Well that was a shit idea! 7 Tips to avoid making another one!

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Well that was a shit idea! Have you ever created a new product or service or worse purchased a butt load of someone else’s product to sell only to realise it was a shit idea?  I have, and more than once…

Shit idea’s can knock your confidence side ways big time.

Over the past week I have met with three clients who have been lamenting the failure of a product.  Here is the thing though, for two of my clients the product was not necessarily bad.  In fact, they were good!  They did their research, they ran the numbers and it all added up to what should have been a successful product.  You might be wondering about the other client, well it was just a shit idea wrapped in the best intentions unfortunately.

How to attempt to avoid a shit idea:

1) Is the product for you or your market? 

Don’t be tempted to introduce a product or service that excites the pants off you but is not wanted or needed by the market you already have. If your customers won’t buy it you basically need to start all over with a complete new customer base.  That’s just a shit idea.

2) Is the price point about what your current customers would expect?

Introducing a super high priced product won’t fly if your customers are accustomed to mid range or low pricing.

3) Is the product profitable?

You can be as kind as you like to your customers whilst your kindness is free, once it starts to cost then stop!  Introducing a product or service that you know they would love and they need but has low margins just makes no sense to me.  You are not running a charity, you run a business.

4) Market the crap out of it!

Just like your business in general your new product needs a launch plan and a marketing plan.  I have seen many great products and services flail due to non existent marketing.  Just because you stock or offer it doesn’t mean your customers know that! *Sticking it on your website does not count as effective marketing!

5) Whats the plan if it all goes to shit?

Have an exit strategy for the product or service.  If it just doesn’t hit the mark what will you do?  Do you have room in your margin to flog off the problem el’cheapo to someone else?  Can the service simply be cut from your offerings without causing mayhem?

6) Know when to call it quits!

It is so tempting to keep flogging that dead horse till it runs.  Know when to give up the fight.  Be mindful of throwing good money in after bad trying to sell a product that just has no legs.

7) Move on!

Sometimes for no apparent reason your product will fail.  It happens, its not good, but it is part of being in business! Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Take some time to figure out why your market didn’t like your sparkly new offering, you can even go straight to the buyer and ask!  Give yourself a moment or two to grieve, then move on!

Many good idea’s fail to take off.  Did you know Colgate once launched frozen dinners?  Now there is a confusing product mix!




  • Melanie,

    Great post and like you, I have been guilty of those ‘shit’ ideas that I thought were awesome, but never came to much! It is sometimes easy to get excited but no one wants it!

    I use a little process which I learnt in a past life for all products/ service ideas which is quite effective- the 3 E’s.

    For any product or service you launch use this to review and execute.

    E- Enhance
    If the product is not working all that well, can you modify or enhance the offering to make more appealing to the needs of the target client?

    E- Extend
    If it goes really well, and was meant for a limited time, why stop it, keep it going longer and leverage the returns.

    E- Exit
    If the writing is on the wall after enhancing, bite the bullet and quit….Exit that mother, and move on and learn from it.

    That’s my words of advice for this Friday…hope it helps..


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