skuI was chatting with a nice guy from London the other day about an innovative product he has that is inventive but may have limited potential. He needs financing to produce inventory and marketing, does this sound familiar? He has one inherent problem and numerous issues.

The problem is he only has one product, or in retail talk, a sku. When he goes into a big Home Depot type store they are more willing to work with a supplier who has more than one product. It makes it easier for ordering and if one product tanks maybe the others might score, or so the theory goes.

The old adage “putting all your eggs in one basket” has always been a clear cut sign that you shouldn’t put all your efforts into one thing for fear of it not being successful. This does not mean that you have several companies in case one goes belly up. It just asks the question how do you know with your crystal ball that your one product will make you millions? The answer is you can’t.

Talking to a potential client about a one product business is sad unless the product is so bullet proof it will be an overnight runaway success. I think I’m savvy enough to be able to pick those successful products but, hey, we all make mistakes. I had the guy who invented the banking industry’s ATM system come to my office a long time ago, tell me about this new idea and then ask me for $750 million to implement it. I threw him out of my office. Ha, what I weirdo I thought, hmm.

The bottom line is for a one product business it won’t be a growing company. Consider keeping your day job and run the ‘business’ like a cottage industry, weekend operation and be glad for the extra revenue you might earn.

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