Owners of independent residential plumbing, electrical and HVAC contracting businesses strive to be on the cutting edge of sales and service, while keeping their expenses at a manageable level. Sourcing good and affordable vendors can help you increase profits while meeting the needs of your customers. They can provide the right products and programs from equipment and parts to inventory solutions and software, marketing and more. But how do you find them and how do you know they’re reputable?

Good contractors provide exceptional service and they expect it in return, so they do their due diligence, spending countless hours researching companies to find the best within their price range. They take time away from the daily operation of their business and they take a chance every time they sign on the dotted line.

As manager of the Strategic Partner Program at Nexstar® Network, I have the pleasure of tapping our members into the products and services they need FAST. My team does the research to find the best products and services in the industry. Ninety percent of our members give us the honor of serving and saving them time and money by building relationships with qualified companies and holding them accountable for best practices. We check out the companies, their financial status and their competition in the marketplace. Then, we give money back to our members when they use our program. Last year, over $1 million was paid to Nexstar members in strategic partner rebates and $1 million of discounts were captured.

Our Nexstar member contractors are the best in the world and they’re our priority. That’s why we recently launched SP Direct, a communication connection that gives members priority service. Have you thought about utilizing a strategic partner program? Julie Wieman, owner of MacGregor Plumbing & Heating in Harbor Springs Michigan did and she generated extra revenue by doing it. “I use a lot of partners and the Nexstar Strategic Partner Program is made up of quality, professional and dependable vendors that I may not have found on my own,” says Wieman. “For example, Wonderlic screens my job applicants and codes them with a color system, allowing me to quickly decide who I will interview. If they’re red, I don’t bother interviewing them. This process has saved me a lot of time and money. We’ve had our biggest rebate year yet. The $14,800 that has come back to me has covered my membership two times over.”

As you forge ahead to grow your business in 2012, I encourage you to find a strategic partner program that is responsive, revenue generating and researched.

To help you do that, I invite you to download a PDF entitled, “Get Connected,” containing additional information on how a strategic partner program can save you time and money.