Defying the Gurus- Don’t Pigeon-Hole Me

Marketing wisdom and search engine optimization techniques suggest narrowing the definition of what your product does so that it falls into one (or a few) categories and search terms that people would use to find it.

I get that people search for things based on what they already know.

What if your product or service defies easy categorization? For example, lots of musicians don`t fit nicely into one genre. What if your product or service spans multiple categories?

We built Manifast to help people to build their dream business and in so doing, enable the owners and employees achieve their full potential. Only 4% of businesses make it past 10 years. We think we can change that.

Intersectoin-CloudsCrossroads, Clouds and Intersection of Working On and In the Business

Strategic Planning Tool

"You are 50% more likely to succeed just by having a plan and yet 90% of business owners never have one." via Chet Holmes

Manifast has a strategic planning module. So people want to call it a strategic planning tool.

But we take it from mission, core values, culture, vision and goal setting all the way down to project planning. Then we allow you to focus on getting real results; execution and action. So it is a strategic planning and execution tool, a goal setting tool, or performance management tool.

Team Thinking

An effective way to make better decisions, improve employee engagement, and ensure buy-in from people is to involve as many people as feasible in information gathering, looking at solutions, etc. So we added brainstorming tools and group discussions.

Working on the Business

If you don’t work on your business you probably will not be able to execute well on your strategy.

You need to measure it to know if you are improving it so we added the ability to manage and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You can define your business processes, systems, information technology, other tools and infrastructure and then you can work on them as a team to make them align with your business strategy and be more efficient.

Developing Your People

You can’t grow a successful business without developing your people. By this we mean defining what skills, talents, experience, education and certifications are required to succeed in a role or position. Then you look at what the person actually has. The difference or gap is the work you need to do to develop your people. Remember that roles change over time so most likely everyone needs some development.

If they don’t maybe they are ready to move onto another role at some point. Then you can start developing them for their next role. This is also part of the succession planning exercise. Also easy to do regular performance reviews with the tool.
So Manifast is a Human Resources (HR), skills management, performance review or succession planning tool.

Value Pipeline

SWOTSWOT Analysis Tool

No product or service or customers = no revenue = no profit = no business

The value pipeline allows you to define, manage and develop your products and services in conjunction with your marketing and sales strategy. Concept to cash with a strong focus on delivering value to people along the way; hence value pipeline.

(Lots more key words and categories here.)

Team Planning

Planning without execution will not change anything for a business. So we included some powerful team project management tools to allow your teams to execute on achieving goals, working on the business, developing new products and services, etc. Oh, and it handles customer projects as well.

My Most Important Work

If you are like most business owners, the work is infinite. So we built a tool to allow everyone in the organization to best make decisions on the most important work for the day. Task tracking, to do list on steroids, decision tool, etc.

Business Coaches, Advisors and Consultants

And we support and heartily encourage business coaches, advisors and consultant to use Manifast to support their great work. We will be offering extra goodies for them as well.

Oh, and the tool itself provides education and coaching on building a business and to get you started and heading in the right direction we are going to offer onboarding and coaching services (in partnership with our certified Manifast coaches).

And we are NOT done yet by a long shot.

Conclusion

I fully get that people want to categorize you, your product and your service.

I understand why it is usually desirable to focus on and dominate a category (before potentially branching out). The problem with categories is that they already exist and have competitors. Plus not every round peg fits correctly in a square hole.

Even better is to create a new category and dominate it.

It is also not possible to build a great business without focusing on most of these things; and our goal is to help small and mid-sized business owners to not only succeed but “Manifast their dream businesses”. So splitting the product up to fit existing categories does not make sense just to satisfy the gurus.

I like the sentiment behind “Go big or go home.”

New and dominate sounds fun.

Rather than focussing on dominate it is better to focus on adding value to small and mid-sized businesses via our mission (Manifast your dream business)… And the more people and businesses the better. 

So the dilemma is which category or categories?  Leave a comment below.

 

By | 2017-04-03T11:36:59+00:00 July 9th, 2012|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Manifast, Marketing, Sales|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.