As a web entrepreneur, you’ll likely encounter a common question soon enough: to sell, or not to sell. In this case, we’re talking about whether it is better to sell or maintain your website or online business.
Whether it’s a blog about plants, an eCommerce store, or a social forum, at some point, almost every entrepreneur thinks, “It would be easier to get rid of this thing.”
This is a question that can easily arise even if your website is turning a handsome profit. Sometimes, the money just isn’t enough – and sometimes, you need the money upfront. Whether or not you sell is, at the end of the day, up to your discretion.
But if you’re on the fence and looking for a sign, here are 10 reasons it’s better to sell than maintain your website.
1. You Need the Money
Selling your website is a great way to cash in now. While maintaining your website might provide you with a steady income, selling your website is a guaranteed way to put money in your hand today (or rather in several weeks).
To make a rough valuation of your website, take your 12-month average net profit and multiply it by 20 to 50 (depending on various factors of your business). So, if you make $1,200 per year, that comes out to $120 per month. $120 times 20 comes out to $2,400. But keep in mind that this is an estimate. You may get half that price, or you may double it.
The reasons you may need the money are as varied as there are reasons to sell at all.
It’s common to see someone sell a website for personal reasons. These may include funding a wedding, paying off medical bills or debt, or buying a car. Some fund a retirement or hiatus while they figure out their next move.
Professional financial reasons give individuals even more reasons to sell. Many businesspeople reinvest the funds into a new venture. Whether you’re buying a business or starting one from scratch, taking these first steps requires a fair chunk of change that selling your website can provide.
Of course, once you have the money, you have to resist the urge to spend it on frivolous items. It’s a good idea to have a plan going into the sale – such as one of the points above – so you don’t blow it on a new pony or expensive vacation. (Unless that is your plan, of course).
2. You’re Worried About the Future of the Market
Like all good things in this world, nothing stays the same forever. That includes the premium price of your business.
If you have a beat on factors that may impact your value, then you know when the best (and worst) time is to sell. And if you suspect that dry financial times are coming, get ahead of the downfall.
It’s better to sell while the price is high, and your mind is half-made up than it is to decide when the market falls out that you’re tired of your website-cum-money pit.
Amazon affiliate commissions are a great example. Many sites were concentrating on increasing their revenue when suddenly Amazon decided to cut the commissions severely. Some websites had to close down, as it was not profitable to work in their niche anymore.
So one day you have a site that is earning you $5,000 a month with a valuation of $100,000, and tomorrow – poof. Both numbers are 0.
That is one of the main reasons why I gave myself space to pivot when building my digital marketing blog Costofincome.com. Facebook might change its rules, or your main affiliate partner may cut commissions – digital marketing is just a business with many moving parts.
It means that you also have to keep moving.
3. The Competition is Getting to You
Building and maintaining your website is one thing. Many entrepreneurs find joy in gathering data, making and seeing plans through, and watching their toddling enterprise grow from infancy to full-fledged functionality.
But not every entrepreneur enjoys the competitive nature of running a business. Even if you’re a small-time website, the competition out there is quite fierce. And this is true no matter your niche, for better or for worse.
Are you enjoying running your blog, but noticing that your revenue is not growing – or even being siphoned off? It could be the fault of one of the over 600 million blogs active worldwide.
(Note that there are around 1.7 billion websites in the world. This means that blogs alone take up a third of that online real estate.)
But maybe you’re not into blogging – what if ecommerce is more your thing? Well, in addition to competing with the likes of Amazon and Shopify, you have to consider the estimated 12 to 24 million ecommerce sites functioning around the globe.
In a bit of brighter news, less than a million of these websites earn more than $1,000 per year in sales. Still, 1,000 websites is a lot of competition, especially if you’re a small fish in such an enormous pond.
So, you know, no pressure.
But if said pressure is getting to you, there’s no shame in backing out while the getting is good. This is especially true if you’re turning a profit and can make more from selling your website now than you could by maintaining it and selling in the future.
4. You No Longer Love What You Do
At some point, almost everyone looks around and says, “X doesn’t make me happy anymore.”
This could be scrapbooking or quilting. It might be sports or drinking every Friday night with your coworkers, or even a friendship that you have outgrown.
Or it might be maintaining your website.
There are a bunch of reasons you may fall out of love with your current business and consider selling it rather than maintaining. Financial costs, time commitments, and even the direction of your company may all impact your decision. You may hate your coworkers or how little energy you have to spend with family and friends.
Or, if you’re being honest with yourself, maybe it’s not making all your hopes and dreams come true.
Whatever the reason, if you are falling out of love with what you do, you may find it hard to be happy with your career choice. Listen to that feeling – and sell out as soon as you feel ready. This will put cash in your hand and free you up to move on.
Speaking of which…
5. It’s Time for the Next Big Thing
Sticking with a job for the money is a strategy that works for some. But if you no longer love maintaining your website, that may be a sign to sell out and find the Next Big Thing.
