NTCA Business Manual

NTCA has a strong focus on training and education for the technical aspects of your business. But we also realize that being in business isn’t solely about the physical,hands-on aspect of setting tile – if you are to be a successful business person, having a clear, well-crafted business plan can mean the difference between just getting by and thriving in your work.

To that end, NTCA has created a Business Manual for the small contractor – a publication that is currently under review by our Business Committee. Elements of the business plan contained in the document detail:

  • Executive Summary
  • General Company Description
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organization
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Financial History and Analysis
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices
  • Refining the Plan

With the recent addition of two new NTCA staff members – Stephanie Samulski, Director of Technical Services, and Avia Haynes, Director of Marketing & Communications, the Business Committee will be moving ahead to update, refine and prepare this manual for widespread use within the membership. Stay tuned!

Enter.Net Web Services

Want to have a web presence but not sure where to start? A new NTCA member benefit, family-owned Enter.Net, based in Allentown, Pa., specializes in state-of-the-art web design, SEO (search engine optimization) and social media. Enter.Net was voted “Best Web Design Company” for 13 years in a row by McCall’s Reader’s Choice. They design and host over 1,000 websites and are currently running a 40% discount off all business web services for NTCA members.

Choose from these services

Web Design – Enter.Net ensures that your web presence looks amazing and is responsive on ANY platform – computer, tablet, and phone and merges platforms to bring the work you do on social media to a company-specific and branded “home” on the web.

Search Engine Optimization – Be found easily by prospective customers, stay ahead of your competition, and get top rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing with monthly ranking reports – all at an affordable price.

Social Media Marketing Strategies – Use social media efficiently and effectively with Enter.Net’s expert marketing strategies and tools that allow you to reach all your audiences with one click.

Custom Marketing Media Packages –Integrate your presence and your message starting with your logo, moving to print pieces, email blasts, custom video products and billboard and ad design. Everything you need to keep your company in front of potential customers.

Find out more at http://www2.enter.net. Not yet a NTCA member? Contact Jim Olson at
[email protected] for information about membership.

Partnering for Success voucher program

One of the benefits of becoming a member of the NTCA is the “Partnering for Success” program. The manufacturing sponsors of this program feel strongly about the value NTCA provides and have agreed to offset your investment by providing these product vouchers. As a paid new or renewing contractor member of the NTCA you will choose $2,000 of FREE product vouchers from four categories of the $6,960 that is available. Each year the program will continue to grow as more sponsors come on board.

NTCA members applaud vouchers

This is a highly heralded benefit. Hear what a few NTCA members have to say:

“Aside from the obvious joy of free stuff, the program has allowed me to try some different products I might not have been able to before,” said Jason Jones, owner of Jones Tile, Columbiana, Ala. “Also, it’s helped to expose me to products I might not have known even existed.”

Matt Byars of Tiling Solutions, LLC, Gaffney, S.C., said, “The voucher program has turned into a rewarding opportunity for me. It allows me to try new products that I normally wouldn’t, as well as get some I am comfortable using. This year I will be able to provide 90% of the materials for a small bathroom remodel to a client who is down on their luck, and could use a helping hand. It’s a win for the client, a win for me, and a win for the industry!”

How to select your vouchers

Receiving your vouchers isn’t automatic – you need to select what you’d like, so you can tailor your selections to what’s best for your business. How does it work? Once you sign up as a contractor member, you’ll receive an email with a custom link to the vouchers. Go to the link, select vouchers from all four categories up to the Section Allowance for each category and submit your selections by November 15. You’ve got to choose all your vouchers at once and remember, vouchers expire December 15 of every year, so joining early in the year gives you the most time to use them. 

Here are the categories and sponsors for 2018: 

Category 1: Tile OptionsSection Allowance $600  –Sponsors include: American Olean, Crossville, Daltile, Emser Tile, Florida Tile, Marazzi, Metropolitan Ceramics, The Tile Shop.

Category 2: Tools/ Heat Systems Section Allowance $350 –Sponsors include: Alpha, ATR, Gundlach, Mark E. Industries, Miracle Sealants, NTCA Tile Tool, Nuheat, Porcelain Plus Speedbit, QEP, Rubi, SunTouch, Warmly Yours, Just Warm It.

