Enter to Win a Member Spotlight Award

 

Current NADRA members may fill out the questionnaire for a chance to win a NADRA member spotlight award. (1) winner is chosen each month & will be recognized for their dedication to NADRA & the outdoor living industry. The spotlight winner will be included in:

– The Weekly Industry Brief

– Monthly eNewsletter

– Social Media

– NADRA’s Blog

– NADRA’s Homepage

Who is going to be the December spotlight winner? If you’d like to be considered, please fill out the online questionnaire. Don’t forget to follow up by emailing us your photos and company logo. Fill out the questionnaire here for a chance to win.

NADRA Member Spotlight

Company Name: Holloway Company
Member Name:   Ted Tidmore
Company Name: Holloway Company
Position:  Owner
Member Category:  Builder
Location:  Sterling, VA
What inspired you to join NADRA? We have a passion for designing and creating unique decks and integrating them into an overall outdoor oasis. We are well-known in our area for custom projects.
When did you first get involved with this industry?  1994
What was the first thing you ever built?  Patio with a small retaining wall and some landscaping. I always had a vision of doing what I’m doing now with outdoor projects.
We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business:   I started this company in 1994. I began mowing lawns, then added patios, and then small, basic carpentry items. I am now building large, custom and unique projects. Our specialty is custom, one-of-a-kind projects including hardscaping, carpentry, pools, and more.  We build approx. 50 decks per year.
 
How do you define success?  When the client sees their project come to life and it’s even more than they could have imagined. I am fortunate to have long-standing and loyal staff who are a large part of our success.
What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career?  Be selective in accepting new clients. Taking on new and exciting projects and integrating the industry’s latest innovations is what will continue to put you ahead.
If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be? What is the biggest obstacle you face in continued growth?
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?   Ski instructor in Colorado
A little more about Ted:  I have 4 children, three dogs and a wonderful wife. We enjoy spending time together attending football games, camping, and skiing.

Connect with Holloway Company:

 Website:  HollowayCompany.com

Facebook:  Facebook.com/HollowayCompany/

*A Member Spotlight winner will be chosen each month. For a chance to win, please fill out the questionnaire found  here .

I was ready to do business with you, but… By: Kevin Jackson

 

I was ready to do business with you, but…

Regardless of your culture, upbringing, economic status or stage of life, we can all agree on one thing. If we are going to spend our hard-earned money with you or your company, you must first listen to us, meet us where we are, provide value to our lives, care about what we need, use the communication methods that are easy for us, do a really good job and stand by your product and workmanship. If we are super-lucky, you’ll also say thank you and follow up with us in a few months after the sale just to see how we’re doing!

Easy peasy, right? Sounds good, but all too often that’s not the customer experience journey that most of us encounter. Let’s talk about a few pitfalls that happen in today’s world before the customer’s pen even hits the contract.

Business owners, relax… watch your blood pressure… and please don’t shoot the messenger. I get it! I know you’re busy with what’s in front of you right now. However, you must always ask yourself, “Am I ever too busy to hear from my potential customer, as this could drastically affect my sustainable success?” Here’s a quick five reminders from my own (good and bad) personal experiences:

  1. Make customers feel good about what you are offering. Yes, they are buying your product or service, but they are also investing in you.
  2. Communicate properly (before, during and after the sale) regardless of how busy you are. C’mon people!! Follow up! Stay engaged! Customers want to know what’s going on!
  3. Show them that you care. Your website can say that you care, but if you don’t answer the customer’s questions, show up when you’re supposed to, etc. – You don’t care and the customer knows it (sometimes before you even sell them anything)!!
  4. Drop the ego. You may be the top salesperson in your organization or your friends may think you walk on water, but customers don’t have time for that!
  5. Instill trust and inspire the customer to become an advocate for you! That’s where you will win!

Friends, since Al Gore created the internet (ha!), consumers have had endless information available to them. As a result, they are educating themselves on how business should be conducted. Customers are also researching your products, services and ratings. They have become more demanding because of the “screen education degree” that they received from a YouTube video, slideshare or TV segment. Whether you like this or not, this new day requires business owners, organizations and their affiliates to step up their game (big time!). Company leadership must invest time to work “on” the business, instead of just working “in” the business.

They must train their employees that the customer experience is paramount and that without customers there is no need to worry about being busy when the dust settles. You either focus on your customers’ needs or you will eventually need customers!

The bottom line is that people must ultimately trust you before they do business with you. What a different world of commerce it would be if most entities understood and did something about this very basic principle. Will you do anything differently today knowing that customers think before they ink? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Kevin Jackson, The Positivity Guru

Balance well and win every time! By: Kevin Jackson

Balance Your Talents.

Connect. Give. Take. Learn. 

