What to drop in 2021

January 14, 2021

By Liza Robbins.

How do you build a multi-million dollar company?

You might imagine that you need to constantly innovate… Expand your portfolio of products and services… Do more.

The founders of Basecamp, one of the world’s most popular project management tools, took the opposite route.

Back in 2014, they had a dozen popular apps and services, including Highrise – a CRM tool – and Backpack, which helped people stay organised.

Overnight, they announced they were going to retire all of them other than Basecamp, so they could focus on their flagship product.

It was a bold move…

…but it paid off handsomely.

With millions of users and a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue since inception, Basecamp is a massive a success story.

We can learn from this at Kreston.

In January, it’s only natural for our firms – and leaders – to think about what they want to accomplish in the coming year.

This normally involves doing more

Starting new projects…

Hiring new people…

Expanding into new markets and new areas.

But what if we decided to do less

To drop services that weren’t profitable enough or which were draining our resources…

And to focus on the parts of our business which show the most promise and success?

Your firm would doubtless grow faster.

(And you know this, because it’s probably what you advise your own clients to do when you look over their management accounts, and note the areas of their business which are under-performing!)

The main obstacle to this approach isn’t anything practical. It’s about mentality and mindset.

Our culture constantly tells us that “new” means “progress” and is where the excitement lies…

Dropping services and doing less can feel like a let-down.

But in The Dip, Seth Godin – one of the world’s leading speakers on entrepreneurship – argues that being savvy enough to know when to quit is the hallmark of companies that ultimately dominate their niches…

…because they don’t get bogged down in failure.

The problem, of course, is knowing which of the things you’re doing are really hopeless, and which you should persevere with. That’s something I’m going to address in a future email.

For now, let me set you a challenge for 2021:

What activity or service is your firm going to drop this year, so you can become more successful?