How To Communicate Your Brand Going Out of Business

Ronn Torossian
3 min readNov 30, 2023

Closing a business is never an easy decision. Whether it’s due to financial struggles, market shifts, or other factors, communicating a brand’s decision on going out of business can be challenging. However, transparency, sensitivity, and a well-planned communication strategy can help businesses navigate this difficult process with respect for their customers, employees, and stakeholders.

Transparency is key

One of the most critical aspects of communicating a company going out of business is transparency. Honesty builds trust, even in difficult situations. There are some steps companies can use to maintain transparency. Develop a concise and straightforward message that explains the reasons behind the business closure. Avoid vague or overly complex explanations. Prioritize informing the employees about the decision before making a public announcement. They should hear the news directly from management, and the company should address their concerns and questions. If a company has investors or stakeholders, communicate with them as soon as possible. Share details about the closure process and any potential impact on investments or shares.

Communicating with employees

The employees are an integral part of a business, and they deserve special attention during this challenging time. Organize a meeting with the employees to discuss the company going out of business in person. Explain the reasons and timeline for the closure and address their immediate concerns, such as severance packages, final paychecks, and references. Offer resources to help the employees navigate the transition. This could include job placement services, resume workshops, or emotional support. Even after the closure, maintain open communication channels with former employees. They may have questions or need assistance, and it’s important to provide guidance during their job search.

Notifying customers

The customers also deserve to know about the company going out of business. Their loyalty and support may lead to future business ventures or referrals. Send an email or letter to the customer database, informing them of the closure. Express gratitude for their patronage and let them know how this decision will affect any ongoing transactions or services. If applicable, consider offering sales, discounts, or promotions to reduce inventory before closing. This can be an opportunity to thank loyal customers with special offers. Make a clear announcement on the business website and social media profiles about the business closure. Provide contact information for customer inquiries or concerns.

Handling finances responsibly

Properly managing a company’s financial matters is crucial when going out of business. Pay off outstanding debts, bills, and financial obligations. Inform creditors and suppliers about the closure and establish a payment plan if necessary. If customers have pre-paid for goods or services that they won’t receive due to the closure, promptly issue refunds or credits. Abide by all legal requirements for business closure, including tax filings, employee benefits, and the dissolution of business licenses.

Planning for liquidation or asset disposal

If a company has physical assets or inventory, it’ll need a plan for liquidation or disposal. If applicable, hold liquidation sales to sell the remaining inventory. Clearly advertise these sales to attract customers looking for discounts. Consider auctioning off valuable assets or selling them to other businesses. This can help recoup some of the financial losses. For items that can’t be sold, consider donating them to charities or recycling them responsibly.

Legal and regulatory compliance

Ensure that the company adheres to all legal and regulatory requirements when closing the business. Comply with employment laws regarding severance pay, employee benefits, and notice periods. Complete and file all necessary tax forms with local, state, and federal authorities. Officially dissolve the business entity through the appropriate legal channels.

--

--

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is Chairman & Founder of 5WPR, one of America’s leading & largest PR Agencies and the Author of the best-selling PR book: "For Immediate Release"