I was on a coaching call the other day, listening to a Her Corner member tell me about all of the amazing product possibilities that had just become available due to newfound manufacturing capabilities. It all sounded fantastic. In a matter of two minutes, she listed at least 20 different options. As I listened, I realized I was going to have to be the one to burst her bubble of excitement. When she finished, I said, “Just because you can now make so many different products, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. You have to consider the operational challenges that having so many SKUs will bring. Not to mention possibly confusing your target customers by having to market so many different products at once.” There was silence on the other end of the phone for a few seconds. And then she knowingly said, “Yeah, you’re right.” I could tell that she had already had this exact same thought. But the possibilities were proving to be a powerful draw.
And I totally get it.
Sometimes we get so excited by the possibilities; we don’t stop to think about the realities.
To be honest, this was exactly the same thing Fred and I went through when I first joined Her Corner. I officially became Fred’s partner on September 1 last year. And do you know what I did for the next three months? Not much. I watched. I listened. I tried to learn as much as I could. And I tried to figure out why Her Corner was doing so many different things at one time. There were peer groups, there were online courses, there was a speaker series, there was one-on-one coaching, and there was the Accelerator. From an outsider’s perspective, I could see how Fred had gotten to this point. As time went on, she had come up with more and more good ideas. And Her Corner members had also suggested programs or events and asked for content. So Fred, being the amazing person that she is, listened to her customers and gave them what they wanted.
But guess what? It was too much. When you are offering too many different products or services, it is almost impossible to stay focused. You have so many different things to sell, you don’t know what to talk about first.
So after I had been on board for three months, we (me, Fred, and Amanda) had a meeting and realized that we needed to streamline our offerings. We took a hard look at each service and asked a few key questions. Do people actually use this product or attend this event? Do we make any money from it? Do we enjoy doing it? Is the energy/time/money required worth it?
We very quickly realized that the Accelerator was, by far, the place where we had the largest impact on women’s lives. And given that we are a mission-driven company, this is where we needed to focus. So if you’ve been wondering what happened to the Speaker Series, or the 10-day programs, or any of the 20 other things we put on the shelf, now you know. We took our own advice. We streamlined our offerings so that we can focus on the work we enjoy most and that best helps us achieve our mission.
Sure, we could have continued to do all those different things, but we realized that if we really wanted to accomplish our long term goals, we shouldn’t.