Although to discontinue a product might seem as though it shouldn’t require any more than simply removing it from your small business’s shelves, whether they’re physical or electronic, the truth is discontinuing a product requires more thought than most believe.
Requiring for you to take into account various factors, this information looks at exactly what it is you need to do before you actually discontinue one of your products.
1. Have a valid reason
Before the discontinuation of any product, it’s absolutely imperative that you’re as certain as can be that you’re making the right choice.
No matter what it might seem like to you or your staff visually, if a product is selling well on paper and you aren’t receiving complaints about it, you’ll have to be able to come up with a good reason for its removal.
Of course, at the end of the day, it’s your small business and you can sell whatever you choose, but it wouldn’t be a wise business move if you were to take a product off your shelves simply because you didn’t like it.
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2. Do so with minimal fuss
Have you ever wandered into a supermarket and not been able to find a product you’ve previously purchased, even after searching every aisle?
Chances are they’ve removed it overnight.
They’ll have done their research, realised it wasn’t selling well, was no longer in demand and when the supermarket was closed or at its least busiest, removed it from its shelves.
It causes as little fuss as possible and although there’ll be a few customers wondering where its gone, the majority won’t be aware and won’t begin to have comments or raise questions surrounding the product’s disappearance.
3. Listen to your customers
If you’ve discontinued a product after analyzing its performance and removing it from your shelves quickly but discreetly, but your customers are providing you with a lot of positive feedback about the product, you need to evaluate its removal.
Business owners don’t get it right all the time and no matter what the data you’ve collected and analyzed says, sometimes the choice that seems perfect on paper isn’t actually the right one in practice.
Therefore, it’s important that you always listen to what your customers have to say – remember, they’re the ones who are keeping you in business – and don’t feel as though you’re a poor businessperson if you have to reintroduce a product you’ve previously discontinued – that’s business.
Running a small business often means you are faced with having to wear different hats and look at various aspects that you aren’t likely to believe were even potentially problematic.
Product discontinuation is just one of those aspects and without the proper thought and attention, discontinuing a product can cause a major upset with your small business’s customers.