“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then give up. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” – W.C. Fields.
Sometimes “killing it” is the only way forward.
I’m all for perseverance. I’ve said many times that I think it is the single most important variable to successfully building a business. But there’s a difference between perseverance and foolishness. In the case of business, that’s called trying over and over to sell something that no one wants.
Recently a woman business owner I had been working with for a while circled right back to where she had started. She was frustrated that the product she was offering wasn’t selling. She emphatically stated that she wouldn’t give up, she was going to get this right. And I said, “Hold on. Something is off, and we need to figure out what it is.”
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was from a past Her Corner speaker. Jen Bilik, CEO of Knock Knock, said, “Instead of blaming the market, listen to the market. It’s incredible what you can learn when you listen to what the market is telling you, instead of blaming it as something you can’t control.”
As it turns out, the business owner I was working with was trying to sell a product that the market wasn’t responding to. The whole business didn’t need to get scrapped, but the product did. As we discussed the product, I realized that it wasn’t resonating, wasn’t positioned correctly, and wasn’t priced correctly.
This is why I love nothing more than beta testing. Test the market to see if the product or service will resonate before either building it or fully promoting it. If more of us tested something and then yanked it if it didn’t work, we could get to the parts of the business that work perfectly. Plus we could get there faster. Or better yet, stay focused on what works and do not launch too many new products and services.
If you find that despite your best efforts, a product or service just isn’t selling, killing it before you waste even more time is the right decision. Sometimes, it’s the only way to move forward.
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