I recently attended a great workshop lead by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE of the Avenue M Group, LLC. The program description noted that the session would include an overview on how to develop programs and products that solve problems. While this is powerful, the speaker slowed us down before diving into those new offerings by having us first evaluate existing products and services. This step is so very important and typically overlooked.
Consider the effort you put into launching something new at your organization. You do the research, make sure you have data points that validate your clients/members will want the new offering, and you build your launch plan. But, when is the last time you truly evaluated your sacred cows? What event, service, product or activity are you providing simply because you’ve offered it for a long time? Too often we make the assumption that we must continue with our same offerings as it is “expected.” While it may be expected, is it valued?
At AOE, one of the questions we like to ask ourselves is “what can we stop doing?” This is such an important question, not only because an organization can’t continue to add offerings without diluting efforts unless resources change, but it also forces us to stop and really evaluate the value of each activity. And, that value changes over time. Just because an offering was valuable at one time, does not mean it still offers great value to your audience. And, downloads, sales and even attendance stats don’t even always tell the whole story in terms of value. Is that offering really needed? What is the cost if you stop doing it? For example, one of the activities AOE stopped doing is a report that we learned our clients didn’t really read, or even want.
As you start to budget for 2020, don’t simply think in terms of new activities and offerings, but really take a hard look at existing programs. Need help talking it through and figuring out value? Reach out today!