Four years ago we launched a human resources service. One of our goals at Office Accomplice is to facilitate our client’s growth, and human resources seemed like a great way to do this. Most companies need to hire people to grow. And the HR service offerings that are widely available tend to be geared towards small businesses (i.e., somewhere between 50 and 100 employees), which is not what my clients need. When you are hiring 2-3 people, there are different challenges. And, thus, the human resources department at Office Accomplice was born.
Yet, now, four years later, we are no longer offering human resources. So, what leads to the decision to eliminate a service offering?
Internal Reasons to Eliminate A Service Offering
Staffing is the most obvious issue when you are offering a service. Who is going to provide this service? Can one of your existing staff do it? Does it split your focus as the business owner?
But staffing is just one piece. You also have to think about how it dovetails with any other systems in your business. When you analyze the service logically, how does offering this service change your team’s workload? Is it fun for people, or is it that task that everyone does last because it’s so painful?
Evaluate Services Logically, Not Sentimentally
I hope you notice that word I used there – logically. It is so easy to get the story we tell ourselves about our success caught up in the analysis of the service offering. Because you worked damned hard to get that offering launched. And as the offering needed to be tweaked (because they all do), you spent your time thinking and nurturing this idea so that other people could see what a great idea it is.
None of us want to look at something we spent time growing and say that it isn’t worth keeping. AND it is imperative for growth that we do just that. Think of it more as caring enough about this organization that we are willing to let something go that is making the team’s life harder.
When doing this logical and painful analysis of your service offering, you also need to look at what the market tells you. Do people clamor to get this service? Are you getting lots and lots of referrals? Or are you fighting for every sale? If it is hard to sell, then the market is telling you this isn’t the right service offering, and you should put on your listening ears.
The Risk of Working On The “Wrong Thing”
If you are still reading and asking yourselves these questions, I suspect that you have known in your gut for a while what the market is telling you. Sometimes we need to get out of our own way so we can focus on the things that are working. As James Clear says in his 3-2-1 email, “The biggest risk to productivity is always the same: working on the wrong thing.”
Has human resources gone from the Office Accomplice offerings forever? I don’t know, but I would love to borrow your crystal ball if you do. The conditions that led to the decision that we no longer offer this service could always change. And, if they do, we can re-evaluate.
For now, though, we will focus on service offerings that make more sense for Office Accomplice. Are you focusing on what makes the most sense for your business?