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Time to Climb out of the Fishhook

Co-Authors - Steve & Terri Wilcox - May 2020
In this final installment of a three-part series, we dive a little deeper into the "Ride it Out" phase. If you missed the first two, first check out Three Phases for Today’s Small Business, then read through Disrupt the Disruption to get the full picture. In the Ride it Out phase, we're attempting to do business after having made quick,…
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Disrupt the Disruption

Co-Authors - Steve & Terri Wilcox - May 2020
As we described in the blog, Three Phases for Today's Small Business, businesses are working through 3 phases: Sort Out, Ride Out and Dig Out (of the fishhook). For many, we are past Sort Out and have moved into Ride Out. Even though we’ve clarified current reality and sorted out huge amounts of resources, info and options, it doesn’t diminish…
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Keeping Teams Engaged in a Virtual Setting

Author - Peter Beaumont - May 2020
Virtual meetings are nothing new. In fact, they've been around for some time. Do you remember the start of teleconference calls? It wasn't that long ago! At the time, it seemed a novel concept to connect people without travel barriers. However, many of the same issues that arise during in-person meetings such as no clear agenda, people arriving late or…
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Three Phases for Today’s Small Business

Co-Authors - Steve & Terri Wilcox - April 2020
Companies are getting back to basics in order to survive, sustain and thrive. We all know where we are most at risk. Try thinking of these challenging times as phases. It's time to be proactive. How will you sort it out, ride it out and level the fishhook as much as you can? PHASE I - SURVIVE: The ‘Sort Out’…
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Fearless Leadership in These Tough Times

Author - Steve Wilcox - March 2020
Our business world faces disruptions, the likes of which we haven’t experienced before now. It’s time for leaders to step up. What does it take to be a leader as we face the unknowns and chaos? Resiliency and Optimism. That’s YOU, right now, TODAY. Are you up for the challenge? When the coronavirus first hit, few business leaders imagined we’d…
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Will Your Vision Ensure Your Company’s Survival?

Author - Jerry Olson - February 2020
Every business faces an existential dilemma. Its founder(s) conceived the business with a plan for where they want to go. They’ve dreamed of making a difference in the world but in most cases, that dream never becomes reality. Small Business Administration (SBA) statistics show only half of new businesses are still operating five years after they start and only one…
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Go Big or Go Home with a Powerful Vision

Author - Chad Haldeman - Jan 2020
The Big Picture – Begin with the End in Mind! When it's time to build a company's growth plan, goals are often created in a vacuum by its leader(s) and based on his or her financial goals. Or, plans are built primarily based on historical facts and performance using a simple percentage increase. Both of these approaches have merit as…
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Setting Successful Goals

Author - Peter Beaumont - Dec 2019
“Oh well, I’ll just set the goals again for next year”, I said to myself. It was December and while reviewing my goals for the last year, I realized I had only achieved 3 of the 15 I had set. Yikes. That was definitely disappointing. At least I was in good company. According to the University of Scranton, a whopping…
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Perfecting Your Message

Guest Author - David Mann - Nov 2019
Ultimately, what’s the goal we’re all chasing? Closing the sale. Plain and simple. That’s where everything we do in our businesses is aimed. We’d love it if everyone who heard about our products or services would simply see the greatness and sign on. But we know that doesn’t happen. You can have the most valuable and unique services imaginable but…
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Finish Strong in the 5th Quarter

Author - Terri Wilcox - Oct 2019
If you've ever attended a UW-Badger football home game, I hope you stayed for the 5th Quarter. It is legendary. The game just isn’t over until the Badger Band stops playing and the crowd stops dancing. Even the opposing team’s band members, cheer squads and alumni join in. It’s a blast and the band always puts on a great show.…
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How Great Leaders Engage Their Followers

Author - Jerry Olson - Sept 2019
A leader’s habits and behaviors have a significant impact on the engagement and effectiveness of their followers. In fact, at least 10 of the 12 core elements of engagement identified by Gallup in the book First, Break All the Rules, are directly or indirectly dependent on the leader’s behaviors and habits. Good leaders plan ahead, prioritize and act with forethought…
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“Followed by All” Culture Chaos

Author - Steve Wilcox - Sept 2019
I once worked with a Leadership Team at a manufacturing company that prided themselves on top-notch processes and procedures. They shared with me their SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) and spoke glowingly about how they followed procedures, thus improving efficiencies overall.  At the same time, they were also discussing an issue with work output on the floor. It seemed one of…
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Processes: Why Are They Important and Why Should I Care?

Author - Peter Beaumont - August 2019
As I sat down in front of this blank digital page with a completion deadline looming over me, I had no idea where to start. So I typed a title. Great, now I just knew the subject was something about the importance of processes. After a few minutes, a light bulb went off! I realized I needed a process to…
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Accelerate Business with Solid Core Processes

Author - Jerry Olson - July 2019
A company's Core Processes can provide a competitive advantage in accelerating it beyond its competitors. Far too often, a business struggling to grow neglects this key aspect of business. We see this frequently in small businesses where the owner can see the scope of the business. He or she often assumes that their employees know what to do and how…
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Using Culture to Drive Performance

Author - Chad Haldeman - June 2019
It was a classic David vs. Goliath situation. We were part of a larger company but in our market, we were a distant second in terms of organizational size and market share. Our competitor had dominated the market for many years with legacy brands and tenured sales and operations teams. As we evaluated our options during strategic planning, becoming number…
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The Recruitment Balancing Act

