Nexstar (formerly Contractors 2000) was founded in 1992 when 16 independent service providers recognized the need for sharing business growth and development systems. The Nexstar Super Meeting held in Atlanta, September 30 to October 2 would have made the founders proud, as 374 registered attendees shared best practices.
The meeting began with a "turbocharged" opening as 12 Nexstar staff members danced their way to the stage. Greg Niemi, president/COO began by telling the group, "This Super Meeting #24 has broken all attendance records to date."
Recent accomplishments noted by Niemi included 930 people trained so far this year (not including the two Super Meetings), and an adherence to the Nexstar member-delivered training philosophy 10 of 15 breakout sessions at the meeting were presented by members.
Brian Beaulieu, executive director of the Institute for Trend Research, and a nationally recognized economist advised the HVAC and plumbing audience as to what leading economic indicators-they should be watching for in order to see the economic future before their competitors do. Beaulieu expects to see an improving economy through 2008, with some soft spots along the way, and another recession between 2008 and 2010.
Tab Hunter of Tab Hunter Plumbing Heating and Cooling, Hendersonville, TN and John O'Connor of O'Connor Plumbing and Heating, educated and entertained the group during the general working sessions. Hunter rolled out the new Nexstar invoicing system that integrates all aspects of the Nexstar service systems process. Hunter described how the new invoice could be used for lead generation, as a service agreement selling tool, inventory management tool, a source of marketing demographics, and how it can be used to capture financial and credit information.
John O'Connor told the audience that the typical HVAC or plumbing company only renews 20 to 30% of its service agreement customers. The average service customer is worth nearly $15,000 per year. He ended with an interesting point: Familiar, repeat customers are just more fun to work with.
On the Side with Nexstars Greg Niemi
"I've had my eyes opened to a multitude of branding issues. Some manufacturers have shot themselves in the foot because theyve not stayed loyal to their primary distribution channels.
Nexstar has been committed to independent service providers since our inception. There will be no franchising, no roll ups or consolidation.
Weve tracked over 90% retention of members for 10 years by providing member-led training and relevant marketing support services. Retention is our most important goal. We expect to expand into other home service markets by 2007.
In three years, well be facing the same issues we face today especially, finding qualified people. Technology, such as hand-held PDAs, will become more widely used in our businesses and more critical to dealing with day-to-day issues."