When is it time to pull the plug on an unsuccessful online business idea?

As I continue on towards my goal of a building a successful online business, I’m continuously taking stock of my existing portfolio of projects. What’s working? What’s not working? Where do I see the most potential for growth? The answers to these questions have been starting to reveal some interesting things in regards to my website empire.

To be blunt, I’m coming to the realization that my oldest and most developed online business has very little left in it in terms of earnings and growth. It has got to the point where it’s even too big for me to manage anymore, and my monthly sales totals aren’t large enough to encourage me to keep focusing most of my time on it. Sounds like an easy decision to push it aside and focus on other online businesses, right? Not really. I’ve got so much of my own blood, sweat, and tears invested in it and I totally consider it to be my “baby”. It would be really hard to let go.

On the other hand, I’m now 100% focused on developing my passive income sources in order to become financially independent, and I know that I can’t be spending so much of my time on online business projects that are under performing. And because of that, the answer is obvious: I’m not going to close that business, as it’s still producing monthly income. However, I need to push it aside and focus on the online projects that are showing the most potential.

Even though my decision is somewhat simple, I realize that not every situation and online business is the same. Since I’ve spent so much time thinking about this, I’ve summarized the thought process and questions I had floating in my head that helped my make the decision. Hopefully this is helpful to you if you are in the same predicament:

How do you know when it’s time to abandon an unsuccessful online business?

  • Compare your efforts vs. results. Are you getting out of it what you put into it? If not, do you expect that you will be six months from now? A year from now? If you can’t answer this clearly, stop what you’re doing and reevaluate!
  • Do you still get any enjoyment out of it? Running an online business needs to be something that you enjoy, so if it’s causing you stress, it’s not worth it.
  • Do you see emerging opportunities elsewhere? Being successful in online business means adapting to change and constantly evolving to meet new market demands. If you don’t see any more growth in your current online business, it’s time to get out and work on something with more productive.

Part of what helped me cope with the decision to that particular online business was the fact that I wouldn’t be totally unplugging the cord. Luckily it can run itself (for the most part), so I can just leave it running and generating income while I’m doing other things.


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