One of the oldest tropes in hiring (whether it’s an employee or a consultant) is to describe yourself in three words.
For GrowthShift, it is: Make a difference.
That’s the fundamental nature and story of our marketing strategy consultancy. Understanding and sharing that story is just as important for us as it is for our customers. Those three words tell you everything you need to know about us and our story. Telling your story is the first element you should define for your business.
Telling Our Story
One thing we tell founders is that if they don’t, or can’t, tell their story, then what they’re trying to do might not connect with customers. Yes, it could be a business, but it won’t be real to the customers they’re trying to inspire, or to the investors and employees who need to embrace their vision to help them become a success. (More on that next time!)
For us, making a difference is about helping companies understand their unique market position and opportunity to connect with customers. That’s understanding and defining their story and sharing it with the world in a way that connects! To demonstrate our commitment to the practice, we looked inward too. After unpacking our own story, we realized that the great theme of how GrowthShift makes a difference is by helping people change, and we love it.
Every step of our journey so far has been defined by change and relying on change to deliver an impact. Change is who we are and how we make a difference every day.
There’s Power in Change
Our Founder, Tim Manning, has a personal mission and commitment to making a difference, both in his personal life and in his role as a marketing strategy consultant. This inherently means making a change. Thinking differently. Being disruptive. Connecting with people.
It’s discovering the many ways to see what businesses or people need, and what it takes to get them there. Our focus, and one of our core values, is to ‘keep people at the center’.
People make change happen. We help you build those connections and build trust beforehand so that every customer, employee, investor, and partner stays with you for the journey.
And, let’s be honest, no one gets everything right every time. Every GrowthShift team member and client has faced setbacks and challenges. But we embrace it, because change is how we learn too.
Manning: “I’ve made mistakes in leading teams, in the spirit of innovation and progress. That’s okay, and it’s okay if you do too. What’s important, and what we do at GrowthShift, is make sure we learn from every action and use those opportunities to improve and empower people and teams. People are the catalyst for change and growth.”
25 Years of Leading Startups Led to Now
Manning has been working with startups in particular for more than 25 years and has seen many encounter and fail in one of the biggest challenges for organizations: being fast and flexible while still relevant to their market.
In other words: change.
Sadly, many startups jump right into execution, and revenue creation before they have a solid positioning and marketing strategy. In some respects, ready, shoot, aim. They’re aiming at the goal without a plan to get there — and without an understanding of the strategy it takes to shift a market or customers’ perceptions.
The business model breaks if you jump too early. And GrowthShift hopes to make a difference for these companies before it reaches that point. Positioning and marketing strategy is where we can help the most, and candidly the highest leverage point for growth.
Our mission and model are designed to help you plot and maintain a 5-year course from the outset that is meaningful, defensible and relevant. These strategies are designed to uniquely position you in your market and connect with your customers.
Long term thinking is crucial to startup success. It prevents the need to pivot unnecessarily, when the strategy or message doesn’t hold under scrutiny or deliver results. Without a long term strategy, early stage companies will often pivot, changing message and model. When that happens, a company’s market positioning is displaced, and customer trust affected — and that can be the downfall of any business, but especially tech startups.
We get it. There’s always pressure to create revenue. Let us make a difference with your organization by giving you the ‘long view’ early, which translates into a sustainable and efficient growth strategy.
Our Target = Our Passion
Connecting with people is how markets and brands are established. Through people is how change is implemented. People at the center. It is one of our core values.
Tim served as a marketing and business leader across a wide range of industries, from energy and airlines to big tech firms gobbled up by SAP. However, he started as an analyst, looking at the ways companies ran and understanding the data to help them improve.
But the analyst role wasn’t enough, because he needed to be near people where he could create a positive impact, make a difference. Not hiding behind the desk or numbers, but instead hands-on work to make work and lives better. And eventually he was gravitating to early-stage companies where that desire for impact and making a difference could be most realized.
Tim’s lifelong passion for making that positive difference has endured decades and he brings that to life each day.
“If I can help a company shift how they think, I can shift how they grow.” — Tim Manning
With that one thought, GrowthShift was born. It’s been an amazing journey full of change, and we hope you’ll consider joining us for what’s next.