This article first appeared February 8, 2012.
Entrepreneurs like to talk tough when it comes to moving on underperforming staff.
“Hire slow, fire fast,” is the common mantra from business owners, who will often accompany this statement with a wise nod of the head.
It’s smart advice of course, but I reckon the “fire fast” part shouldn’t just be limited to people – it also needs to extend to products.
I was reading a great blog on Inc from Seth Goldman, who owns a tea company called Honest Tea. Every year, he gets rid of underperforming staff as well as underperforming products.
His theory is simple. He says “a slow-moving item takes away shelf-space from a fast-moving item”. I’d also add that it chews up marketing resources, management time, production resources and administrative resources.
Constantly reviewing your product line will help you focus on those products that are most profitable and most deserving of support.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t launch new products – this should be something you are constantly working on – and that you shouldn’t give new products support and time to shine.
But in a small business, you can’t afford to carry dead weight. Hire slow, fire fast when it comes to staff and launch slow, fire fast when it comes to products.
Get it done – today!