The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincident that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest growth rate in recent years.

I believe that a profound shift is taken place in the home improvement industry. This shift has embraced certification, accreditation and independent verification as the new rules of doing business. As a contractor who has been in the business for many years, for me, this shift means one thing – a chance to increase market share by showcasing a brand that understands and welcomes the new reality. Indeed, homeowners are beginning to demand this higher standard of training and perceived credibility to measure value. And, the surest way to achieve this is by checking for the credential of companies and the skill of their people. Now, besides the old ways of relying chiefly on word-of-mouth recommendation, customers will be able to more independently check for and measure the training and professional underpinning of a company. This is quite a significant development in the home improvement business brought on by dramatic emphasis on energy efficiency improvements in building.

The Federal government and large utility companies have contributed to this by providing tax credits and purchase rebates respectively for energy efficiency improvement initiatives. States have seized on these opportunities and have enacted changes to their building codes to encourage higher efficiency standards in building. The State of Massachusetts for example, has adopted the ‘Stretch Energy Code'” which its cities and towns are using to promote energy efficiency improvement to their building stock. The execution of these strategies create jobs, save money on utility bills and decrease the Carbon output to the environment from buildings. The savviest of small home improvement contractors are using these new rules to improve their companies’ image to portray a well trained professional operation. The majority of the buildings in the nation are in need of some sort of energy efficiency improvement, if we are committed to improving our building stock then the adoption of these new rules are just the start of the revolutionizing of the home improvement industry.

To be clear, the changes that are taking root are a result of the budding Home Performance Improvement industry that is taking shape and which is buttress by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national credentialing and training organization. Indeed, I believe two things, one, this is setting a new benchmark for the professional assessing of the home remodeling industry. Two, brand recognition will be an important criteria in selecting a home improvement company. The companies that recognize this and make the necessary positioning adjustment will be the winners.

All in all, these new rules that are required to operate a professional home performance improvement entity will no doubt usher in a change in the way the home remodeling industry operates generally.

Internet Home Based Business – Immense Scopes For Personal Development

Personality development is one of the most important aspects of successful life. A person needs a good personality in order to be noticed by others. Internet home based business can lead to building up a strong personality. There are immense scopes of developing your personality in this business. A good impression on your clients improves your business.

Improving your personality is a necessity for improving your life. You must gather emotional strength because you will need it in your business. At the same time, you will need to constantly update yourself and your skills to run a successful business. Take a look at a few personality development tips in order to improve your Internet home business.

Guidance to personal development:

The internet can provide you with a lot of information on improving your attitude and personality. There are libraries and book stores which provide information on personality development as a path to a successful life. All this information comes from authors with real life experiences. So they can help you in improving your personality.

Make use of videos that are offered in galleries and on the Internet. These videos present some valuable ideas on improving your personality. You can attend live seminars on the Internet that assists you with ideas to use your personality in your home business.

Build up your positive and spiritual traits:

Having a fit and healthy body gives you a lot of energy. Maintain a personal level of hygiene to have a healthy body. It is important to exercise at least two to three times a week considering your health and age. A balanced diet will help you immensely and prevent future health disorders. A healthy body will automatically keep your spirit up and positive.

Be updated:

Always get hold of the latest techniques and keep absorbing knowledge all the time. Try developing your technical skills as they are necessary to manage your business successfully. Updating yourself also helps you in building networks. It will also make it possible to lift your business to greater heights.

Managing time:

Manage your time to improve on your personality development. Your business requires good communication abilities and a flamboyant attitude. People appreciate positive attitude and a bright and fresh character. Developing your personality in these aspects is very important. So you need to devote your time to improve your personality.

Stress what is important:

Initially focus on the important needs. To stress many things at the same time leads to lackluster learning. Work on the important requirements and then focus on the other deeds one at a time. Develop your knowledge about the business which you are planning to build. Research on what you need to improve in your business. Take your business to the next level by taking one step at a time.

The above mentioned steps will help you immensely in improving your personality. Always use a positive attitude to build a strong base for your Internet based home business. Success comes to those who use their personality in the most efficient manner.

Double Glazing Windows and Home Improvement Quote Websites – Good or Bad?

