — one of the easiest things that you can do is repurpose and reuse your existing content. More

The real reason small business blogs die
The Huffington Post
I don't have time to blog. It's the first thought that jumps to mind of the small business owner every time they hear the words "content marketing." Yes, blogging takes time. According to the 2014 Blogger Survey, the average post takes 2.5 hours to create. Try adding that kind of time to your schedule. It just won't fit.More

9 inexpensive ways to get your business noticed online
Congratulations on launching your startup business. The only problem is, no one knows about it. So how do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or public relations, or buying Facebook or Twitter followers? Dozens of small business owners and social media, SEO and marketing experts share their nine top tips for how new businesses can get noticed online, without having to spend a lot of money.More

Why small businesses actually have the big-data advantage
Big data, with its Orwellian overtones, gets a bad rap. And there are good reasons why. Online ads generated by Web surfing create the same consumer ire once reserved for spam email: Buy a rabbit hutch for your kids online and suddenly you're cyber-stalked by ads from the rabbit-hutch industry long after that one-time purchase. More