You know how your mom and dad told you to never quit… well they were wrong! That may be a little harsh but I view quitting (talking about in business) as an important trait that is right up there with winning and drive. Over the last year there have been two important times when I threw in the towel that were key to our growth and frankly, our existence.
#1. I had a competitor 10 minutes from one of my resale maternity clothing stores and one day that owner came in to my store and asked if we wanted to buy them out. Of course I wanted to know why and she told me that sales were down due to my store sucking up their traffic since we had a larger space, better inventory, and much better marketing, they just couldn’t compete. Since I am all about expansion, I put my offer together and ended up acquiring that competitor and brought it into our Bellies to Babies brand. The business came with no employees so I hired a manager and staff and we were off to the races. I knew going into this that the sales for this store were low but my plan was to turn it around just like I did the the other store I owned. In hindsight, I never should have bought this store and should have just put them out of business, but I was blinded by “expanding”. 6 months into it I could not turn around the store and now both stores were suffering because I was taking cash from our good performer and funneling into the lower performer. This went on for several more months until I took a step back and saw that if I didn’t make a change we would be out of cash in 3 months. My gut and checkbook told me that it was time to cut my losses so I made a deal with the landlord and shut her down. Literally, the week after this store closed my other store had a boost in traffic and sales were trending up, telling me that with 2 stores I was saturating the market seeing as the stores were so close to one another. Closing that store, i.e. quitting, saved my company and allowed me to put the effort into the higher performer. What would have happened if I wouldn’t have closed and tried to be a superhero? Well, I would be much more in debt or would have dug myself into an endless hole.
#2. We had a popular program called a Monthly Maternity Club, where pregnant women could order a box of previously loved clothing, where they would keep what they want and send back what they didn’t and only pay for the items kept, like a Stitch Fix. The program went very well and had a strong subscriber base but wasn’t making money. Additionally, since all of our items are one of a kind (used clothing) we had too many pieces of inventory being shipped out and not enough in store for customers to shop through so that issue along with the shipping both ways and customers not keeping enough items for us to make money, put us in the red for this program. After running at a loss for several months, I decided to cancel the program and stop the bleeding.
The above are just 2 real life examples of when quitting was the right thing to do. When you think about your business, what are you doing that is just spinning the wheels and not giving you traction. What can you quit tomorrow?
Who is this guy?
Hi! I am Dan Canfield, a born marketer that thrives on pushing the boundaries in my industries. I am currently a business owner, consultant, and employee, so I have a diverse perspective in the business world. This site is an outlet for me to share what I have learned and give you a piece of my mind.