Where many remodeling companies retrenched in 2007, Glen Miracle (right) and his partners at NVS Kitchen & Bath ramped up, big time. They hired a marketing firm to focus on past clients; expanded sales staff with professionals from the business-to-business arena; and beefed up the training and number of production staff — all to strengthen remodeling sales to make up for a slowdown in cabinet sales.

So far, so good. In the usually slow month of January, remodeling-only sales broke NVS records for any month, a strong start toward the division's year-end goal of $7.5 million, up from $5.3 million in 2007.

Miracle started the company as NVS (Northern Virginia Specialists) Contractors in 1986. The name change came in 2001, after brothers Rich (left) and Scott Perkins came on board to grow the company's cabinet-distribution division. (Scott left in early 2008.) Revenue skyrocketed, but referrals and closing ratios dropped. “We basically cleaned house and went back to find people that cared about our customers,” Miracle says.

Among other changes, the owners created systems for every aspect of the business, opened a 5,000-square-foot “one-stop” showroom, instituted a three-month sales training program, and finessed a fast-track design/build process. Miracle expects “phenomenal” success from a referral incentive program that makes clients eligible for luxurious getaways.

- Leah Thayer