Closing Considerations

If you are considering closing your business, there are several important areas to review and address. Below is a framework to get you started.

Exit Strategy/Plan

  • Have you evaluated and gamed out each option available?
  • Have you drafted a timeline with anticipated deadlines for each action?
  • Have you spoken to your tax professional and/or accountant?
  • Have you evaluated all legal and regulatory issues that will need to be addressed on the local, state, and federal levels?

Action Items

  • Have you created a list of any creditors, landlord, banker, and/or employees that would need to be notified?
  • If required, have you filled out a WARN Notice with the Virginia Employment Commission?
  • Do you have a plan to collect or sell all outstanding receivables?
  • Do you have a plan to sell off any remaining inventory?
  • How will you notify your customers?
  • When will you submit your final payroll forms and taxes?
  • How will you distribute all remaining cash and assets?

Cease Operations 

  • How and where will you store your records?

Once you have thought about the items above, we recommend scheduling a no-cost, confidential one-on-one meeting with a local SBDC Advisor by using the Request Counseling button below.

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5 – What If?

No one can predict the future, so it is vitally important – especially now – to be prepared for what may come next. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.

  • Are you prepared if COVID-19 or any other factors require businesses to close again?
  • Have you considered creating a business continuity plan in case you go through another crisis?
What if

If you have not already, find an SBDC location near you to schedule a time for a no-cost, confidential one-on-one appointment with an Advisor.

If you feel you should consider closing your business, you can review the Closing Considerations page to prepare for a meeting with an SBDC advisor. For selling a business, you can download the BizBuySell Guide as a way to prepare for a meeting with an SBDC Advisor. Please note that selling a business can be a long process, so proper planning is crucial.

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4 – New Ideas for Moving Forward

As businesses reopen, a number of considerations must be made related to how you do business. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • Have you documented lessons learned from your business recovery?
  • Have you reviewed your insurance coverage to see whether it is adequate and whether there are any gaps in your coverage?
  • Will you need to change your business model, either in the short-term or permanently?
  • Are there new distribution channels you should consider?
  • Are there new products or services you can offer to diversify your business?
New Ideas

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3 – Technology

No matter how much your technology needs have or will change as a result of COVID-19, it is important to know have what you need in order to move forward. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.

  • Will you need to adopt or add any new technologies or processes?
  • Is your point of sale system adequate for moving forward?
  • Have you reviewed if any cybersecurity improvements need to be made?
Technology

Webinars

Intro to the Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Business-Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith

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2 – Recordkeeping

Recordkeeping is always important, but current factors – like loan forgiveness – make it that much more important to stay on top of. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • Have you considered what accounting system you are going to use to continue to keep your financial records up-to-date? Do you need to upgrade to QuickBooks or a similar platform?
  • If you have accepted either a grant or forgivable loan funding, do you have a full understanding of the documentation and reporting guidelines? Check out the webinars listed below.
  • Do you have an offsite back-up of all of your records and important documents/information?
Record Keeping

Webinars

Business Now: Recordkeeping for Loans and Awards Webinar-Central Virginia SBDC

Introduction - (1 min)

Why is record keeping for loans and awards important? – 1:07 (4 min)

Things you need to do to make your business creditworthy – (2 min)

Documents you will need to keep on file for your digital records - (5 min (Financial documents, Payroll documents, PPP Loan Forgiveness/other award documents)

Resources – (1 min)

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1 – Marketing and Communications

Marketing and communications is just as important now – if not more – than ever before. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • How do you intend to advertise that your business has re-opened? What is your communication plan?
  • Have you analyzed your local, regional, and/or national competition?
  • Have you identified your target customer and how to best reach them?
  • Have you identified the key stakeholders and customers to target?
  • What items and practices should be added to your existing marketing strategy?
  • If customer orders have been lost or you simply cannot support them on time, have you informed those customers?
  • Have you re-evaluated what your customer is willing and able to pay for in this new environment?

