Once the decision has been made to close a business, the owners need to inform their customers as soon as possible. The best method is to send a formal business letter that contains any details the receiver should know.
It may also be necessary to remind customers to pay their outstanding balance. Even though the business is closing, and the owner is moving on to other endeavors, it is important to be professional in the way he or she closes their business.
A clear and simple business letter may give the reasons for closing the business, so customers need not wonder what’s going on, but this is not essential. If the business is a franchise, and the owner plans to open his or her own business in the same line, it is recommended to clearly state this because owners will want to keep their regular clientele.
The letter also gives the owner a chance to thank customers for their business and say goodbye to any person or establishment that helped the business during its years of operation. The letter should be tailored to fit the circumstances of the business as well as the intended recipient.
It is more professional if customers and anyone else who has been working closely with the business learn that the business is closing directly from the owner or manager, rather than by an Out of Business sign on the door.
It may not be possible to send a business letter to all customers, but if they owe payments for goods or services, or if the business is still completing orders for them, a personal letter is recommended.
It is always a good idea to keep a friendly professional relationship with all customers and terminate the business relationship on a positive note. The main things the letter must convey are:
• A professional end to the business relationship
• A thank-you for customer support
• A plan of action for customers, before the last day of business
• The exact closing date
Timing is important because the owner may want to announce a Going out of Business Sale, and customers need time to settle their accounts. If the owner plans to open another business, this is a good time to inform all customers and others about the opening date and location of the new business. It is recommended that the letter for customers be sent three weeks to a month before closing one business and opening another.
Sample Store Closing Letter to Customers
City, State, Zip Code
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Customer’s Name,
This letter is to inform you that [Name of Company] will be going out of business on [DATE]. We are having a Sale beginning on [DATE] in an effort to clear out our entire inventory. We’ll be offering large discounts on all items and hope you will come take advantage of these savings.
We thank you for being a loyal customer for the past 15 years that we have been in business. If you have any questions about the sale or anything else, I can be reached at [555-123-4567] or at [Name@email.com].
Owner or Manager’s signature