Category 3: Sundries Section Allowance $400 – Sponsors include: Aqua Mix, Blanke, Ceramic Tool Co., Compotite, Contractors Direct, Hardiebacker/Home Depot, Hollspa, MAPEI, MD Pro, NAC Products, National Gypsum, Noble Company, NTCA Online Store, NTCA University, Oceancare Enhancer, Oceancare Sealer, Proflex, Schluter Systems, Trimaco, USG, VanHearron, wedi.

Category 4: Setting MaterialsSection Allowance $650 –Sponsors include: ARDEX, Bostik, Custom Building Products, C-Cure, LATICRETE, MAPEI, MERKRETE, TEC, Texrite. 

Here’s a detailed list of what’s available. http://www.tileletter.com/vouchers/. 

Do you have more questions? Call Jim Olson at 601-942-2996 or email [email protected].

CardConnect – NTCA Benefits Box – May 2018

A new benefit from NTCA is CardConnect. This credit card payment processing company gives you an easy way to process payments and manage your merchant account.

CardConnect offers best-in-class payments technology to ensure accepting debit and credit card payments is simple, secure and affordable.

NTCA members enjoy a wide range of services from CardConnect at deeply discounted prices. You can easily add secure payment acceptance capabilities into any application, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to process payments. Card Connect offers developer tools, enterprise solutions as well as ISV integrations, for point-to-point encryption. 

With Card Connect, transactions are protected with highly effective security solutions that ensure PCI compliance. A full range of reporting tools makes keeping track of transactions easy and efficient, from your office or on the road. 

For more information about CardConnect, or about joining NTCA, please contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or phone 601-942-2996. 

Benefits Box – April 2018 – Insperity

Insperity System Integrator Program: a new HR solution from NTCA

Business challenges have HR solutions. Insperity®, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 31 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer a comprehensive suite of products and services. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. 

Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2017 revenues of $3.3 billion, Insperity operates in 68 offices throughout the United States.

The partnership between Insperity and NTCA provides preferred member pricing on select Insperity® HR solutions.  As an NTCA member company, you can customize your back office from the many products and services Insperity offers. Visit http://bit.ly/2HPDyF3 and scroll down to learn more about Insperity while exploring member benefits on the NTCA Why Join? For information about membership, contact Jim Olson at [email protected]. 

NTCA Benefits Box – March 2018


NTCA offers numerous benefits for non-members

There are a tremendous number of benefits of being a NTCA member, not the least of which is the ability to participate in the new Members-Only Regional Training Programs touring the country right now.

However, NTCA offers a number of features that even benefit non-members. Any contractor or installer can attend one of the many free NTCA Workshops or CTEF Workshops that crisscross the country, bringing information and education to local markets. TileLetter magazine is free with a membership, but it can also be accessed online for free at tileletter.com or obtained for the price of mailing for non-members.

The NTCA Reference Manual, part of the triumvirate of industry documents that include the TCNA Handbook of Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and the ANSI manual, can be obtained by clicking on the link to the NTCA Online Store, located on the tile-assn.com home page. It brings you information about many tile issues in a problem-cause-cure format, and many other important resources that add to the success of your jobs.

Under the Education & Certification tab on tile-assn.com, you can access other free resources – Webinars (and archived webinars about an array of pertinent topics), free educational videos through NTCA’s YouTube channel, the NTCA Position Statement library, and Question Mark videos in which NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein answers common questions about tile installation and more. Non-members can also view our monthly TileTV video magazines at tile-assn.com website under News & Awards.

For more information about all the benefits of being a member, visit www.tile-assn.com/?page=Membership. Networking, camaraderie, support, technical advice, the ability to truly shape the industry and help learn and teach industry-approved installation practices are all some of the things membership in NTCA brings. Check it out today.

For more information on membership, contact Jim Olson at [email protected]

Newest NTCA member benefit: Zlien

One of NTCA’s newest member benefits is Zlien, a company that assists over 24,000 contractors nationwide in protecting lien rights and reducing financial risk.

