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#165: Discontinuing a Product or Service

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, October 30, 2009
Updated: Friday, October 30, 2009
How do I stop offering a service for which I am very well known? I think I would like to move my practice in a different direction and do not want future clients to have preconceived or limited notion of what types of services I can provide.

First, make sure that your current clients will not be adversely impacted by you discontinuing this service. If it will, you must determine whether it is worth the risk to discontinue the offering.

If this is a profitable endeavor, you might consider offering to sell this "service" to another consultant. It might enable someone just starting out to build up their practice or it could provide an experienced practitioner with an opportunity to supplement their current offerings. Remember, you invested time and effort in building value into this service, and you should always explore any opportunities to benefit from your hard work prior to abandoning it. If you do sell or license this product or service, make sure to provide specific contractual assurances that it will be delivered or provided in the manner that you expect. Also make sure that you build in contractual protection against any perceived responsibilities for how the product or service is delivered once handed over to the purchaser.

Tip: If you decide to simply discontinue the product or service without establishing a continuity plan via sale, the best thing for you to do is to inform the people who have been served by you that for the following reasons, you have decided to discontinue offering this product or service. Be sure to provide them with as much advance notice as possible. Some clients will come and ask for help, others will make other arrangements and, surprisingly, some might actually ask you why it took you so long to make this decision!

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  intellectual property  practice management  product development  reputation 

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