ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign? High-level mastermind or low-priced membership? TikTok or Instagram Reels?
Businesses owners are forced to face – and make – loads of difficult decisions every single day. From massive decisions like when to launch a new offer to (seemingly) smaller decisions like which subject line to use for a value-packed weekly email, there are endless choices to made.
Today, though, I want to talk about one decision I don’t see tons of other people in the online space talking about: when to drop or stop providing a particular offer.
Let me be real: In our fast-paced online world, it’s crucial to recognize when something is no longer serving your goals–or your audience. In this post, we’ll discuss how to determine when it’s time to quit an offer in your biz – or if you should hang on or iterate instead.
1) You’re Not Seeing an ROI (Return on Investment)
Shakira’s hips don’t lie–and your numbers don’t lie, either. That said, crunching your numbers is the best place to start when deciding to quit or just pivot an offer. If you have an inkling an offer isn’t performing or providing a solid return on investment (ROI), do the math. Are you making money from your offer? Is it bringing in revenue and (ideally) profit? Or if it just draining your resources (and Facebook ad spend) and not getting results? If the ROI isn’t aligning with your goals, it may be time to reevaluate or let it go, Frozen-style.
And by the way, if you didn’t already have clear metrics and goals for your offers and strategies in place, now is the perfect time to implement them.
2) Your Audience Isn’t Loving Your Offers
Pay attention to what your customers – or non-customers, like people who clicked on an offer but didn’t buy – are saying about your product or service. Send out post-purchase emails to find out what drew the buyer to your offer. Peruse your course’s Facebook group for feedback from current students on the content, structure and their overall client satisfaction. If you notice lots of negative feedback or have seen a dramatic fall in demand for a particular offer over the months or years – even though you’ve still been growing your audience – it could be a sign that the offer should go the way of the do-do bird.
3) Your Audience Isn’t Buying Your Offers
Similarly, if you notice that people seem interested in your offers but aren’t actually putting their money where their “Likes” are, this can be another sign that there’s something off. Of course, a period of slow sales is totally normal – but if it becomes a long-term pattern, you’ll want to look at your offer with a microscope.
4) Your Audience Only Buys One Offer
Don’t get me wrong: It feels amazing to sell out a signature offer over & over (and become the sought-after insert-what-you-do-here that you always knew you could be), but it’s also important to take note of whether your audience is ordering anything else off your virtual menu.
If your customers are only snapping up one of your offers, it could be time to look at cutting back on and/or eliminating a few offers – especially if you’re spending loads of time (or money) marketing them without seeing an ROI.
Instead, capitalize on what your people are loving instead and pull back on the others–even if that just means no longer working them into your marketing plans and not deleting any sign of them altogether.
5) Assess Your Passion and Purpose
Most of us got into business so we do could work we love, on our own terms. So, if anything in your business – including a particular offer – isn’t aligned with your current passion or passion, you don’t have to cling to it just because.
Of course, you’ll want to do adequate market research before axing an offer that’s your bread-and-butter. But if you find yourself losing interest quickly in a particular topic you run a course about, or feeling wildly unfulfilled after every group coaching call or turning down even the most lucrative speaking opportunities in your area of expertise, it might be a sign to pivot or explore new opportunities that resonate more with your current goals, values and passions.
6) Your Personal Circumstances Have Changed
Pregnancy, health issues, becoming a caregiver, moving across state (or country) lines – all of these can require giving up or pivoting away from an offer. For example, maybe you started your entrepreneurial journey working privately with clients, but it’s become almost impossible to show up live 2x/week when you’re at the beck & call of a very hungry baby.
7) Your Offer or Strategy Is Outdated or Irrelevant
Just because something was ‘hot’ for a minute doesn’t mean it will work or stay relevant forever. For example, maybe your SEO services and digital products were whizzing off the digital shelves in 2020, but with the advent of ChatGPT and other AI tools, you’ve noticed a dip. If something like this has happened in your business, it could be time to explore other ways to solve your audience’s problems (like by offering a self-study guide to using ChatGPT for SEO, for example).
Since things change so insanely fast in the online space, it’s also important to stay up-to-date on your competition and current market trends. This doesn’t mean you need to craft new products for every passing trend, but it does mean that if you notice others in your marketing are shifting away from your current offer (either type, strategy or topic), it could be a signal to adapt – or at the very least explore new ideas. For example, if ‘everyone’ is ditching online courses in favor of smaller digital products and your online course’s sales have taken a dip, it might be worth looking at selling your course in chunks to experiment.
8) Your Message or Perspective Has Shifted
Your own personal brand, message or perspective can also shift over time. Are all your current offers – and accompanying marketing materials, like sales pages or email funnels – based on a hyper-specific message you no longer want to put out into the world? Is the very basis of your offer no longer what you believe in? If so, you’re likely not going to want to market or promote your offer, and will inevitably see a drop in sales.
9) You “Just Feel It” In Your Gut
Last of all: Intuition can be a powerful decision-making tool. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t ‘right’ for your biz, don’t ignore it. Your instincts are a valuable source of insight–and you definitely shouldn’t just shove them down. (But do be sure to differentiate between fear or impostor syndrome and an actual bad feeling about an offer.)
At the end of the day, it can hard to know when it’s time to give up on an offer altogether – and it’s a completely personal choice. That said, being able to adapt, pivot and – yes – give up when necessary, is a vital part of running a sustainable business long-term. Hope these quick tips helped!