This is another commonality in the entrepreneurial world. Many businesspeople build a business because they love the act of building up the business. And then, once their company is pulling in a hefty profit, they become bored with the mundanities of daily operations.
Individuals like this often find themselves building one business after another, only to sell out and move on in a few months. And if this describes you, that’s okay! It means you’ve discovered what you love to do. Don’t let a little thing like website ownership stand in your way.
But sometimes it’s not about loving what you do; rather, it’s about your potential or interests. It’s not uncommon to hit a “ceiling,” so to speak, when it comes to your career.Many entrepreneurs build a business because they love the act of building. Once the building phase is over, it might be time to sell and move on. Click To Tweet
When you reach this point, it’s time to evaluate what you want and need from your business. You also want to be in tune with what your business needs from you – and whether you can provide it.
Maybe you don’t have the time and energy to elevate to the next level, or you don’t know where to begin. It might be you’ve found a great new hobby that you want to try out as a new career.
For some, this can look like starting a new business or buying out a competitor. Perhaps you want to migrate to another niche.
Whatever your desire, if you’re ready to move on, stop maintaining your website and put some cash in your pocket to fund your next step.
6. You’re Out of Your Depth
Many website owners succeed because they’ve mastered the essentials of a successful online business. Web development, SEO, and advertising are all important in web entrepreneurship.
But even so, there’s an upper limit to how much any one person can learn or use in their day. Whether it’s a mental block or a genuine inability to master the next step, everyone has a point past which they cannot continue.
This reality, as well as outside factors such as increasing competition, can lead to a once-successful website tanking. And sometimes, you may not see a way out that doesn’t involve throwing your fortune into a bottomless pit.
If this describes you, that’s a good enough reason to sell on its own. Switch careers, buy a new business or start a new website. Whatever you do, don’t lose your hard-earned money to your stubbornness.
At the end of the day, making some money while you can is better than losing everything on a foreseeable lost cause.
7. You’re Worried About Your Health
Running a business of any description is a stressful, time-consuming endeavor. And if you love what you do, it’s easy to become so invested that you never take any time for yourself.
While some in high-pressure jobs applaud this kind of initiative, it’s not always to your benefit.
In fact, in the long run, a high-stress, never-ending workday can lead to mental and physical health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular disorders
- High cholesterol and blood pressure
- Increased risk of substance use or abuse
We could go on. The point is, high-stress environments can be breeding grounds for long-term health problems. Rather than staying in a business you may or may not love at the risk of poor health, perhaps it’s time to sell out and take a breath for yourself for once rather than go through the pressure of maintaining your site day to day.
Future you will thank you.
8. It’s Time to Reclaim Your Time
Websites are unwieldy creatures. They take a lot of energy and expertise to run well. Unless you’re outsourcing parts of your business – which eats into your profits – you have to be an expert in copywriting, digital marketing and design, and even coding.
Plus, the function your website serves (ecommerce, blogging, etc.) has to be kept, too.
All this eats into your time, both professional and personal. If making a profit (or struggling to stay relevant) is no longer doing it for you, you could be ready to sell out and reclaim your time.
And once you have it, use it well. Take that vacation you’ve been putting off for five years. Get reacquainted with friends and family. Explore new hobbies.
After all, unless you retire after you sell your website, you’ll be back to the grind soon enough.
9. You’re Ready for a Lifestyle Change
There are few things so inevitable in the course of your life as growth and change. This goes far beyond deciding your favorite ice cream flavor is now raspberry pop instead of cookie dough. Those of us with a business bent often find it applies to us, too.
And after you’ve dabbled in the world of web entrepreneurship, you may find that you don’t like the lifestyle.
There are many reasons that the life of a busy website owner may no longer appeal to you. Google updating its guidelines, constant need to improve and create content, reaching out to partners, and replying to those who are pitching you, and staying ahead of the competition are all exhausting. (Not to mention time-consuming).
A busy workload can also lead to burnout, both in a personal and professional capacity. Any of these are valid reasons to get out and return to a calmer, happier life.
After all, priorities are everything in this life.
10. Divesting Redundant Assets
Once upon a time, you created a blog about fitness. You liked doing it, so it grew nicely. Along the way, you decided that you will also sell sporting apparel and you created a separate site for that.
The fitness blog is growing, the apparel site – not so much. It shows you some signs of life but there is just no time to get into it.
Just closing the site down would be silly. You can divest it and focus on your core business. That is a very valid reason to sell a website – to focus all your resources on your A player.
In this post we gave you 10 reasons why selling your site is a good idea. Even if you are not considering selling immediately, it might be a good idea to check around how much would you get for your websites.
Best valuations are made when the seller is not in a hurry. If your digital asset is interesting enough, you might be pleasantly surprised by the offers you might get.
After all, life is about progress.