Marketing Resources

Google and Beyond: Marketing on the Web - Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith

Branding and Messaging to Cut Through the Noise-Loudoun SBDC

Topic: Marketing and Communications

Summary: Strong brand and clear messaging are critical to your business surviving the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Your challenge is to find the right message at the right time, while maintaining a good reputation.

Key Learning Objectives and Actionable Insights:

  • Learn why maintaining a good brand reputation is important to staying in business and what you can do to keep your reputation strong.
  • Gain clarity on the types of messages to send in order to get and keep customers.
  • Understand timing and tone of messaging and the role each plays in customer engagement.

Presenters: Sharon L. Wright, Owner & President and Deb Haynes Swider, Chief Strategist, Loud & Clear Marketing

Breakdown:

Introduction/Agenda –  (6 min)

What is marketing? – 6:04 (3 min)

What is branding? - 8:41 (7 min)

Why branding is important – (2.5 min)

Branding tips - (9.5 min)

Questions to ask yourself about your brand - (4.5 min)

What is messaging? - (2 min)

Why messaging is important -  (2 min)

Messaging tips - (12 min)

Questions to ask yourself about your messaging -  (1 min)

Resources/Tools – (2.5 min)

3 Things You Can Do to Connect with Your Customers During Social Distancing-Lord Fairfax SBDC

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5 – Pricing

It is important to look at what the impact of the current situation will have on your pricing. You will need to assess how to set pricing that meets your needs while also avoiding gouging. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.

  • Have you done an evaluation on what pricing the new market will tolerate/bear?
  • Have you compared your pricing to your competitors?
  • Do you need to reevaluate your payment terms?
  • Have you undertaken a break-even analysis to determine whether the prices you charge are making the profit you want and need to achieve?

Questions

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4 – Inventory

Understanding your inventory is a critical factor in reopening and ensuring you can meet the demands of your customers. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • Have you analyzed the potential demand for your products and/or services for the next 6 to 12 months?
  • For inventory identified as slow-moving, have you considered removing it from your product lineup?
  • Have you made an assessment of whether new market conditions will impact customer buying patterns?
  • Have you asked your customers how they prefer to buy your product/service in this new environment?
Staffing

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3 – Supply Chain

Understanding your supply chain is a critical factor in reopening and ensuring you can meet the demands of your customers. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • Are your inventory, supplies, and equipment adequate? Do you have a sufficient, resilient supply chain in place to operate? Do you need to cancel/postpone current orders or delay purchasing new supply/inventory?
  • Have you connected with each vendor, supplier, and member of your supply chain?
  • Do you have a clear picture of each link in your mission-critical supply chain?
  • Have you clearly communicated your needs and expectations to your suppliers?
  • Is there a need to renegotiate pricing or payment terms with those in your supply chain?
  • Do you have defined alternatives in the event that one or more of your suppliers is unable to meet your needs?
  • Is there a plan in place for continuously analyzing the performance of your supply chain?
Staffing

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2 – Staffing

Being able to reopen may depend heavily on your ability to have the staff available to meet demand. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources.
  • Have you created a staffing plan to reopen? Will it need to be set in phases?
  • Will you need to lay anyone off?
  • Will your staff be able to work fully or partially on a remote basis?
  • Have you communicated with your employees about the plan?
  • Have you considered what your new staffing model means in terms of your obligations, e.g., insurance, taxes, benefits, etc.?
  • Do you have a plan to train your staff on new procedures – including safety and health procedures?
Staffing

Webinars

Good Hiring Processes When You Are Hiring On-Line-Lynchburg SBDC

Introduction/Agenda – (4.5 min)

Advertising the position – (12 min)

Screening applicants - (8 min)

Interviewing - (7.5 min)

Candidate selection – (11.5 min)

Negotiation – (2 min)

On-Boarding – (6 min)

Questions

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