My favorite food group is ice cream. I am particularly partial to vanilla Häagan Daz. I’m a bit of a purist but that doesn’t stop me from eating other brands and flavors.
I went to Cold Stone Creamery. I had never been there before and was looking forward to it. I decided what I wanted and placed my order. I ordered a small because it was exactly what I wanted. As soon as the word “small” came out of my mouth the guy behind the counter said “A medium only costs a dollar more.” I declined the offer. He went onto say, “Are you sure? You get twice as much ice cream.” I stayed strong and said “No, thank you.” He was about to try one more time but I said, “Stop, trying to supersize me. I want a small.”
Supersizing is in the best interests of Cold Stone Creamery. It increases their bottom line by upselling customers by a little bit. When you upsell a little to a lot of customers profits go up dramatically.
We understand what it does for the seller but where does this leave the customer, in this case me? In this case, supersizing would have left me with a dollar less in my wallet, a bigger waist line, left over ice cream and feeling guilty.
As consumers we all understand supersizing and know, at least logically, that being supersized is not in our best interest. So the question is why then, do we as entrepreneurs, continually supersize ourselves and what can we do about it?
Let me explain what I mean.
You are working on a new program. You’re close to launching and then decide to add just one more feature. You’ve just supersized. You’ve got more to do. Your program is no longer nearing completion and your launch date is now delayed.
You are doing market research to get a better understanding of what your competitors offer and how they communicate. You’ve found five examples. You keep on researching. Surely if you know what five are doing, knowing what ten are doing is even better right? You’ve just supersized. Instead of taking action and learning from what you’ve discovered you are staying in “research and learning mode.” You are not acting. Whatever lessons you may be getting are not being used.
You spend time and energy creating a marketing plan and start to implement it. The next thing you know you read about an exciting new strategy. You’ve got to try it. You’ve just supersized. The result: The targeted marketing plan, that you spent time and energy on, doesn’t get implemented or tested and it gets watered down by adding more strategies.
You start your day with a few specific things that you want to accomplish to move your business forward. You check your email, find a few new opportunities to pursue and a whole slew of interesting articles to read. You want to learn more because you are sure that these ideas will lead to even more opportunities. You just supersized. The plan you had for the day is officially out the window and you’re onto other things.
I’m reminded of something my Mom often said as I was growing up, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach, are you sure you want it?” There you are, sitting at the table, looking at a something delicious. You pick up the serving spoon, pile more on your plate, and dig in. You’re full. You sit there playing with what’s still on your plate because you want to fit it in but it no longer tastes good and it’s making you uncomfortable. What looked like a good idea at the beginning has left you feeling sick and even foolish.
For many of us entrepreneurs we have a tendency to believe that if a few are great more can only be better. This is simply not true. Oftentimes by adding more you simply pull yourself off the track you were on. You get confused and overwhelmed.
Now let me be perfectly clear. I’m not saying you have to be satisfied with what you have and that you should never add more. I’m not saying that those new opportunities aren’t exactly what you need or that you should not add additional features to your new program.
What I am saying is that before you supersize consider two things:
- Is this something you truly want to add to your plate and will serve a purpose that is not already being served?
- Are you going to be able to consume (or do) this and is consuming (or doing) this in your and your clients’ best interest.
I know I’ve supersized myself on many occasions, sometimes I’ve regretted it other times it was exactly right. When have you supersized yourself and what has been the result?