Pivot: Strategic Plans Need to Adapt Quickly

We started out thinking that our Manifast strategy would be to use our business expertise to build a great software product. It would educate and "coach" businesses to work on the business. Business advisers, coaches and consultants would use Manifast to enhance how they work with clients and the pairing would benefit all.

We launched the product publicly in January 2012. 

By March we shifted our marketing focus to working with business advisers who would in turn use Manifast to work with their clients. We would still encourage Do It Yourself (DIY) companies to use the tool as well.

More recently we had another "Eureka" moment.

Pivot

A pivot is a term taken from basketball to indicate a strategic change where one foot is grounded in the past strategy and the other is used to change in a new direction. You are not abandoning your strategy so much as using a lot of what you've done and heading somewhere else (product, service or market). The term pivot was made popular in "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.

You measure. You change. You measure to see if the change made a positive difference. 

DarthFiddlerDarth Vader Pivots to New Profession Post Villain

Our Core Strategy

Our Company Mission: Enable people to achieve their full potential.

Our Product Slogan: Manifast your dream business. 

So ultimately it is:

Manifast your dream business and enable the people involved to achieve their full potential.

Our core strategy did not need to change.

Eureka Moment Revealed

Business owners and business advisers may really like your product (i.e. Manifast).

However, because it essentially involves learning new things, new habits, and growing as people… to achieve maximum success we need to make that change easier. 

Most people don't want to figure out everything themselves; they want someone to help them through the process. 

This applies both to business owners and the business advisers we are trying to work with.

Our Pivot

We are going to take our business, process, systems, and software expertise and merge them together into a full service and product offering.

This means our focus will be on building a solid core of business advisers to coach, mentor, consult and train both for the tool and in general business as well.

The Manifast product currently provides built in training and business best practices. It will continue to evolve towards being a software coach, trainer and mentor.

Most importantly we are going to use this core to support our external network of business advisers, coaches, consultants, etc. Ultimately we will help them succeed as well. This will be done through our Certified Manifast Coach program.

Business Advisers Network Key

We really want to allow this program to reach as many people as possible.

This means the bulk of the business adviser capabilities will come from our external-independent Certified Manifast Coaches and consulting network. We want the business advisers to bring their strengths to the table. We want to allow them their independence. We want them to succeed and Manifast their dream business.

We don't see having an internal core of advisers as a conflict with our external business adviser network.

Most business advisers specialize in one area. They will be able to draw on other expertise including the internal core advisers and other external business advisers in the network. They will also be able to get training and improve their own skills.

If you approach things from the perspective of strong ethics, communication, and abundance; all of the potential issues are resolvable and everyone wins.

I don't see it as slicing up a small pie. I see it as making the pie as big as we want it to be. 

Right now 96% of businesses don't make it past 10 years. That is a lot of pie that can be improved.

Plans May Change

Of course, this is based on what we know and believe today. Things may change again tomorrow and we may need to adjust our strategy. 

But today we have a solid direction; a strategy that gives everyone a clear picture of where we are heading.

That is why it is important knowing where you are going now while being able to pivot quickly when necessary. Things change.

How have you changed strategic direction lately?

By | 2017-04-03T11:36:23+00:00 August 1st, 2012|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Manifast|

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.