If you’re like most business leaders, you want to maximize the profitability of your products and/or services. But you also likely recognize that success means managing your time and resources effectively. Before launching a new sales strategy or marketing campaign, it’s important to first look at the profit potential of each of your products/services – empowering you to make the best decisions possible for allocating your resources.
The 4 Categories of Products and Services
Step back and think about your current products and services. Identifying the profit potential means assessing each offering in terms of whether it has a high or low growth trajectory and whether it produces or uses cash.
The Cash Cow – This is an established product or service that sells well but is rather neutral with its growth trajectory. It’s likely that it won’t suddenly go viral or have its customer demand double. Despite not being the ‘hot new thing,’ this product is a mainstay of your company, a reliable source of profits and a credibility builder for your brand.
Take excellent care of your Cash Cows. These products and services give you the ability to take risks and develop new products because of their dependable profitability but be sure that you don’t start to take them (and the customers who purchase them) for granted. If the quality of these products drop while you’re focusing your resources elsewhere, your customers may move on to the next best thing.
The Rising Star – Both successful and trending, this is a product or service that is delivering profits and continuing to increase in demand. It differs from the Cash Cow because the growth potential of a Rising Star means “the sky is the limit” when it comes to profit potential – especially when properly positioned and promoted.
Do everything possible to promote your Rising Stars. While defining unique selling propositions is important for each of your products/services, it’s especially important when it comes to your Rising Stars. After all, it takes work to ensure they continue on their growth track and don’t become a passing trend.
The Question Mark – Just like it sounds, this category is for those products or services that have profit potential but aren’t yet profitable. They are cash users (not cash suppliers), but they could become successful if they’re properly developed, marketed, and promoted.
Resolve your Question Marks as soon as possible. Keep in mind that many new products and services fail (or at least fail to reach the expectations set when the idea was conceived). So, while it is necessary to invest resources if a Question Mark is going to become your next Rising Star, it’s also necessary to be able to identify when it’s time to accept a hard truth, cut your losses and walk away.
The Dying Dog – Not generating any profits and not having a future in today or tomorrow’s marketplace, this category is for the products or services that seemed like a good idea at the time but ultimately have no realistic hope for success.
Most often, resources are still allocated for these Dying Dogs because the company’s decision-makers made a substantial emotional investment in the product or service’s development. But now, they’re siphoning cash that could be used elsewhere. It’s time to say goodbye to these products and services as quickly as possible. Today.
By redirecting the people and resources currently being spent on this category of products and/or services, you’ll increase the chances of realizing the profit potential within other categories – while also improving employee morale and engagement.
Still uncertain of how to categorize your products/services? This article may help: Could Zero-Based Thinking Increase Your Profits?
Explore This and Other Strategies for Realizing Profit Potential with FocalPoint Canada
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