It can be easy to develop new products and services in your business because something attracts you or someone requests it, without an overall strategy or master plan on your part but simply reacting on the spot. Before you know it, your product line has grown too large, adding more and more and selling less and less. Now what?
Like a beautiful overgrown flowering shrub, it’s time to trim it back to maintain and enhance its beauty, to enjoy it again, and to let the flowers get the nourishment they need to thrive. A recent lead with great success in certain parts of the business was found to have 47 links on the home page of the business website. 47 links! That means any visitor to the site had 47 possible choices to make. And that was just on the home page before moving on to the site’s product or resource pages, which had a similar number of links and options. Can you imagine how you would feel when you get to a place like that, a place that has really cool stuff? Just too much cool stuff, so much so that the site was not generating on-site sales.
Numerous clients over the years have expressed an intention to create a substantial series of advice booklets from scratch. While his enthusiasm is admirable, he is generally not credited with any strategy. How many will be written and released in what time frame for what audience? Is success more likely if the number of brochure titles or topics is limited and the delivery formats offered for each title or topic are expanded? How about setting time constraints for each theme, putting things “back in the vault” for a defined period of time like a well-known mouse-oriented company does with its children’s movies, temporarily recalling certain products?
Is your information created and presented at a graduated level of difficulty or certain functions that make sense to identify the starting point for a new or advanced person or someone in management or marketing? Like so many situations, less is more. Giving a clear roadmap is also helpful in guiding someone who comes to you or your website so they clearly know what step to take and when to take it. Make a “deadline” date on a genuine offer rather than a bogus effort to force a sale or extend it beyond when it says it is available.
ACTION – Think about how you feel when you visit a website or talk to a provider that gives you too many options and / or a lack of clarity about what they have that best suits what you need. You can ask a few questions, do some research, or you can run out of the situation as fast as you can, never to return. Looking at your site and how you talk to current and potential customers gives you an opportunity to test what is working and what can work best to serve your people and your business. Whatever choice you make leaves room for new decisions, to replace things you remove, and add new things along the way to minimize confused minds that come to you and tell you no.