I need to stop designing things

I have problems with sell-through (which means my products sell slowly in stores) and maintaining customers. While my business is still growing, I know that these problems will eventually kill my business if I don’t fix them since there are only so many possible Po Campo customers out there. Today, an advisor diagnosed these problems as symptoms of SKU-proliferation disease. I have to agree that she is correct, as my resources (money and time) are stretched very thin supporting all the bags in my line.
The cure? Not only to stop designing new bags, but to also stop making bags already in my line. She told me to just pick my four best selling bags and just make and market those. My first thought was, “My babies!”. I have 40 SKUs (which stands for stock keeping unit and means every individual item that I sell), so narrowing down to four will be sacrificing much of my offspring. My second thought was, “Okay, point taken, I have too many. Let’s just cut the number of SKUs in half”. Now after mulling it over for an hour or two, I think she was right. I am going to shoot for selecting 4-6 bags.
How do I decide? Here’s my plan:
  1. Look at which bags sold the best this year and take the top 6.
  2. Look at which bags are going to be new for next year and take the top 6 that I’ve gotten orders for so far.
  3. Have a popularity contest. Tomorrow I will put these bags out on a table at during a Christmas cookie party of potential Po Campo consumers and have people pick their favorite three. I also plan to put a survey together online and blast it to the world – both consumers and customers
  4. Study the results, and pick 4-6 bags.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Hoping to have an idea with what to move forward with the first week of January.

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