Unprofitable Products: How to Manage Products that Lose Money


Focus on revenues that will change as a result of your decision and on incremental costs. Then choose the option that is more profitable . \nA decision to discontinue a product line or segment requires you to consider how your decision affects both revenues and expenses. Dropping a customer can increase a supplier’s cost per remaining customer and harm the supplier’s reputation, so Egan should seek creative solutions before ending its relationship with Westmid. Perhaps Egan can reduce costs by subcontracting the least-profitable products in its portfolio. Jane had promised Tommy that a visit to Westmid would change his view of the company.

  • They are also co-authors of the bookLet Go to GROW, which focuses on growing your business.
  • Not all revenue is created equal, however, and this is something both investors and product managers should care about.
  • Portfolio analysis of a firm’s product offerings also allows investors to nail down specific drivers of financial performance, which is necessary for effective modeling.
  • In a Forbes article, Lawrence Siff writes about clients who are not profitable.
  • As a result, they have less operational volatility than younger companies, which may rely upon the performance of fewer products, opening them up to greater risk.
  • Overall, you have the opportunity to quickly improve your margins by following the above steps to selectively phasing out products to prune the product portfolio.

“This is a small part of Westmid’s business now,” she went on, “but it’s bound to grow once the economy picks up. Our products have to be in these showrooms. ” This time Steve refrained from speaking, because the question was clearly aimed at Tommy. Tommy was a director and Jane was the Midlands regional sales manager for Egan & Sons, a supplier of doors and staircases to Westmid for 63 years. Tommy knew that despite the heavy traffic that April morning, Westmid was hurting from the economic downturn in the UK.

Liquidating Unprofitable Products

As with all Unprofitable Products, consider qualitative factors. Eliminating an unprofitable brand may alienate customers or reduce demand for complementary products. \nAs with all decisions, consider qualitative factors.

Explain why liquidation value is generally not relevant to estimating the intrinsic value of profitable companies. Explain why break-even point increases if product price decreases. Discuss reasons that a company might choose to merge with or acquire another company. In this Bain & Company video, Andre Leme talks about how banks can turn around unprofitable clients. Leme is a partner with Bain’s Financial Services practice.

A Complete Guide to Salesforce for Small Business

Chances are, you’ll be able to find a more successful offering that can replace it. For SaaS companies, the challenge is even greater, because most customers only become profitable after they’ve been subscribing for a certain period of time. If that payback takes many months or even years, growth will continue to cost the company money even after they’ve reached a stage of maturity where profitability would normally be expected. Most understand gross margin, but very few understand the drivers of cost contained in overheads, and less still the effect drivers have on product/customer profitability. In order to compute the Lifetime Value of a Customer , the gross profit margin expected to result from that customer over the lifetime of the relationship is computed.

Unprofitable Products

But the underlying economics should still make sense for the company’s eventual pivot to making money and not just adding more users, regardless of the chosen monetization strategy. At such a price, it would be unprofitable for publishers to produce three-volume novels, if such products were intended for sale to individual readers. To sustain profitability, corporations employ strategies of “demarketing,” namely, concerted efforts to drive away unprofitable patients and deemphasize unprofitable services. Steve qualified as an accountant with PwC and spent 15 years of his early career in CFO roles, before forging a career in cost management consulting, spanning over 20 years. Steve has implemented large cost management projects and developed deep expertise in key sectors including Airlines, Utilities and Manufacturing.

Profits Must Come Eventually

Explain at least three reasons that would lead companies to switch to a different costing method. Discuss the possible reasons why a company may switch its strategy of organic growth to one of growing by acquiring companies. Explain how a top-selling product may actually result in losses for the company.

Thus, cell phone accessories can offset losses incurred from sale of the phone itself. Product teams should be on the same page as the executive team about what the growth targets are and how they will measure them. Then, they should continually analyze the impact of different experiments and feature releases. Before delving into how to manage an unprofitable product, let’s first explore why this phenomenon is much more common today than in previous generations.

Launching similar products allows you to use Headline Search Ads to advertise them – something I had been taking advantage of very early on. “I need to have an answer when he returns next week,” Tommy said. “I’m flattered by such an august delegation,” Steve said.

customer service

Explain why the cost of goods sold increases when inventory decreases. Explain why small changes in a company’s revenue can result in large changes in their earnings or losses. Explain why the best economic choice for a company is to pay an outside supplier $35 for a part instead of purchasing it from an internal division for $36.50, which is above its incremental costs. Being emotional does not help your business become more profitable.

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