What to do with your business in 2014


what to do with your business

This is a thought about what to do with your business, not what to do in it.

With the new year fast approaching, you might be starting to think about the goals you’d like to achieve. We’re going to look at cutting the fat from the business and why that’s important to your health — for the business and you.

Pareto principle

It’s said that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. It’s also said that an entrepreneur can launch a business with a minimal viable product based on that principle.

I agree with this, but there’s an unseen danger that creeps up on us over time.

See, entrepreneurs have this bug that drives us to chase shiny new objects. Before you know it, you’re taking on baggage of launching new ideas under the guise of the 80/20 rule. The connected world makes it so easy for us to research, spin up a prototype and create something new over night.

It’s a valid method, but you’re not being fair.

What to do with your business or businesses 

Sometimes I take a step back and look at all the things I do:

Then I ask myself, what part of this business am I not being fair to? I know how I ended up here, but which of these products am I holding on to that I’m just not loyal to anymore?

I must decide what to do with the business. Here’s a bit of a checklist I’ll use to get a gauge on things:

1. Do people get it?

Friends, family, co-workers, and my community at large. Do they get the product or idea? Are they still struggling to really grasp what it’s all about? You have to ask yourself the same thing. After 6 months of pitching a product, are people still struggling to understand it?

Is it time to pivot? Look at the rest of your business cache and compare notes.

2. Is it turning revenue? 

Rather important, but not the whole deciding factor. Have you started selling your product or service yet? Are you raising prices or making more options available? Are sales going down?

Things get a bit challenging here, because as the founder of a product, you have that innate urge to say it’s going to succeed. This is when it’s crucial to look and see if your other products could be making more if you gave them a chance and stopped splitting your time with this one.

Think about it.

3. Are you still passionate about it? 

Burn out, disinterest, clouded thoughts — the life we live.

You need to be passionate about everything. Every hour really. Let’s look at my (our) day to day — I (we) can easily put in 10 – 12 hours a day of work.

There’s days you can go straight through in a blink of an eye, others your done after 3 hours. I handle that by going for a jog, hitting the gym or taking a mental break. This is harder to do with a business or new revenue stream.

It’s always there, even if it’s paused, taking up mental storage. I say if you’re not passionate about it, pivot or drop it and focus on what is working.

Talk to me!

What are you going to do with your business for 2014? Are you not being fair to yourself or one of your products? Tell us in the comments and let’s see if we can help.

By the way, I wrote about being a mentor and there’s a good turn out going on in the comments. Check it out!

Listen to this Episode

5 Comments

  1. Bob Dunn (@bobWP) on December 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Hey Matt, this is a great post and something I can really relate to. As you know, I am doing a big new project in 2014. And this will require some stepping back from other things and focusing on it.

    I think it can be a challenge for some businesses to brand themselves when they do have several different things going on.

    If I was to step back several years and look at my marketing business, I offered so many services that it was difficult to focus. Then over the last 6 years I have really been narrowing down my niche, finding what I’m best at, and what I enjoy doing. It’s sometimes tough to let go of certain things, but necessary.

    Cheers to you my friend and 2014, we’ll see you on the other side!

    • Matt on December 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story with us Bob, it means a lot to me and I’m sure others can relate to our “baggage.”

      Cheers!

  2. Chris Stott on December 24, 2013 at 6:11 am

    It’s great you share this because Shiny New Object Syndrome (SNOS) is something that I suffer with. For 2014 I’m trying to focus my business down on higher quality consulting clients and products.

    Here’s what I’m struggling with, perhaps you have an insight. I see consulting as a short term thing (getting money in) versus creating products as having long term value (growth and repeatable sale). Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the product when you need/want the short term growth.

    Anyway, all the best for 2014 – keep up the great work.

    • Matt on December 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Here’s the thing, I think consulting is your long term opportunity. Products can come and go as tech changes and competition comes rolling along. The great thing about consulting is, you can always have 1 client for $100k a year which is harder for a product 🙂

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