With 50% of small businesses failing within 5 years, how did The Resultants beat the math 5-times over?
Did you know that 50% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years? Since our humble beginnings in 1999, The Resultants have beaten that statistic five-fold... But how?
If you’ve been curious about our secret sauce, you’re in luck. In honor of our company’s 25th anniversary this year, we’re getting the inside scoop from the people who’ve made our success their mission. We’re talking of course about our Founders, Steve and Terri Wilcox.
Together, they’re sharing insights from our unique history, our purpose, and our philosophies, offering actionable strategies from each that business owners and leaders can take with them. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how The Resultants beat the math — five times over!
The Resultants’ Formula for Success
Over the years, The Resultants has always leaned on a particular set of rules and ideas that have given us the structure, direction, and strength to reach success. Terri explains: “For every 5 years that our business was in business, we leaned on 5 foundational factors to help us regroup, redefine, and revitalize our organization. In doing so, we learned many, many lessons along the way.”
Here are those five foundational factors:
Have a purpose bigger than ourselves: To serve others is why we’re here.
Create a long-term vision: We believe that our cause and our purpose is worthy enough to last & to create a legacy.
Stand by our core values: Our core values guide our hearts and guard us from going into the ditches.
Find the right people for our team: We deliberately, painstakingly focus on team health.
Be disciplined in executing strategies: We apply this discipline to our decision-making ability, our resiliency to pivot quickly, and our agility to accept and manage change.
While these factors may not be new or revolutionary to some, they’ve been critical to The Resultants’ success. “There is no silver bullet for surviving and thriving with a business,” Terri says. “Ultimately, it’s about practicing and focusing on the fundamentals.”
Our History: The Art of the Pivot
The first five years of business are incredibly challenging. But even when you crest that hill, the challenges don’t stop there. You just become better at handling them.
In 25 years, The Resultants have experienced a major pivot about every 5 years. And then there were many, many individual pivots that happened in between:
Years 1-5: In 1999, Steve and Terri sold their old business and decided to start The Resultants. “We were partners not only in business, but in life,” says Terri.
Years 5-10: After passing the 5-year mark, The Resultants took on new clients and new team members. “One of the most important pivots we made was to find our second in command, Jane Drigans,” says Terri.
Year 10-15: Building on their foundational understanding of Business Operating Systems (BOS), The Resultants launched into using EOSⓇ as a working model. “The brilliance of Gino Wickman’s “Traction” was the simple elegance of combining all those business concepts into one easy method of delivery,” Terri explains.
Year 20-25: At this stage, The Resultants were experiencing the pressures of growth, external threats (such as a global pandemic), and building a bench — all symptoms of a growing business.
Present Day: The Resultants have expanded to 7 states, moved beyond the EOS model, and returned to our roots using our own BOS.
Ultimately, each challenge forced us to find a new way of looking at things and a new way of operating — all of which has propelled us into success. “We’ve learned a heck of a lot!” says Terri. “Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”
Our Purpose and Our Team
While many small businesses focus on financial gains to sustain their organization, maintaining a purpose-driven approach has been the true driving force behind Resultants' success. Steve Wilcox realized the importance of this early on in his career: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do,” he says. “The Resultants is all about growing business value and changing lives.”
For Terri, this purpose is both the shining light that guides business owners, and the life raft in rough waters. “The urgent, critical forces hitting you tend to pull you away from your roots,” she explains. “When the tough times hit you (and they will) you have to dig deep inside of you to pull that purpose front and center.”
This focus on purpose has always been the engine that has powered the company forward. In many ways, it’s allowed us to succeed where so many other small businesses have failed. But The Resultants know you can’t reach success on purpose alone; you need the right people to help along the way, people who believe in your purpose. That’s why “The Team Behind the Team™” has been our mantra since 2006.
“We’ve always used a sailboat racing team to represent our culture,” explains Terri. “In sailing, we all have our special place in the boat where our skills are best used. Using this team approach, it’s remarkable how much we accomplish, how many challenges we overcome — our team is our secret sauce!”
Momentum Over Perfection
Perhaps one of the most important philosophies that has driven us to success has been this: Momentum over perfection.
It’s a belief Steve has always carried with him, even before The Resultants. He recalls: “An early mentor once said to me, ‘Wilcox, you go forward so fast, the mistakes you make are so far behind you that they don't really matter!’”
The comment was certainly an acknowledgment of Steve’s drive, but it left him feeling uncertain. “I wondered, was I careless? Or would crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’ change the trajectory of my success?” he muses.
In the end, he realized that while his approach might cause a mistake or two, a perfectionist is also victim to their own mistakes. “I chose the 80% rule,” says Steve. “Getting it right 80% of the time and maintaining momentum has proven to be a great business growth philosophy and metaphor for my career.”
And Terri is on the same page. “Perfection can freeze your decision making,” she says. “If you wait until you find the ultimate, final answer or solution to an issue, how much does this delay cost your organization? Your team’s dynamic? Your customers?”
Probably more than that mistake you’re afraid of making. So, what’s the lesson? Don’t delay, be decisive, and above all, trust yourself and your team to handle anything that comes your way.
“Decisions – right or wrong – propel businesses forward,” says Steve. “As long as you are moving and have momentum at your back, you can course correct when required.”
Final Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
One of the best parts about learning all those hard lessons along the way is being able to pay it forward. If you’re an aspiring business owner, or maybe you already own your business but are looking for some trusted advice, you’re in the right place.
For Steve, there are three things that have proven to be especially important in all his years of business leadership:
Know thyself: “Only after you fully understand what makes you tick can you surround yourself with complimentary leaders,” he says.
The 3-legged stool of business: “Make sure each of the ‘legs’ are well balanced: Marketing/Sales, Operations/Production and Administration / Finance. If they’re not, the stool won’t stand for long!”
Put the right people in the right roles: “A business’s success depends on the quality of its team,” says Steve. “Understand who’s the gas for the business and who is the brake, and work to balance these opposing forces.”
As for Terri, it’s all about finding a formula that works and having the discipline to stand by it. “The sooner you learn how to work within a business operating system, the sooner you will find the discipline and focus you need to survive and thrive,” she says. “You must be willing to learn along the way, make mistakes, try again, and regroup… but always stay disciplined.”
At the 25-year mark, the Resultants’ story isn’t anywhere close to over — we are looking ahead and creating a vision for the next 25 years. We plan to continue beating the odds and staying ahead in our industry by staying true to our values.
“Lifelong learning has been foundational for The Resultants’ success, allowing us to pivot as business conditions dictate,” says Steve.
But it’s also about leaving things better than when we found it, changing lives for the better. “We believe in building teams of great people that positively change lives,” adds Terri. “We make business operating models go further, faster, so they can thrive and sustain over time.”
If you’ve been a part of our journey these past 25 years, we want to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude. Thank you for your partnership, your support, and your hard work. Here’s to the next 25 years!
Come Along For the Ride
If you’re interested in working with us to take your business further, faster, we want to hear from you. Give us a call or send us an email to set up a free consultation so we can learn about your organization, your goals, and help you determine if a partnership with The Resultants is right for you!