How to Tell Your Customers Your Business Is Closing

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A person looks down at the customer list on his phone and will call his customers to tell them his business is closing

Ready to tell your customers about your impending closure? This is an important step you'll need to take when you’re ready to wind down operations.

Let's dive into what matters most in this process.

 

When is the right time to tell my customers the business is closing?

There is a precise point in your closure when you should share the news with your customers. This is after you take the following steps:

 

Once these tasks are complete, you can begin to share the news of your closure with others.

 

Why wait?

By announcing your news too early, you could miss out on opportunities to earn additional revenue. As long as you have inventory on hand and contracts with suppliers in place, you may be able to continue serving your customers and filling orders.

 

How should I tell my customers my business is closing?

Email and social media posts are the most effective ways to share your news. Consider sharing three separate messages with your pool of past and current customers:

 

A message that announces your upcoming closure.

Write a social media post and email messages that explain your intent to close, your plans to fulfill outstanding orders, and the date on which you’ll cease operations.

Keep your messages brief and leave out any details or subtext that might may your audience uncomfortable.

If you’re unable to fulfill specific orders, you should send personalized emails to the customers who will be affected. Share your plans for returning payments or deposits for those orders.

A message about any closeout sales that you hold.

Write a social media post and email messages that announce reductions in prices and opportunities to buy inventory, inputs, equipment, or other business assets that have public appeal.

 

A message of gratitude.

Once your business winds down, share messages that thank your customers for the opportunity to serve them and support their successes. Be positive, and express gratitude for the time you’ve shared.

 

Should I direct my customers to one of my competitors?

Some of your customers may ask to be referred to a vendor who can provide services similar to those you offered. You can direct them to another vendor, but a better—and more lucrative—option is to set up an arrangement in advance with a vendor to buy your client list.

Competitors are often eager to access a new base of customers who are in the market for products like theirs. Some may be interested in buying your website and domain name to redirect your pool of customers to their own sales site. If you're interested in this option, speak with a small business attorney who can help you navigate a sale.

Would you like to connect with a small business attorney? Click the Connect button below to get started.

 

What else do I need to know?

Your closure matters to your customers. Some may feel upset or worried about how to obtain products or services like yours in the future.

There are two things you can do to support them through the transition:

  1. Share your news in a way that leaves a positive impression on them. Should you ever decide to build another business in a similar field, you may need to regain their loyalty and trust. Few will forget whether they were treated well or left in the dust by your former business.
  2. Provide them with as much advanced notice as possible so they have the opportunity to buy from you again before you close.

 

What’s next?

Next, you’ll review your outstanding contracts and make a plan to complete the work you have in process. We can help you with these important steps. Log into your owner’s portal to access articles and advice that’ll help you complete every action that’s required to fully dissolve your business.

Want to take on other tasks?

Come see the free step-by-step guide business owners love.

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