Subscribe to the Design/Builders Blog

The Design Builder's Blog

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Jun 01,2015 @ 12:35 PM

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Eastern MA NARI MeetingMy Local NARI Chapter, Eastern MA NARI, will be hosting Professional Remodeler Magazine’s Leadership Tour this Wednesday night in Natick MA at the VERVE Crowne Plaza Hotel.   Always a good event with great food, this year’s tour is under the new leadership of Sal Alfano, the magazine’s new Editorial Director. Below are the three reasons I’ll be going again this year. I hope you will join me Wednesday night.




Reason #1: Great food, door prizes and networking all at a great price

Attending the event is only $15. There will be some great door prizes and the food alone will be worth the price to register. However the networking might be the biggest value. This event attracts remodeling industry leaders from the area. It’s a great opportunity to hang out and chat with other remodeling industry professionals including contractors, trade partners and vendors. By networking with other attendees you can find the information and resources your business needs to stay ahead as a leader in the marketplace. Depending on who you are, you can find other people and business to buy from or sell to.   I find it is a great way for me to spend time with my current clients and get introduced to their referrals.


Reason #2: Great Education

In addition to vendor displays, where you can see new products and speak with the manufacturers, the event this year will include two speakers and timely topics.  

David Mayer, Director of Marketing for Houzz will share how new tools, like Houzz, have changed the way homeowners find and choose professionals and vendors, and how you can use Houzz more effectively to market and build your business. I for one am curious on how Houzz defines a “professional” and how they keep non-professionals off their site.

Mark Richardson, well know industry speaker will present "Creating a World Class Team" Covering such topics as: People are your greatest assets; Culture eats strategy for lunch; Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em; Become a magnet for talent; and Great businesses begin with great leaders.


Reason #3: Recognizing Remodeling Industry Leaders.

Sal Alfano


After some food, drinks, education and networking a good friend of mine, Sal Alfano, will be recognizing the local winners of the Professional Remodeler Market Leaders Awards which identifies the top remodelers in the major markets in the nation. Winners are selected through a combination of research by Professional Remodeler staff, publicly available data, and information provided by the remodeling firms.



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Trade Associations, Leadership

Manufacturer, Dealers Partner To Offer Free Education for Contractors

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Sep 05,2013 @ 06:00 AM

Manufacturer, Dealers Partner With Trade Association to Offer Free Education for Contractors

Contractor education


All serious construction business owners have at least two things in common.  First, continuing education is key to improving their businesses.  Because the business world is constantly changing, to remain successful, construction business owners need to keep up with new ways of doing things as well as advancing their business systems and management skills if they want to stay ahead of their competition.   Second, they need to make sure they surround themselves with the right resources so they can get the education they need from reliable sources at an affordable price.


This fall contractors will be able to get both in the same place thanks to window and door manufacturer Andersen® Windows.   Thanks to the efforts of Dealer Account Representative Don Hamel, Andersen® Windows has pulled together a series of five FREE Contractor Educational Boot Camps that will be held at the Rhode Island Builders Association (RIBA) offices in East Providence RI.   I will be the presenter at each of these events.  In addition to the support from RIBA and Andersen Windows several lumber and building materials dealers and product manufacturers have joined together to sponsor these events.


The five boot camps will include the following dates and topics:

Andersen Boot Camps9/26/13: Marketing Boot Camp: Targeting the Right Customers

10/3/13: Estimating Workshop: Know What You’re Selling Before You Sell It.

10/10/13: Small Business Finances and Profit Strategies for Non-Accounts

11/7/13: Sales Workshop-Smart Selling for Tough Times

11/14/13: Production Workshop-You Sold It Now You Need to Build It


Why these topics?

The list of topics above was put together to help give contractors a comprehensive exposure to several important areas in their businesses.  The content of these sessions will include valuable and timely information that will help contractors differentiate themselves in the marketplace and make more money.  Also, each of these sessions has been approved for two continuing education credit hours towards renewal of a Massachusetts Construction Supervisor's License (CSL).   If you are a licensed Massachusetts contractor make sure you let RIBA know you want a certificate of completion for CSL credits when you register.

