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Cold Stone MBA: Know When to Fold ‘Em

December 13, 2013

How much is enough?

How much time, energy and money should you as a firm leader invest in an underperforming service, office or client before you pull the plug?

I think some warning signs let you know when you are approaching the “enough” mark:

  • You start investing personal “nonpaid” time or money to supplement company resources.
  • You are not able to invest in profitable, growing areas because you are consumed in “problem” areas.
  • Strategic benchmarks are consistently unmet, and achieving them gets repeatedly pushed off into the future.

When these things start happening, you are incurring opportunity costs that are likely diverting valuable resources.  What are you not doing because you are investing in an area of your business that is floundering and is likely to continue floundering?  What could be accomplished if these resources were directed toward profitable business?

As business leaders, we have limited personal and company resources that we can invest – time, money and energy.  We must be strategic in how we allocate our resources and know when to fold unproductive resource drains.  Unfounded optimism, pride, or regret should not stand in the way of a good decision today.

Know when to say, “Well done,  and I’m done.”

  1. Don Arndt permalink

    Are you saying what it seems you are saying? A big lesson I learned way back in business 101. Always fear, then avoid “Magical Thinking” Leslie. Sounds like you are. If the sun isn’t rising now it is probably not going to. If you are saying you guys are done then I am sad for you guys. A valiant effort.

    • Hi, Don,
      Yes, I am saying that Cold Stone is closed. As you know, you come to decision points in your business on what the future will be. When we looked at the data, the future was clear. We did sell the fundraising/catering piece of the business to Treat Dreams in Ferndale. He is an Artisan ice cream maker, who is building a remarkable business. Stop in his place if you are in Ferndale!

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