Chopping out pumpkins and dumping underperforming products
I’d had enough! The pumpkins were taking over my tomatoes, spreading onto the grass and making life in the garden beds unbearable. Plus, they covered the onions, crowded the rhubarb and smothered the thyme and demanded water. It had to go. I did get a crop of pumpkins, but they weren’t the sort I really wanted. They had just self-seeded. It’s the same in business where you have products that just get in the way and don’t add any value to your business. It’s time for them to go.
Gardens and Business
I’ve written before that gardens and business have a lot of similarities. You have to plan them, buy seeds or seedlings, prepare them, make choices and manage them by feeding them, watering them and caring for them. The end result is hopefully a bountiful harvest of delicious food. Then you can store, bottle and eat to your hearts delight. Well, that’s the dream if all goes well. I can’t get the peas to grow at all. The beans have done alright and the strawberries weren’t too bad. Garlic was good too, but I wasn’t really good at growing the potatoes.
With business the bounty is revenue collected for making or buying a product and selling it for a profit. Picking the right products is important. But not all products perform as well. Like my pumpkins, some products are dogs. They cost a lot to make or buy, may have problems and may distract your business from exploring new products and services. I persisted with the pumpkins because I thought they’d be ok. I didn’t want to waste water on them and the garden bed could have been better used to grow something I really wanted. Not all veggies in the garden are equal.
Getting rid of underperforming products
In business there are times you have to let products go. That’s not easy if the product or service has heritage value. As humans, sometimes it’s hard to make changes. I’ve developed several products over the last ten years that I had to abandon. Often having spent many hours developing them. They just didn’t return the value for the effort I had put into them. Holding onto an unprofitable product or service is a distraction. It’s a direct cost to the business in terms of your energy, time, resources and money. While it was easy for me to pull out the pumpkins, it is harder for us to abandon