Author - Terri Wilcox - May 2019
There has been a shift in today’s tight labor market that's forced us to think about how we view our employees and our working relationships. In fact, RiseSmart recently reported the employee relationship economy is on the rise. RiseSmart states, “it's emerging in response to the evolving concepts of work: how it's done, where, by whom, for how long and…
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A Reason to Celebrate

Author - Jane Drigans - March 2019
Has March Madness taken hold of you yet? It’s been described as “one of the biggest, most exciting and most fun events in all of sports.”  With the NCAA Final Four men’s championship coming to Minneapolis, there's no doubt there will be great displays of teamwork and much cause for celebration around here. Whether or not you’re a sports fan,…
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Avoid Failure by Creating Focus

Author - Chad Haldeman - Feb 2019
Epic Fail “What happened?” Susan President asked, obviously upset at the team’s lack of performance. Just 90 days prior, her leadership team had devised a plan that included the key areas of focus needed to drive the company’s performance for the year ahead. They had picked 10 quarterly goals they felt would lead to successful performance. Now, reviewing their performance…
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Go Further with Faster Decision-Making

Author - Jerry Olson - Jan 2019
Do you have a vision of growing your business into more than it is today but feel like you keep getting stuck? Accomplishing your goal of a bigger and better future will require changes to how your business is run. Hand-in-hand with those changes come all the decisions to be made. Unfortunately, as businesses grow and become more complex, especially…
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Why It’s Important to Laugh at Work

Author - Peter M. Beaumont - November 2018
When I was just starting out in my career, it was frowned upon to laugh at work. Work was serious business! And it still is but sometimes, work can get a little too serious. According to a 2007 study performed by University of Missouri-Columbia researcher Chris Robert, humor “has meaningful impact on cohesiveness in the workplace and communication quality among workers.…
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The Entrepreneur’s Foundation

Author - Terri Wilcox - September 2018
The basic Merriam-Webster definition for entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”. The Resultants tend to question that definition. If you take it at face value, then all owners would be considered an entrepreneur. However, from our perspective, that definition is too general. Our experience working with owners of small and medium-sized businesses…
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People Strategies in a Full Employment Economy

Author - Jerry Olson - June 2018
How One Company Achieved a Nearly-Full Employee Capacity During a Full Employment Economy Like many businesses, an RFB client was having a difficult time hiring for a few key positions that pay well but are hard to fill. As a small business, having 12 open positions was severely affecting their productivity. Fast forward one year and they have achieved and…
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Why DIY with EOS: How Self-Implementing Companies Achieve Success

Author - Steve Wilcox - May 2018
The Entrepreneurial Operating System®, more commonly known as EOS or Traction, has helped thousands of business owners get what they want out of their business. While “what they want” may be unique to every owner, the process and system is the same - making the goal more achievable regardless of industry, geography and company size. The EOS model consists of…
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Why Set an Impossible Goal?

Author - Katie Pierce - April 2018
The 2018 Winter Olympics have been over for a few months now and though most of the excitement has died down, there’s one Olympian I keep thinking about, women’s half-pipe participant, Elizabeth Swaney. Swaney didn’t receive a medal. In fact, she placed dead last in her women’s half-pipe competition. Yet, when her run was over, she turned to smile and…
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Right People. Right Seats. What Does it Really Mean?

Author - Paul Moen - April 2018
We often hear company leaders credit their success to having “good people,” but what does that mean? Simply put, it’s about getting the right people in the right seats, which is easier said than done. Paul Moen explores this concept a bit further in his article featured on the BankBeat guest blog.
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What Can a Franchise Teach Us About Our Own Business Model?

Author - Chad Haldeman - March 2018
Franchise operations account for almost 10% of small business transactions in the U.S., which is no surprise knowing what an attractive acquisition target they can be. So what is it that makes a franchise such a target for buyers? RFB Business Advisor, Chad Haldeman, answers this question and more in his Irish Titan guest blog post.

The Leadership Gap in the Green Industry

Author - Terri Wilcox - Feb 2018
Are you feeling the impact of an industry-wide leadership gap? In her article originally published in the February issue of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) Scoop, Terri Wilcox identifies five leadership challenges that many business leaders are facing as over 3.6 million Baby Boomers set to retire in the next few years. Check out pages 18-23 for insights…
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5 Tips to Improve Team Issue Solving

Author - Terri Wilcox - Feb 2018
How good is your team at solving issues? Are they disciplined about going after a solution as quickly as possible? Problem solving is a required skill for any team and the recipe for success is made up of: the belief that “my team owns the problem”, the courage to make decisions amidst complexity and lack of information, and the openness…

Adjusting Your Succession Planning Mindset

Author - Chad Haldeman - December 2017
Succession: Learning a Painful Lesson As a young division leader of a large media organization, I had assembled a strong team of managers who had performed together at a very high level for some time. We were making it happen! However, there was one manager, a fairly recent hire, who had strong technical knowledge but was out of step with…

Growth Through Acquisition

Guest Author: William Ludwig - November 2017
How do you know the best time to grow your business through acquisition? For business owners, one of the most important decisions made is how to best grow your business. However, growth can be a complicated proposition. How can you best achieve your desired growth goals? By adding more clients, more staff, new product and/or service offerings? Expanding into new…
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