That might sound a little defeatist to you. You might not want to give up on anything, but sometimes stopping work on a website is the wisest thing that you can do.
The answer to the question in general is that anytime the cost exceeds the current and future benefits of the website, you should look at stopping that work on that and moving on to something else.
If you’ve been in the online world long enough, you’ve almost certainly had situations where traffic was declining, revenues were dropping, and you tried everything. You just couldn’t seem to get things to turn around. You ask yourself the questions:
Should I sell?
Should I stop?
Should I give up?
Do the Math
If it’s a situation where you know what it would take to turn things around and you can estimate the costs somewhat effectively, and all you need is to muster the strength and energy to make that happen, then do the math. If you can turn it around, you can at least make that decision on a factual basis. Objectively look at what the cost might be.
Is there a way to effectively manage your time and resources to improve your business?
Consider Your Options
Now, in most cases, we don’t actually have that amount of clarity. We don’t really know what we need to do to turn it around or how much it will cost.
If you have the sense that starting from scratch has a higher probability of success than continuing with the existing business, then you need to seriously look at that as an indicator that you should stop work on the website. That shouldn’t be the only indicator, but it is one.
If you have that sense that starting from scratch might be just as successful or moreso, then that’s a good sign that this business isn’t worth continuing.
What are your alternatives?
Revisiting Your Vision
There’s a reason that you started this business. Maybe you saw profitability, maybe you saw a lack of competition, maybe you saw lots of unfulfilled demand. If that opportunity still exists and it’s just a matter of figuring it out, you need to get clear on how to overcome those obstacles.
Is there still opportunity in this space? Can you provide the value that you originally set out to if you can overcome a few obstacles?
Asses Your Risk
If you start to sense that you’re building up risk that is unworthy of its rewards, then you need to seriously consider abandoning your website. Maybe you’re digging a financial hole that there’s no way you’re going to be able to get out of. Maybe you’re so stressed that it’s affecting your health or relationships.
Take a deep look because the website or the business may not be the actual problem. Try to be unbiased.
Are there fundamental things causing me financial, relationship, or health problems, or is it the business?
Evaluate Your Motivations
Look at yourself honestly and objectively and ask yourself the question: Am I tempted to quit because I lack the discipline and motivation to continue?
You have to ask yourself this question. It is one of the most difficult questions you can ask because you’re faced with having to change yourself. Maybe you quit this website and move on to another some other project–
You take yourself along with you into that next project.
Where ever you go, there you are.
If you still have those motivational problems, then you haven’t solved any problem whatsoever. You’re better off sticking with your current business and working on yourself.
Develop that discipline muscle. Invest the extra time. Force yourself to concentrate.
Investing in your own personal asset means that even if the website doesn’t turn around, at least you’ve improved yourself and you can take that better version of yourself to the next endeavor with you.
Crowdsource Your Problem
You need to talk to people. Get advice from others.
Ask your friends and family–even if they’re not expert online marketers. They may be able to help you identify your contribution to whatever issues your business is having. They may be the everyman who struggles to navigate websites.
Ask others in the industry what they think of the problems you’re facing. Perhaps there are simple fixes you’re missing because you’re too close.
It’s good to have that dialog with people so you can test yourself in your thinking, and to see if you’re using the right criteria to make this decision.
I Want To Persist. What Next?
This had a negative tone to it, but in the future, we will talk about how to resurrect your dying website. There are some specific techniques that you can use.
But it is important that you first work through this question of whether or not it is worth saving.