Zlien’s mission is to empower successful construction projects by getting the lien rights “mess” out of the way. Zlien’s website (zlien.com) explains that “Mechanics lien and bond claim rights are connected to every payment in construction – a $960 billion a year industry. By helping material suppliers, lenders, and everybody in between easily manage these rights, we strive to facilitate successful projects, smooth payments, and happy people.
“Our mission is to enable all project stakeholders to protect their finances and succeed in their jobs, all without a drop of stress.”

Building a fair payment process for the construction industry, Zlien’s cloud-based platform makes lien rights easy. Construction firms, contractors, suppliers, and other project stakeholders nationwide use Zlien to eliminate the administrative headaches and legal guesswork associated with lien waiver exchanges, preliminary notices, and mechanics lien compliance.

Zlien employs what it calls “The Lien Genome™” that the site explains like this:

“Four out of 5 construction businesses believe that managing lien security and lien waivers is hard. It’s no wonder, since lien laws around the United States demand more than 100,000 combinations of deadlines, documents, dates, and other requirements. We’ve mapped this landscape of lien laws, calling it the Lien Genome™. With a few basic pieces of project information, the Lien Genome™ will instantly explain how to protect lien rights and exchange proper lien waivers. Our goal isn’t to help you understand lien laws. With zlien, you’ll never think about lien laws again.”

Visit the Member Benefits section of the NTCA website at www.tile-assn.com to find out more about how Zlien can help you. Interested in becoming a member to make the most of this and other member benefits? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] tile-assn.com.

Members only: NTCA Regional Training Program schedule set for 2018

In our last issue, we reported on the pilot member-only NTCA Regional Training Program held in October in New Berlin, Wis., developed by NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein and NTCA Training and Education Coordinator Becky Serbin. The program was a huge success and provided 100% free, hands-on experience and training for a group of 20 attendees, supported by NTCA trainers and staff from manufacturer partners.

As a result of this acclaimed event, many NTCA affiliate members are offering massive support to a full program of events in 2018, with Daltile and Crossville leading the bunch. In addition, ARDEX, Bostik, CUSTOM, LATICRETE, MAPEI, Merkrete and TEC/HB Fuller are supporting the program with financial donations. These donations are making possible a schedule of 20 dates for regional training at all regions across the nation. Thirteen will be open to local NTCA members, with eight events slated for Five Star Members only.

This program differs from the NTCA Workshop program in that they are all-day events, exclusive to NTCA members only. In contrast, NTCA Workshops are evening programs, open for anyone to attend.

The curriculum will address either of the following topics:

Standards-based installation of Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Panels/Slabs

Really big, thin tiles are here to stay. In fact if you don’t get on board with learning how to install them based on the brand new tile industry standards, you may soon find yourself on the outside looking in on some wonderful new contracting and installation opportunities. This program is your chance to learn about the basics of the tile industry standards and get an in-depth look at the new standards and methods for installing Gauged Porcelain Tile and Panels (GPTP). You will learn why this tile format is the wave of the future, how it is made, designs it is used for and the special tools, setting materials and techniques required to install it.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions you will have answered during the GPTP program:

  • What is a Gauged Porcelain Tile or a Gauged Porcelain Panel (GPTP)?
  • What is ANSI, TCNA, ASTM?
  • What are ANSI A108.19 and ANSI A137.3?
  • Why do I want to know how to install GPTP?
  • What are all of these specialty tools and why do I need them to install GPTP?
  • Why do I need special training and a trained team to install GPTP?
  • How is this going to help me make money?
  • What is Qualified Labor and why does it matter to me?
Standard Practices: Substrate Preparation and Large Format Tile

This program will take attendees on an introductory journey into the tile industry standards found in ANSI A108 and the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. Attendees will learn how to navigate and use the ANSI A108 standards and TCNA Handbook, then will use their new knowledge to address some of real-world challenges in practical hands-on installations focusing on the all-important process of substrate examination and preparation for installing large-format tile.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions you will have answered during the Standard Practices for Substrates and LFT program:

  • What is ANSI, TCNA, ASTM?
  • What are ANSI A108, ANSI A118, A136, A137.1 and A137.2?
  • Why do I need to know about ANSI standards?
  • What is the TCNA Handbook?
  • Why do I need the TCNA Handbook?
  • How do I use the TCNA Handbook?
  • What are the different kinds of substrate and why are there standards for them?
  • Why do I need to know how to examine and prepare a substrate?
  • How do I properly prepare a substrate?
  • Why aren’t some techniques good enough for fixing a substrate and setting tile?
  • How is this going to help me make money?
  • What is Qualified Labor and why does it matter to me?

NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein will present each program, with occasional assistance from NTCA Trainer/Presenters Robb Roderick or Luis Bautista, and CTEF Director of Training Scott Carothers. Local contractor members may also assist.

To register for the free Regional Training Program in your area, visit www.tile-assn.com. For information about joining NTCA, contact Jim Olson at [email protected].

Monthly Webinars, TileTV benefit everyone in the industry

Some of the benefits of NTCA extend beyond the NTCA membership. Such are NTCA free webinars and the Tile-TV digital news magazine.

Twice monthly, you can tune in to free hour-long webinars on pertinent topics to the industry, presented by experts.  Sessions in the series are individually sponsored by ARDEX, Coverings ’18, Custom Building Products, Emser, LATICRETE,  MAPEI, Schluter, and TEC. If you can’t tune in during the day, no problem! NTCA archives all the webinars so all you have to do is go to www.tile-assn.com/?page=webinars, register, and you can watch any of 50 (at this writing) webinars. Some of the webinars include: Sealers for Tile, Grout & Natural Stone; Superior Tile Format, The New Generation of Tile; Barrier Free Showers; Strategies for Social Media; Benefits of Precast Cementitious Terrazzo Tile; Membranes and much, much more.

Take a look! Mike Shoffner, marketing services coordinator for Ironrock, Inc., called these webinars “very educational and informative.” We think you’ll agree.

NTCA also produces a monthly news magazine called TileTV. View it at www.iwantmytiletv.com and learn about industry events in a lively news magazine style. The most recent show at this writing – August 30, 2017, has the 2017 Italian Tile Expo at the center of its program, explaining that “NTCA Representatives will be delivering presentations at the upcoming Cersaie Ceramic Tile Trade Fair in Bologna, Italy. Meetings regarding large format and gauged porcelain tile will also be held with Assoposa and leaders of the EUF. Tune in for more details.”

Coverings, Daltile, LATICRETE, ARDEX, Custom Building Products, Bellota, MAPEI, Tile Shop, Lackmond all sponsor TileTV and make it possible for NTCA to bring you this news magazine.

In addition, a brand new segment for Tile-TV started with this episode. NTCA Training director, Mark Heinlein, answers questions from viewers in “Question Mark”. Tune in to this punchy monthly news show and view archived shows from 2017 and 2016 or follow at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tiletv.

Interested in learning more about NTCA? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or visit NTCA’s Membership page  at  www.tilessn.com/?page=Membership.

OCTOBER 2017: NTCA BENEFITS BOX

Partnering for Success:
Choose up to $2,000 in vouchers from four new categories

Partnering for Success (PFS) is NTCA’s highly successful voucher program, which gives back to members more than threefold the amount of their membership in setting materials and sundries used by installers every day. Manufacturer partners agree to reimburse vouchers of designated amounts of materials for new and returning members. This allows members to get a discount or free items for some of the materials they use the most, or some of the materials they’ve wanted to try, basically risk free.

This year, the PFS is making a change to four categories: Tile,
Tools/Heating Systems, Sundries and Setting Materials. With the growth of the NTCA – nearly 1,400 members strong now – it became imperative to change the selection process to give exposure to some of some of the smaller participating manufacturers in addition to the well-known and established manufacturers who have been supporting this program for many years. This led to the creation of the four-category system that will be instituted in 2018.

NTCA is aware that people aren’t really fond of change. To soften the impact of changing to a four category system, NTCA increased the dollar value from $1,800 in vouchers per member to $2,000 in vouchers per member – more than three times the value of the $600 NTCA annual membership. Every member of the NTCA can find at least $600 worth of free materials that will offset the membership cost. In addition to the vouchers program, membership dues give the NTCA the ability to continue the quest to promote qualified labor and certification, elevating the industry and the trade.

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