Terry Looper, founder and CEO, Texon LP

Distribution & Manufacturing — Energy, Award Recipient

Terry Looper makes sure that he always knows the worst-case scenario — that is, when it comes to taking risks that benefit his company. In fact, one of his overriding philosophies when seeking new business ideas is “don’t risk what you can’t lose.”

As founding CEO of Texon LP, Looper has grown the company into a successful, midstream energy marketing and distribution company. But to overcome challenges such as the volatile oil and gas markets may present, the challenging global economy and changing analyst expectations, he’s taken a careful approach to growth. It involves focusing on customer needs above all else.

First, the company uses a sales process called “The Art of the Deal.” Texon developed this process internally as a way to obtain new customers and retain old ones. It emphasizes listening and letting the customer coach the sales process to produce a favorable deal. In addition, employees are not given price sheets to sell to customers. Instead, Looper trusts them to work with each customer to come up with a fair price for both parties.

Another unique approach involves how Looper invests in Texon’s growth. Looper knows that finding new business opportunities generally entails some risk but can also offer significant returns. He encourages everyone at Texon to use their knowledge of customer needs to identify new projects and patented business lines to support growth.

To ensure that this growth is sustainable for the company’s clients, Looper also makes sure that Texon doesn’t maintain a business line once it needs third-party capital to grow it. Recently, the company sold off two of its largest divisions, which became too large for company’s growth goals. This sale has made way for significant gains from new business and future expansion.

How to reach: Texon LP, www.texonlp.com