Closed for Business
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
While it's not the most cheerful of topics, it’s a reality that many business owners will face at least once during their entrepreneurial career: What to do when closing a business. Making the decision to shut down a business is an overwhelming task. Whether it’s voluntary due to insufficient resources or exhaustion, or a personal or natural disaster strikes, declaring that you are closed for business is something that no one hopes for. Now that you’ve made the decision to cease operations, how do you go forward and actually close up shop? Below, we have highlighted a few basic pointers on how to close a business and help make your exit as graceful and elegant as possible.
INFORM YOUR STAFF
First and foremost, you must inform your staff about the business closing. Try to be as specific as possible, giving them a timeline in which they can expect to see the upcoming changes and dissolution of business moving into effect. Doing so will allow your staff to digest the news and make plans for their next career move. This news could come as a shock to some of your employees, so be prepared to handle all sorts of different reactions upon hearing that you will soon be closed for business. Some of your staff may appear sad or even become angry. To overcome these emotions, listen to their grievances with a sympathetic ear. If possible, take a little weight off their shoulders by offering to help them with their job hunt, or volunteering as a reference for their next endeavor. Above all, be sure to inform your staff of the dissolution of business in a timely manner to allow them plenty of time to plan.
INFORM THE PUBLIC
Once you have let the cat out of the bag to your staff, the public should be the next to hear the big news. Similarly to informing your employees, telling the public that you will be closed for business should be handled in pretty much the same way. You don’t have to be as detailed with the public as you were with your staff, at least about the reasons behind your closure. Sometimes these things can be pretty personal or perhaps even affect your reputation. Therefore, keep it short and simple with your announcement of the business being closed down. Let your customers know when they can expect you to close, so they too can make plans and pop in for any last minute wants or needs. Like your staff, your customers may also be surprised to hear the news about the business closure. If you are faced with comments or messages from disgruntled customers, respond with sympathy, apologize for their disappointment, and inform them that they have “x” amount of time to visit your store until you are closed for business. If possible, offer a coupon or discounted services for their inconvenience.
TEND TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
You might be wondering how to shut down a business when it comes to your social media accounts. The best way to announce your business closure to the public is via your social media pages. As I mentioned earlier, no need to go into great detail here. Announce that your store will be closed for business, when it will be closing, and if there are any changes your customers should expect from now until the time you close your doors. Once you have made the announcement public, it is important that you continue to maintain your social media accounts. Keep those updates posting regularly until after you have closed for business. After your business has closed, you should consider deleting your social media pages. Keeping your pages up and running without someone managing them could possibly lead to hacking or spamming your former customers. We suggest waiting about a month after closing to delete your accounts. Inform your followers that you will be deactivating your pages, as well as when you will be doing so. Be sure to thank them for all of the “likes”, “comments”, and “check-ins” over the years. Let them know that you are sad to see the business closed down but are also grateful for all of their support.
SAY A FINAL GOODBYE
Plan a final goodbye with a dinner party or a big sale. This is a great opportunity to get your customers in the doors one last time before your store is closed for business. Make it special by putting up decorations and offering free food or beverages. Invite the public and let them know that this will be the last time they will be able to pop into your business and grab their favorite things! Offer deals on popular items to encourage turnover. If done right, this can provide a hefty last minute stream of revenue for your store prior to the business closure. Be sure to take lots of photos during the event and share them on your social media sites in the days following the party.
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM SERVICES
If you are paying for any services, such as website hosting or email marketing, you should unsubscribe from those services before your next billing cycle. Otherwise, you could find yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the hole. Contact platforms such as Google and Yelp to let them know that you are closed for business. Be sure to check in with all legal entities as well and inform regulatory agencies of your dissolution of business, as there can sometimes be outstanding taxes or fees applied to your business name, even after your business closed down.
LEAVE A WAY FOR FORMER CUSTOMERS TO REACH YOU
Lastly, we suggest leaving a way for former customers to contact you following your business closure. If you have ever owned a business, you know that there are some customers who are loyal as can be. Reach out to those customers with your personal Facebook account, email address, or even your phone number if so inclined. This will allow those customers to get a hold of you after your business closed down if they have any questions about a product the purchased from you, or if there are any other concerns they may have.
If you are currently going through the process of having your business closed down, follow these six steps to help alleviate some of the stress and pressure that you might be feeling. With enough creativity and last minute focus, putting these tips to work can help pull you through your final days, weeks, or months of operations.
Running a business can be tough, but we can help! From website maintenance, to social media management, to event planning. If you don’t have the man power to do it in-house, we can help! JanMar Agency has a team of highly trained professionals ready to handle any of your business needs.