We’ve all seen the gymnast with perfect form, poise, preciseness and execution. They make it seem so easy and often this gives us a false sense that we could do exactly what they are doing without much effort.

However, we all quickly realize that in time our athletic ability is not what it used to be. Our discipline to be the best at our craft has slightly slipped. We are not as tenacious as we once were. Why? Because life happens around us. We get busy, we get distracted, our priorities change and this thing called balance comes into play in a huge way!

What do you mean KJ? I’m successful, my business is doing extremely well, so I must be in balance, right? Friends, you may be in balance while you’re on the balance beam, but when it is time for you to successfully stick your landing (when all the eyes are on you) how will you do? To prepare for a successful landing, let’s discuss some concepts that will change the way you think about personal development, leadership and business.

Let’s begin with the power of connection. How many of us are self-taught, self-made and have never relied on anyone else for an idea? Let me answer that for you! NADA!! Hence the power of surrounding ourselves with people who care about what we do. Those who are smarter than us and have the ingenuity and the passion to light something within us that will make us better. Often our busy lives become an excuse for not investing properly in the threads that make up the fabric of our sustainable success. Just because we have one thread, or two threads, we think we are okay. But in reality, we give up the opportunity to become a better person, a better team, a better business. Connections have always mattered and they will always matter going forward.
In addition, I always say, “live life with open palms”. It’s my opinion that those that take time to give will always find themselves on the leading edge of performance. Share your experience with a colleague, an apprentice, a mentee or with your entire industry. What you give will come back to you in spades, believe me.

In addition to giving, don’t be afraid to take a little (but make sure you give first – lol). Be mindful to check your ego at the door. Don’t be too proud, bull-headed, close-minded or busy to miss out on best practices, continuous improvement ideas, innovative techniques and things that will transform your life and your business. We are living with innovation every day. Don’t miss your genie in a bottle!

Lastly, keep your balance by committing to be a life-learner. Don’t just pay your membership fees to be emailed the organization’s amazing newsletters or to have your company listed in their directory. Learn something from the connections, the giving and taking of information and combine that with your desire to be the best and to remain the best in your field. That’s how you consistently stick your landing my friends! Now get out there, strike the balance that works for you and win!

Kevin Jackson

Positivity Guru, Value Adder, Keynote Speaker & SVP

thepositivityguru.com

Strategy – Alignment – Execution! By Kevin Jackson

Strategy – Alignment – Execution! #letsgo

 

Okay friends, raise your hand if you are tired of hearing all the business buzzwords that relate to an organization’s strategy. While the mission, vision, values, quality policy and purpose statements of organizations are critical, they are often misaligned when compared closely with the consumer’s reality.

How can this be? Well, I read this on the internet, so it must be true (Ha!). According to Larry Myler, in his article Strategy 101: It’s All About Alignment, Larry quoted the following statistic:

Wow! Who knew? Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all know this to be relatively true. However, as leaders, the real question we must ask ourselves is, “How do we obtain proper alignment and remain properly aligned?”

I’d like to challenge you to think about the following C’s as it relates to alignment:

Character

We all say we have it! We all say we do it! But, we are all human, and by the very nature of admitting such, we often fall short on delivering consistently on character. Before you get upset with me, let me clarify my position. It is easier for an individual to have character, versus the organizations that we work in and work with on a daily basis to have character.

Is it impossible for an organization to align its character with what is plastered all over the corporate office and its website? Of course not, but that is where true leadership comes in. Yes, leaders must have authority to develop strategy, but they must also work tirelessly to gain influence and buy-in with all constituents who are both front-facing to the consumer as well as those who support the organization behind the scenes. An organization without a consistent alignment of character will find themselves only as good as its weakest touch point.

Culture

You’ve heard it! “We must all be on the same page.” “We must all row in the same direction.” This is 100% true, however you must first pull back the covers on the real culture of your organization. What do you mean Kevin? I mean you must realize that your company’s traits can change your company’s atmosphere, which ultimately can and will change the outcomes of your strategy. To tackle this, you must be totally honest with yourself about how well you communicate, accept change, break down silos, embrace diversity and create an environment conducive to winning. Your consumer will see and feel your culture before you do! Take time to work on your culture. It’s not a set-it and forget-it discipline!

Capability

Once you have the strategy figured out and you have the culture to support it, you must execute. Execution requires capability. Capability requires passion and care for your craft and for the entire progress of the organization.

Before you stop reading this article, let me clear something up. I’m not saying that everyone in your organization must be great at strategy, but I am saying that everyone must be capable of moving the organization forward in their own way. Not by passing the buck, or saying “that’s not my job”, alignment requires leadership, understanding and collaboration of everyone to achieve what you said you were going to do in the first place.

