When to Kill A Product or Service

I often ask MSPmentor readers what markets they're going to enter next. Perhaps I should spend more time asking them what markets they plan to exit, and what products/services they plan to kill. The answers to those questions are pretty telling. Here's why.

As we ramp up for 2010, I've spent considerable time brainstorming with my business partner (Amy Katz). We've got a bunch of ideas for new sites and new efforts. But as we looked at the enormity of some new efforts we suddenly realized: We've got some existing efforts that are time sinks and perhaps we should rethink them. Two simple examples:

1. MSPmentor's Career Center: Back in October 2009, there were more than 80 listings in the career center. But gradually the career center listings have declined. Perhaps if we promoted the career center more we'd get more listings. But fact-checking the free listings is a bit of a time sink for us. So should we keep the career center? Reinvent it? Change it?

2. MSPmentor Podcasts: MSPmentor podcasts get a lot of listeners -- including thousands of listeners on iTunes. But I'm leaning more and more toward our FastChat Video format -- especially video over the web. So podcasts become vodcasts (from sound... to sound+video) and save us editing time on the back-end since we'll live in a single editing tool.

Ironically, podcasts are sometimes a technical headache: Our service provider sometimes blocks the podcast feed because they think incoming requests are DoS attacks. Strange, I know. That's why we're migrating to a new service provider. In the meantime, we don't suffer such problems with videos because that content lives on YouTube and a dozen other video sites...

Our Biggest Major Challenge: Time

The one thing I need more of -- every day -- is time. I suspect the same is true in your business. If you only had more time to...
  • work on a new idea
  • develop a customer relationship
  • mentor your staff
  • achieve a life-work balance
There are only three ways to gain time:
  1. Automate
  2. Delegate
  3. Kill some products, services
We're looking for ways to regain time right now. I wonder if you are, too.
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