RIBA Seminar for contractors with Shawn McCadden 

Who is sponsoring these events?

Here are all the logos of the businesses that are sponsoring these events.  You can click on the logos to go to the web pages for each of these businesses.

 Andersen Windows Boot Camp

 Brought To You By

Rhode Island Builders Association seminar

Riverhead Building Supply Contractor seminar  National Lumber seminar Douglas Lumber contractor seminar 
 Reliable Truss and Components  James Hardie Siding Products  Tyvek Parksite
 United Building Supply contractor seminar  LP SmartSide contractor seminar Coventry Lumber Contractor seminar


Don't miss out, register now!

If you would like to attend one or all of these boot camps you need to register for them individually.   Seating will be limited; so make sure you register right away.  Click on the links above for the class or classes you would like to take to see class descriptions and find the registration links.

I hope I’ll see you there!


Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Trade Associations, Success Strategies, Earning More Money, Business Planning

Joining A Contractor Trade Association Should Be An Informed Decision

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Aug 22,2013 @ 06:00 AM

Nicole Allen of R2R Marketing


Guest Blogger:  Nicole Allen is the Social Media Manager at R2R Marketing where she is responsible for maintaining and executing a clearly defined social media strategy to increase brand equity and awareness for current clients.  She is also the group manager for “Home Improvement Industry Specialists” group on LinkedIn.   Nicole is an expert in Social Media Management and has a military background as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman.


Joining A Contractor Trade Association Should Be An Informed Decision

Trade associations for contractors



There Are Many Reasons to Join a Professional Organization…and many questions you may want to ask before you join.  Here are some things to ponder.



Membership in a professional organization is an investment in your professional credibility.

  • There are many organizations out there that will help your credibility. However, there are a few out there that do not. Check them all out before you join no matter how cheap the dues are. Are their agendas in your best interest? Are the key members upstanding in their field and community? They are the face and voice of the association and if they are unprofessional or unethical in their choices, you will be seen the same.


It’s an investment in personal development, and growth.

  • Contractor training by trade associationsChoosing the right association should involve doing a little fact checking. Does the association promote and foster a learning environment or does it seek to push its own agendas on you? Does it offer you training materials that are relevant to your company? Does it offer you a place to network with your industry peers? What is the overall tone of the association? Above all, does it portray a professional appearance? If their agenda is not in-line with yours you may want to re-think your membership.


It’s a place to get and expand your knowledge

  • Membership is a way to stay connected to your professional peers who are going somewhere, and don’t mind sharing knowledge on the journey. The age old adage, “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people” applies here. The association you join should promote professionalism, ethics and training to help you succeed. Many say this is what they do- make sure they actually do it.


As a professional association, they should work hard to help you succeed.

  • You should receive tools (including a high-quality member website) and training to help you grow. They should offer support as you meet professional challenges, and opportunities to develop your business.


Here is an example

Networking at trade association meetings


As a member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), for example, a contractor has access to all-inclusive member resources and tools through the AGC Legislative Action Center and receives member discounts on AGC products and services. Additionally, with a nationwide membership of more than 32,000 firms and a network of 96 chapters, AGC offers its members the opportunity to meet and build relationships with fellow professionals, owners and suppliers.

Can the new association you are checking into offer you something that is comparable? Even if they are charging you low or a no-fee membership, is it really worth it if they cannot help you succeed?


Last thoughts

Choosing a Construction Trade AssociationMembership in trade associations can not only benefit the employees of your company, but it can also project a positive image of your firm to your customers; if you choose your association wisely.  Membership in associations shows a business’ initiative, its engagement in a particular trade and its commitment to staying abreast of current developments in the market. It can also affect you negatively by conducting itself in an unprofessional manner and by throwing business and moral ethics out the window. Look closely at the way their key members hold themselves in a public forum and ask yourself one question- Is that the way you want yourself and your company to be seen?


Topics: Contractor Training, Trade Associations, Differentiating your Business, Guest Blogs, Building Relationships, Sage Advice