Nexstar Network® recently hosted its Super Meeting in Philadelphia, where it introduced the Levels Project to nearly 500 members. Nexstar asked members to be honest about the current revenue level of their businesses, which is the first step in the growth process.

“Growth isn’t just about the business owner,” said Jack Tester, president and CEO, Nexstar. “It’s about the employees and the community.”

Nexstar emphasized the importance and far-reaching effect of business growth by organizing members into $2 million, $5 million, $10 million, and $20 million groups. Each group was assigned color-coded badges, which helped differentiate the various earning levels.

“It had a different feel than other Super Meetings we’ve been to,” said Nexstar member Shanna Blanton, owner of Blanton’s Heating & Air in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She said that seeing what a $10 million or $20 million mark looks like on paper and getting the action plans at the meeting will help expedite the process of getting her business to the next level.

During the breakout sessions, these revenue groups sat in five different sessions led by Nexstar trainers and business coaches. Although the sessions were tailored to each revenue level, the session leaders all focused on the same five pillars of growth: owner ability; profitability; promotable talent; goals, systems, and behaviors; and managing change.

“This year’s meeting was, in one word: exceptional,” said member Rob Cartelli, owner of Outstanding Plumbing and Heating in Smithtown, New York. “It was broken down into revenue categories, so they spoke my language; they didn’t speak at a slower or faster pace than I needed for me, my team, and my shop.”

The Super Meeting is not the end-all, be-all of this resource for Nexstar members. Dan Friesen, Nexstar master trainer, described one video clip he presented as only 0.006 percent of what members can expect to see in the e-learning portion of the project. There are 96 e-learning modules currently available to members, each tailored to a specific business aspect in a revenue level that relates to the five pillars of growth. Every module features interviews with Nexstar members currently operating their businesses at that level.

Friesen spoke to members about profitability, promotable talent and goals, and systems and behaviors. He emphasized the importance of profitability before growth and implored members to keep their eyes open for their next great employee, reminding them that their own customer service experiences are valuable measuring tools in hiring. He spoke to the importance of workplace culture in retaining those excellent hires.

“Good people are like bricks,” Friesen said. “They’re the building blocks of an organization, but, like bricks, people by themselves don’t have any strength. They need mortar — the stuff that holds us together. Culture is the mortar.”

Publication date: 11/16/2015 

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