I have been in the double glazing business for 2 years now and going to and from potential customers I started to find out that quite a few of the customers had submitted a request through certain quoting websites to receive 3 or more quotes. The type of requests would range from various products including Roofline, Conservatories, Solar Panels, Windows and Kitchen Designs. Some customers were happy with the system but some were really annoyed. One customer I went too had 24 companies contact her after only one website submission and she only wanted 3 quotes. To make matters worse for the customer she didn’t even know what questions to ask when the salesman arrived even though she knew she needed replacement windows.

Are these Quote Sites any good?

I have now begun to question a lot of these quote websites and wonder if they offer anything to the customer other than just a quote or do they give the customer enough ammunition to get the correct facts and make the best choice for the quality of product.

When you look through most of the websites that are intended for the person looking for a quote you begin to get a feeling that most quote websites are intent on the visitor to request a quote by sending their information. But it would be good to find a website that gives the customer as much information about the product that they are looking for whether it’s double glazing windows, Grade A PVC Conservatories, UPVC Roofline or even Kitchen Designs and not charge the customer any money to get the right information. As I looked through many of the websites I became increasingly frustrated at the amount of websites with little or no information on the product that the customer can research.

I think the best type of home improvement quotation website would be one that can give the customer as much information as possible. For example listed below are a few questions that the customer should want to ask if they are interested in having replacement windows;

  • What Grade of PVC is the Window frame made of?
  • What Type of Glass is on the window?
  • What are the windows thermal properties?
  • What type of draught protector is on the window?
  • What type of metal is used for the hinges?
  • How long do we really expect our window to last until it starts to degrade?
  • What type of windows are allowed by the governing law to be fitted in my property?

Above are just some of the questions that we should ask if making an enquiry regarding double glazed windows

I realise these are the type of questions that I would like to know if I was researching on a product. This would enable me to ask the right questions to the window company. But if I do not know what to ask how will I know that I would be getting a great deal. I know from being in the home improvements business I have learned a lot of useful information but I do not know everything there is to know about Kitchen designs, driveways, alarms etc… So I would want the right information for each product.

With all the types of quotation websites that have been up and running for quite a few years now, I’m sure everyone has had an experience of these types of sites or they know someone who has used these types of sites. Looking at most of the PVC Double Glazing Window quote websites out there, does everyone think these quote websites should be the way to go and do they think they should be fully enhanced to offer all manner of advice and help for the customer, even before asking them to submit their details for a quote.

These are some of the intriguing questions that have come to the surface after meeting up with potential clients and being informed of their experience.

Your comments are most welcome regarding your experience of using quote websites



The Essence of a Marketing Manager in a Home Improvement Company

So you want to hire a Marketing Manager. Someone suggests you go to a headhunter or a dot com site. You get inundated with resumes from those with degrees in marketing or those with marketing backgrounds in major corporations – ad nauseam. Unfortunately, most of these applicants cannot fill the job.

The most appropriate applicant as a Marketing Manager for a lead based home improvement company has usually worked for a company with “in home” salespeople. They have a feel for what will pull leads in various advertising mediums; they understand the kind and quality of leads the company needs, as well as the kind and styles of the salespeople who will be issued the lead. A Marketing Manager in the home improvement business has the responsibility of keeping the lead pipeline full.

The ideal Marketing Manager will have to understand budget limitations, lead issuance and control factors and, above all, that leads are a precious commodity. Most leads are obtained expensively, and once acquired remain viable until your company or a competitor sells the product of interest to the prospect. Your Marketing Manager has to understand database management, confirmation and rehash scripting, how to negotiate with the media, event sources and S.F.I. relationships with big box and other similar “brand” sources. If a call center is involved, the ability to hire, train and supervise others is a necessity.

None of the above obviates the possibility that you won’t find “a diamond” without the experience defined. However, prepare yourself for training and control in the early stages because Marketing Managers in home improvement organizations are still an enigma.

Cues: Write the job description before you hire. Detail issues such as: what performance is expected, what budget to maintain (including the cost of the marketing manager) along with territory and product limitations. Compensate with a base salary and incentives for meeting budget requirements. Finally, evaluate these 3 considerations regarding the applicant: Can they do the job? Will they do the job? Do they fit?