Sometimes we need to consider whether we should close down a program. Of course, when we start with our online business, our biggest concern is making a sale. After we get a sale, we start adding more products or services. Eventually, we end up with this whole portfolio. And sometimes, they’re not serving you. Or they’re the old starting version of your business, but not what’s current now. So how do you know if you should shut it down?
I go through this a lot with coaching students. One thing to do is to score it, like assess it. We want to do a diagnostic on this product or service and consider a few factors. Does it still serve our existing version of the business? Is it bringing in the right type of clients? Is it profitable in outright terms or in effective hourly rate terms? There’s a few different ways you can measure this. Is it taking your attention or focus away from something that could benefit from your time and attention much more? Invariably, we end up with too many products or services. So I like to apply the scoring filter. And there’s probably some other things you could throw in there, if I had a little more time, I could come up with.
The other thing to do then, after you’ve scored it, then decide, If I took this product away, is it reversible? This is sort of stemming from a Jeff Bezos concept of, is a decision a one-way decision, or is it a reversible decision? Let’s for example say I stopped doing a particular program. And I miss it. And I want it back. Could I just start it again? Probably for most things, it’s yes. So often, it’s not the end of the world if you decide to axe something, or remove it or delete it, and then you want to do it again. But invariably, you generally don’t miss it, and it’s rare that you would restart something after making the decision on this scoring criteria to get rid of it. Then it’s like, what else could you focus on? If you could get that opportunity cost of that product or service…
Look, it costs time and money and resource to have extra domains, extra websites, have team members looking after it, updating it, even thoughts into it. When I had multiple businesses – I had an SEO business, a website business, a coaching business, affiliate, licensing deals, memberships, all of those things – it was, you know, even though they were relatively passive, and team-run, they still take up bandwidth, and you have to be responsible for them. So as I removed these from my portfolio and just got back to a simpler business model, what I found was, I’m in a less dramatic state, I’ve got a lot of calm and serenity. With fewer products, bring less challenges and issues, okay?
And what I have found is you can still diversify and protect your business within a product line by doing other things, like different geographic targeting, or selling in a different currency, structuring it online instead of in-person so that you can have the ability to source people from all different places at different price points. So you can have different levels of these things. So after all of that, then the next step is to actually action it. And I would always be careful how you communicate the end of a program with the consumers, because sometimes they’ll feel that it might be against their needs, or if they were really enjoying the program or the service, and they’ll be disappointed they can no longer have it. This would especially apply if you’re trying to shut down a Facebook group or something.
People build entitlement. And they may be resentful, so communicate it in a way that serves their needs. And if possible, offer a solution or alternative or an upgrade or communicate the story about why you’re making this change, what the next stage is, how they could be a part of it, etc. And that might be a nice way to tie a neat bow on the end of your program. And what you will find, if you go through this process, and action it, you’ll end up with a simple portfolio of amazing products and services that is serving your business and your clients really well and life is in order.
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