If you're like most small businesses, you don't spend much time on internal seek-and-destroy missions that identify and kill unproductive elements. That, says Auren Hoffman at the Summation blog, is a mistake. "While it does not come [naturally] for a company (or any organization) to toss things out," he writes, "every so often you need to look at everything and focus on getting rid of things that are no longer needed, important, or helping the company grow."

Hoffman lists categories that deserve your critical attention, including these:

Products. For various reasons, you might cling to a product or project that drains resources without producing ROI. Hoffman's advice: Kill it.

Features. "Your products may have features once thought to be important, but are no longer necessary or demanded by customers," he says. "Slay them."

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