About Us > How the program was developed
Secrets of America’s Most Successful Companies is based on an extensive five stage process designed to identify the Success Factors for small to mid-size businesses.
What do successful small to mid-size companies do that others miss? We started by casting our net very widely.  
  • Research - we reviewed the scientific research that has been conducted to isolate possible Success Factors.
  • Experts - we reviewed insights from high profile international experts as well as highly regarded but lesser publicized individuals.
  • CEOs - we talked in depth with hundreds of CEOs and reviewed surveys on related topics.
  • Experience - we also drew on our own considerable personal experience in operational and management roles as well as assisting companies in their efforts.
The research involves data from literally thousands of companies with intensive analysis of a core group of over 700 companies from every industry category.

The result was a large pool of potential Success Factors that provided the fuel for Stage 2.
What we learned from Stage 1 was filtered through three rigorous screens:
  • Is it True? - Does the potential Success Factor hold up to scrutiny? If followed, will it produce the desired results?
  • Is it Relevant? - Great advice for a start-up or a Fortune 500 company is of little use at this stage of growth. If the finding was not directly applicable we screened it out.
  • Is it Actionable? - Is it something that you can do something about? Can you actually implement it? If not, we screened it out.

Next we organized the results, putting like concepts together. We also made the language consistent and easy to understand. All the jargon was removed.

Each Success Factor is made up of a series of Components and detailed criteria that describe and clarify the factor. Our goal is for each factor to be crystal clear and specific so they are easy to understand and put into place.
To validate the Success Factors we studied a group of small to mid-size companies (n=68) across a variety of industries. We divided these companies into three groups based on the degree that the Success Factors were in place.  
  • All - All seven Success Factors were at least 80% in place.
  • Some - Success Factors were less than 80% in place but greater than 20%.
  • Few - The seven Success Factors were each less than 20% in place.
If the Success Factors are valid, these companies with more factors in place should perform better. Keep in mind that all of these companies were "successful," i.e. not failing or going out of business.

The results were clear and consistent. Those companies with all of the factors in place were almost four times as profitable as those with few in place (16.1% vs. 4.1%). Those companies with some of the Success Factors in place were only a little better off (5.2%).

This same pattern held with respect to the rate of growth. Companies with few Success Factors in place grew at a respectable rate of 21.2% while those with all factors in place outpaced them at an impressive 125.1%, a six-fold difference. Companies with some Success Factors in place were in between at 63.1%.

There were also important quality of life benefits. CEOS in the firms with the Success Factors in place were six times more likely to be satisfied with their company’s financial performance and almost seven times more likely to be able to concentrate on what they did best and enjoyed the most.
Finally, we went through the process of reviewing our conclusions and putting them to work in the real world. Can people understand and implement them? Do they produce the desired results?

Testing in a variety of companies shows that the Success Factors can be relatively easy to implement using a step-by-step process. And importantly, companies show results quickly.

In a study of seven companies who had been implementing the Success Factors for several months, the companies showed across the board financial improvement.

In just 6 months, average revenue increased by 66.5%. Expenses decreased by 2.1%. The result was a surge in profitability of 195.1%.

These companies recouped an average of $11.21 for every dollar they invested in implementing the Success Factors in just two business quarters. In short, these companies experienced that surge in success that we call the Gemini Effect.
THE Result
The product of this extensive process is a set of powerful Success Factors. Experience and extensive testing have demonstrated that they can truly make the difference in your company.  
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