When you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than Country Style Donuts in Hanover Park, IL. Country Style Donuts bakes fresh, hand-cut donuts in addition to having a dazzling variety of ice creams, milkshakes, and breakfast sandwiches. Manan Joshi, the company’s founder, was looking to expand his business through the Next Level Northwest (NLNW) Business Accelerator Program. With the help of coach Sybil Ege, Country Style Donuts hired two new employees and projected 23% revenue growth. When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shelter-in-place requirements that limited how Country Style Donuts could operate, the company was able to leverage strategies they had developed during their NLNW engagement to stay engaged with the community, and is gearing up for a return to full operations.
Lakeshore Title, established in 1997, provides title insurance for real estate transactions in nearly every county in Illinois, and competes with some of the largest title companies in the Chicago area. CEO Min Bowler saw an opportunity to leverage Next Level Northwest's coaching to help refine and elevate their marketing presence, including redesigning the company's website to make them more attractive in a competitive marketplace. Following the program, Lakeshore Title's revenue is up 30% over the previous year, and the new website is not only engaging potential customers, but also helping attract new employees.
Clothes make the man. It’s a statement that Jeff Staten and Steve Long, co-founders of Hoffman Estates screen printers Blink Tees, have embraced in their business. “Blink Tees doesn’t just print custom t-shirts. We put your logo or idea on anything,” say the founders. Their desire to grow their business and make an impact in the community drove them to apply for Next Level Northwest’s (NLNW) Business Accelerator Program.
Acclaimed chef Julia Child would often remark how no one is born a great cook, but rather that one learns by doing. It’s a sentiment that’s equally applicable to entrepreneurship and led John Eggert, CEO and Executive Chef at Relish Catering Kitchen in Schaumburg to join Next Level Northwest’s (NLNW) Business Accelerator Program.
People don’t always set out to be first. Typically, they set out to do something they love. This was the case for Tom Tkaczyk, owner of Rada Auto in Elk Grove Village and the first graduate of Next Level Northwest’s (NLNW) Business Accelerator Program.