You know Bambi, the darling little creature with the doe eyes and the cute face, that everyone adores despite the fact he’s not pulling his weight? Chances are your product portfolio has a couple of Bambis in it. And guess what, Bambi isn’t doing you any favours.
A Bambi is a product that you have a soft spot for. It’s one that you will go out of your way to defend to yourself or to others in your business. You may hear yourself saying things like “we don’t sell that many but it’s good to have on the list,” or “It is a lovely little thing, I can’t understand why we don’t sell more.”
It may also be a product you have had on your books right from the start of your business. Hell, it may be the one product you started your business in the first place to sell.
It is the one product that isn’t making money but we still love. The loveable runt of the product family.
Bambi never did anyone any harm and neither are my Bambi products, right?
Actually, probably wrong. The thing is about these ‘darlings’, they often absorb much more of our time and effort than their profitability deserves. Our emotional attachments to them mean we are willing to go the extra mile for those products when in reality our time would be better spent focusing on the more profitable products in our portfolio.
We love them too much and as a result are willing to make biased decisions to justify their existence and their demands on our time to ourselves. We will notice when we sell one, and mentally chalk that up as a reason why we still have it on our books, yet barely notice when we sell 5 of the more profitable line next to it. Our love of it distorts our thinking and stunts our abilities to make sound objective business decisions.
Our business is suffering as a result of their existence. It may be suffering a lot, or a little, but it is suffering. If only because we have capital tied up in our stock.
Hang on a minute, what if Bambi will grow up to be the head of the pack. What if it’s just the wrong time of year, or you’ve been unlucky so far because someone else’s pricing or marketing was better than yours.
This may be true and yes, you need to look at all the data before doing anything rash. However, Bambi has a way of making us look at that data through sympathetic eyes. You will need to be pretty honest with yourself as you trawl through the numbers. How is it really performing? Against all your metrics (not just the ones where it is doing well)? How much time and money have you spent on marketing it as opposed to your big winners? Really?
It basically boils down to this:
If you have put a sensible amount of time into promoting the product and yet it is still showing lack-lustre performance relative to the rest of your portfolio there is only one thing to do. Yes. Slay Bambi.
Your Bambi product has an emotional hold over you and so it is very hard to let it go. This is made even worse if it has been with you from the start, was your gran’s idea, or is made by your kid’s best friend’s mother.
It is amazing though, once you have done the deed, just how much better you will feel and how much more time you will have to devote to the more deserving products in your catalogue.
Killing your bambi’s isn’t about failure. It is about the success of your business. Without a clear, numerical standpoint you will struggle to build a profitable business. Ask yourself – If this was the only product in my catalogue, what would my cashflow look like? Would I have a business?
Expandly are a provider of multichannel management software for small ecommerce businesses. The Expandly platform was built with the small business in mind, right from the start. It is simple, easy to use and focussed on helping small ecommerce businesses go from home-office or unit to warehouse and beyond.