Three Different Exit Strategies After Buying a Website

By | May 18, 2011

We’ve all been there. We’ve all made an investment that wasn’t really panning out in some way – and many of us reading this right now have even done the exact same thing with a website domain. We thought it would pan out, increase in value, or even become a major hit one day – only to find out that the potential wasn’t really there in the first place.

Big deal, right? Everyone makes mistakes. We can learn from them. But if you have some money tied up into this investment, you still need to know how to proceed from here without simply cutting your losses. That’s why we’re going to take a look at three distinct exit strategies you might want to employ in order to cut your losses or even maximize your gains.

Strategy Number One: The “Secret of My Success” Strategy

If you’ve ever seen the 1987 film “The Secret of My Success” starring Michael J. Fox, you know exactly what this strategy is. In the film, Michael J. Fox’s character recommends that his company avoid a hostile takeover not by cutting jobs and maximizing profits, but by acquiring new assets and making the company so valuable that it’s difficult to buy up.

Maximizing your website’s value can work in the same vein. Sure, you’ve dumped a lot of money into it already and don’t want to throw more into the money pit. But you can still optimize its value with a little time, a few well-targeted techniques, and then list it for sale at a site like It’s a great way to exit while feeling you’ve learned – and accomplished – something new.

Strategy Number Two: Cutting Your Losses

This one is essentially the exact opposite of the first strategy: rather than continue to invest in the site you own, you decide to cut your losses, list it for sale, and be done with it. It’s the quickest and easiest way out – but it can also mean that you don’t recoup a lot of your money. In some cases, however, you’ll be glad to be rid of a website and won’t mind cutting your losses at a certain point.

Cutting your losses can be a truly wise move if there’s nothing you can do to squeeze more money out of the site you’ve invested in. Sometimes, it’s the best way to move forward – and if you would take a lower sale price in order to rid yourself of a burden, sometimes that’s exactly what feels right.

Strategy Number Three: Selling Up

Of course, the two strategies already listed assume that your site is doing poorly. But what if it’s not, and you want to get out of it for another reason, such as devoting your time to some other hobby or line of work?

Then it’s time to sell up: sell to someone who has a plan for the site and really knows how to utilize its potential. Sell to someone who can do more with the site than you can. It will be better for the site, it will yield you some cash, and it will still mean you’re exiting the site gracefully. It’s a beautiful way to exit when things are going well and you still want out for one reason or another.