By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Jason Manarchuck greets you with a warm handshake, a welcoming smile, and a calm but reassuring sense of confidence. It underscored the tagline for his five-year old firm – “slow down and win.”
During the next hour as we learned more about Manarchuck and his five-year old venture – High Profile Enterprises Inc., it became clear to us that the career path he has chosen for what he calls the “last half of his life” is fueled by that calm but confident persona and an intriguing set of professional areas of expertise.
“We love being about projects growing market share,” Manarchuck says of High Profile Enterprises and the clients that it serves. “They know what their business is; they don’t know how to grow it.”
In helping the executive teams grow those businesses, Manarchuck draws on a diverse set of professional experiences and personal interests from a multi-faceted background. It starts with his early years and includes some impactful mentors along the journey. (Click here to see an infographic that captures his story.)
Manarchuck grew-up in a small mining town in Pennsylvania and enrolled at Pennsylvania State University after high school graduation. Realizing that was not the right decision, he transferred after two years to Northwood University where, among other things, he studied the founding fathers of the country.
“It was life-changing,” Manarchuck said of the knowledge he gained studying the U.S. free market, free enterprise system.
Later, as a marketing and advertising executive in big city markets like New York City and Philadelphia, he learned the core fundamentals of helping clients increase their market share in a variety of industry sectors.
“At High Profile Enterprises, we start with the client’s customers and move back to the sales process and eventually the owners,” Manarchuck explains. “I’m not following the normal practices of the industry, but the voice of the customer.”
That is a distinctive part of his approach, and it is based on a belief that founders have become less connected to the customers as their businesses have begun to grow.
“We are teaching executives to again listen to their customers,” Manarchuck says. “We help calibrate leadership to the voice of customers.”
The emphasis on listening to the purchasers is one of two skillsets he learned while living in the Tampa Bay area and working in the fashion and design industry. The other was leveraging connections.
Manarchuck further honed his consulting skills as Co-Founder of an enterprise improvement consulting firm in 2005. That company, which became DRIVE Inc., was headquartered in Knoxville, and the Manarchuck family relocated from Florida to here in 2008. The enterprise grew to $3 million in revenue before Manarchuck exited and started High Profile Enterprises.
He describes the process that High Profile Enterprises uses with three Ds – discover, define, and develop. It could also be described as ready, aim, and fire.
“It all starts with strategy,” Manarchuck emphasizes. That translates into spending an appropriate amount of time focused on the first D – discover – to understand the industry sector of the client as well as the economy, competition, vision, selling process, marketing message, and unique value proposition.
There are several case studies on the firm’s website including one for Oddello Industries in Morristown, TN.
Manarchuck says about a fourth of the firm’s clients are around Knoxville although High Profile Enterprises has clients in places like Austin, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, New York City, and even Vienna, Austria. As far as sectors, he describes the firm’s niche areas as manufacturing, engineering, non-profit, physician practices, and law firms.
High Profile Enterprises is selective in the clients that it accepts.
“The leadership has to have a nagging dissatisfaction that they have not reached their potential,” Manarchuck says. “They want to grow or make changes, but don’t have clarity on the right path or strategy.”