Political Zig Zagger, Jon Huntsman, Tries Something New

September 3rd, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

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Jon Huntsman Jr., a presidential candidate, is about to try something new. His current strategies have let him slip behind his opponents in national polls, keeping him away from political profitability. Now, he has some new messaging he hopes will get him more support.

Now, I don’t intend to criticize his exact plan here: this is a business blog, not a political one. However, businesses can learn from political maneuvers. Huntsman has had a successful career so far, and he definitely has his supporters. These people are sort of like his “Huntsman niche” politically speaking. But what would happen to his beacon in the fog if he decided he was happy just targeting that specific group of people and no one else? He would just fall further behind his opponents!

Likewise, some businesses focus on appealing to a specific niche to avoid getting stomped by competition. This is a great initial strategy, but you rarely see a successful business (or politician) stop with just one niche. Like Huntsman, once a business has a firm hold in a particular niche – or reaches profitability with processes and scale – it will often expand to add more profitability. And if the new zig to profitability doesn’t work, they try something else.

This is how zig zagging keeps with you even after you have hit a huge goal; it keeps you from stagnating as a business. You can’t stop zig zagging because you hit or miss one goal. Even when you’re adding scale, you need to think about how you’re going to add more profitability and how you’re going to add resources to that. This will keep you flexible enough to keep your business moving and growing, even if you have a dud strategy or two.

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