While some small business owners do everything in their power to boost sales during the important holiday shopping season, some prefer to save up working capital and instead close down operations during this time period. There are several reasons why a small business owner would opt to shut down operations instead of trying to squeeze every last cent out of a lull.
Sometimes, business might not necessarily be slow, but rather the owners need a reprieve from a year’s worth of supervising and running the company. During times like this, when no one else can be trusted to handle the daily operations in the absence of the owner, closing down for a few weeks or even a month can be a wise move.
Communicate the closing
Make sure you take the necessary time communicating to clients the fact that the company will be closing for however long, Restaurant Business Online noted. This might require you utilize several different methods to convey the information. Consider a multi-prong route that includes posting the news on social media as well as putting signs up either in the brick-and-mortar store, on the website or both. By adequately informing customers of the impending closure, you can potentially boost last-minute sales from people who want to get in their shopping before it’s too late. This lets you better manage customer expectations, thereby reducing the number of disappointed people who would’ve otherwise wanted to do business with you.
Cover fixed expenses
Shutting down for some time in the winter means you’ll be able to alleviate some of the expenses and costs associated with maintaining operations, such as payroll, certain utilities and purchasing inventory. However, there are still many fixed expenses that you cannot avoid paying while business is shuttered. Things like the gas bill, insurance premiums and other important costs must be covered before you leave, otherwise you can return to find burst water pipes, frozen merchandise or worse.
Announce the reopening
Just like when you communicated the closure to customers, be sure to announce the reopening in as many mediums as possible, using email blasts, newsletters, posters in the store, a window on the website or whatever you have your disposal. If possible, consider incorporating a special discount, sale or promotion to coincide with the reopening. After being closed for any amount of time, you might find that some customers are eager to shop with you. Or, in other cases, some people might have moved on to a competitor in your absence, which means you might need to win them back. By launching some sort of special sale to coincide with your return, you can recapture those customers who might have gone astray. This will not only spread the word about the end of the closure, but you can take advantage of the situation to rekindle or stir up additional interest in your business.
Reconsider the closure
Remember, closing a business can be a tough move for any owner, no matter if it’s a ten- minute restroom break or a one-month vacation. In addition to the potential loss of customers and revenue, closing a company during lean times also lead to a considerable amount of financial stress for employees too. Instead of making plans to shutter the windows during January or February when business might be slow, small business owners should instead consider seeking out alternative financing options. Obtaining a small business loan can be just the trick you need to bridge the gap between strong sales periods and avoid a closure that could potentially hurt your annual revenue stream.