Have you ever decided to shop small, confirmed store’s hours online, driven over to the store…only to find a “sorry, we’re closed” sign hanging on the door? 

The frustration you’ve felt in that moment is NOT what you want to give to your customers in case of a temporary store closing! Communicating with your customers about a store closing, whether planned or unplanned, doesn’t take long—especially when you’ve got a system in place.

That’s why I’m sharing a free customizable Store Closings Communications Checklist. With this resource, you can create a system for this critical task for your indie retail store. 

Keep reading to learn the key places to update your store hours, how to create a simple system for these updates, and who to delegate this to in case of an emergency.

Temporary Store Closings

As both a small business supporter and former store owner, I believe it’s important to be where you say you’re going to be. Customers trust and shop at stores that honor their hours. I don’t have a perfect record for my former store, but it is something I’ve always tried my best at. 

It’s incredibly frustrating for customers when they go to shop small and find the store closed. It’s even worse when a customer has done their due diligence and researched the hours before heading to the shop only to find that the owner didn’t update anything to communicate when they’d be closed!

Being consistent isn’t just a sign that you’re committed to your customers. It also shows that you’re committed to YOURSELF as a business owner.

When Temporary Store Closings Make Sense

There are, of course, times when it makes sense to have a temporary store closing. One such instance is when you have an unexpected emergency. 

And there are times when it makes sense to PLAN for store closings, too. For example, my sister and I would close our store when we attended AmericasMart in Atlanta, especially in our first few years when our foot traffic wasn’t as strong. As our business grew, our team grew, and we had more consistent foot traffic, we remained open during these trips. 

If you’re a solo shopkeeper, planning a store closing for a vacation with your family is a smart move. 

How to Communicate With Your Customers About a Temporary Store Closing

Whether it’s an emergency situation or planned time off, I want to set you up for success when it comes to communicating about your store closings.

That’s why I’ve created a checklist so you can quickly and efficiently handle the communication process. Or, if you’re not able to handle it, you’ll be able to delegate the communication process to a virtual assistant, a family member with login access, or a trusted team member. 

The list I’m sharing with you might feel like you’re going overboard. However, remember that your current customers get updates from you beyond FB or IG. Plus, you have NEW customers who primarily search online to find information about your store and its hours.

Although the list is comprehensive, it actually doesn’t take long to go through it. All the steps can all be done in less than 30 minutes.

There are five areas you’ll want to focus on so you can communicate and update your store hours.

Social Media

Update your social media bios and create a quick post about your store closings.  

Website

On your website, add a banner at the top to notify customers of changes to your store hours. You should also update anywhere your hours are listed, such as your About page, Contact page, and website footer.

Online Directories & Maps

Next, update your Google Business Profile with your temporary hours. You can post an update to your Google Business Profile, too! 

Other online directories to update include your Apple Maps profile, Yelp business listing, and Microsoft Bing Places for business (if you’re on there). 

Email Marketing 

If you’ve planned your store closing in advance, you can send out 1-3 emails reminding customers that you’ll be closed for the weekend, holiday, or other relevant period. These emails can include a button encouraging them to shop on your website instead. 

If you’re closing your store for an emergency or otherwise unplanned reason, be sure to send an email notifying customers of your closure.

When you have some time, create some simple templates in your email marketing software for planned and unexpected store closings. Those templates will save you time if you’re in a rush to close down your store!

Signage

Last but not least, add signage to your front door and cash wrap notifying customers of an upcoming or current store closing.  

Temporary Store Closings

Work Smarter by Having a System for Your Store Closings

We talk a lot about systems and processes in Master Shopkeepers. On a recent group call for members who are in Stage 3: Profit Planner, a member asked me to explain what I mean when I say systems and processes. 

Many store owners immediately think of an opening and closing checklist…and that’s it. For some reason, it ends there—as if that’s the ONLY system we have to document and share our teams as our business grows!

There’s so much more packed in that brain of yours. You just don’t realize it! The Store Closing Communication Checklist is an example of one of the many other systems, processes, or procedures in your business. You can use whatever term makes sense to you, as long as you’re documenting it. 

Get Your Free Store Closings Communication Checklist

The checklist is a free Canva template rather than a PDF. That’s because I wanted you to have to option to add or remove items from the checklist based on your unique store and needs.

For example, perhaps there’s more places you need your team to share updates on your store hours. Or maybe you’d like to add some text with instructions to the checklist. By offering this as a free Canva template, you get to create checklist that works for your business without starting from scratch. 

Canva is free to use, by the way. You won’t have to pay to use it or to customize the template.

Sign up to get your free Store Closing Communication Checklist template below!

Commit to Consistent Store Hours and Avoid Store Closings When Possible

It’s clear I am a firm believer in being as committed as possible to consistent store hours. Not everyone agrees with me—I get challenged on this on occasion! But I’m a business coach, not a hobby coach, ya know?

In the end you’re an adult. You’re the store owner. You decide for yourself. 

If this episode triggers you—meaning you find yourself getting defensive or angry with me—ask yourself why. It may be because you close randomly, impulsively, or even recklessly. 

It’s easy to be annoyed with me for pointing out that you should have consistent hours and communicate with your customers before closing on a whim. However, you’re probably annoyed with yourself for being less consistent than you’d like. 

Remember that you can change how, when, and why you temporarily close your store. You can be more consistent with this going forward—and it’s a lot easier when you have a system in place to communicate with your customers about your store closings. 

Resources

  • Join Master Shopkeepers, the only territory-protected retail training mastermind! You’ll get access to valuable lessons & resources, coaching calls, and a vibrant community of your fellow store owners cheering you on.

Timestamps

  • [0000] When Temporary Store Closings Make Sense
  • [0000] How to Communicate With Your Customers About a Temporary Store Closing
  • [0000] Work Smarter by Having a System for Your Store Closings
  • [0000] Get Your Free Store Closings Communication Checklist
  • [0000] Commit to Consistent Store Hours and Avoid Store Closings When Possible

Connect With Kathy

Kathy Cruz is an Independent Retail Coach who helps store owners work smarter, profit more, and grow their brick and mortar businesses. 

Connect with Kathy and learn more here:

Website: www.savvyshopkeeper.com 
Instagram: @savvyshopkeeper
Mastermind Group: Master Shopkeepers

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