So, why the disconnect? It’s strictly due to alignment! If one of your four wheels is pulling to the left or right – guess what? – the entire car will pull to the left or right, even when the strategy clearly says to stay straight ahead.

Alignment is the bread and butter of business success. Give it its proper attention if you really want to succeed! #letsgo

 

Kevin Jackson

Positivity Guru, Value Adder, Keynote Speaker & SVP

http://thepositivityguru.com/

Greetings Industry Associates, Bob Lett – Wolf

Greetings industry associates, outdoor living enthusiasts:
Welcome to spring! Summer is around the corner and May is Deck Safety Month®

In the U.S. we celebrate Memorial Day and in Canada we celebrate Victoria Day. Both of these May holidays are the unofficial “start” of summer in North America and with that we spend more time out on our decks. Family get togethers, graduation parties and summer vacations are just a few examples of where we might be “on the deck.”

This is a great time to market your business and remind homeowners to “Check Your Deck®” to ensure its safety. How do we do this? NADRA rolls out a plethora of marketing materials for its members to use to promote deck safety awareness (like the 10-point consumer checklist & PR templates). What better opportunity to call up local news stations, send out press releases, or offer a promotion and get your community involved with a Check Your Deck® campaign.

At NADRA HQ, interviews are coming in left and right as columnists are talking about making outdoor living improvements to those backyard havens & making sure they are safe for family and friends. We at NADRA are doing our part by directing calls and inquiries to our membership directory, and have seen a spike in traffic in the first 9 days of May to the “Find a Builder” and “Find an Inspector” section of NADRA.org.

Market indicators continue to suggest we are positioned to have a busy year- here’s to a fun and safe outdoor living season. For my Canadian friends, that’s July. Just kidding. Have a great year!

Kindest regards,
Bob Lett
Bob Lett is VP of National Sales for Wolf Home Products. He is a NADRA member and is Secretary for the NADRA Board of Directors.
Should you have any questions Bob can be reached at:

Positivity To Profit, by Kevin D. Jackson

Our mindset and our actions directly affect our customer’s experience.

 

Every waking moment, either consciously or unconsciously, we make decisions that affect our lives, our families, our work, our customer’s experiences and ultimately our take home pay. A major choice, with residual impact, is whether we decide to have a positive outlook or a negative demeanor.

Okay, I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this. However, let’s stack hands and agree on something. Every day is not going to be a sun-shiny day, but our emotions and our reactions to these emotions can and will add to our success or contribute to our demise. Taking this a step further, I’m going to suggest that positivity could eventually lead to profit. If you don’t believe me, check out these five domino effect principles:

Limiting our intake of negative influences

In the era of always being plugged in, there is a gem in finding some personal time to prepare for the day ahead of us without the news, newspaper, social media and the like. Often our days are started with the weight of the world on our shoulders before we even have the opportunity to deal with our own issues. Being intentional and deliberate about limiting negative influences open a pathway to a more thoughtful and calculated day. Our families, friends, co-workers and customers will notice something very different about us if we implement this. Try it!

Not selling, but letting others see our passion and the value we bring

Everyone has a blue widget and a red widget to sell. However, what consumers are looking for is value. If we are not providing value, we are not providing anything. Quality customer care requires a quality attitude from those who are providing the service. As a result, organizations are only as strong as their weakest link and their weakest link may actually be on a consecutive streak of bad days! To consistently turn a profit, we must consistently show our passion to solve our customer’s needs and consistently do this all with a smile.

Staying poised under pressure

We are all under a tremendous amount of pressure. That’s the way of the world we live in. However, those who consistently remain poised in the time of trial are those who are rehired, referred and remembered. It’s so easy to lose our cool if we get up on the wrong side of the bed. However, losing our cool could mean losing a client and ultimately losing profit.

Following up, following-through and following up again

Communication is key in all relationships. However, there is a major difference between communication ending in a positive experience and miscommunication ending in an “I’ll never do business with them again” experience. Gold medal communicators understand the importance of anticipating and addressing customer grievances before they become an issue. They constantly think as if they were the consumer and try to stay one step ahead of the customer’s expectations throughout the entire process. Regardless of what’s happening in their personal lives, they are pleasant, prepared, responsive and grateful for the business. In addition, when the work is completed, they follow up again to give a sincere thank you and to ensure all customer requirements have been met and/or have been exceeded.

Working tirelessly to establish and maintain the “Wow Factor”

Optimistic value-providers never rest on their laurels. Every day is an opportunity to be better than they were yesterday. Positivity, passion, action and follow up create the “Wow Factor.” The “Wow Factor” contributes to the building of the brand. The brand promise and its delivery ultimately leads to sustainable success, and of course, profit!

Boom! Drop the mic! Now, do you believe me? A positive attitude drives positive actions. Positive actions drive positive results and a positive bottom line. Got it? Let’s do this!