Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How to Close a Business

This spring, I wrote about a bridal shop whose owner took a spectacularly imprudent approach to closing her business ("How Not to Close a Business" (April 30, 2008)).

This summer, a local business closed with a great deal more grace and dignity. And without ruffling many feathers.

After Snap Fitness opened, in August of last year ("A New Gym in Town, and My Mind Starts Wandering" (August 18, 2007)), this town of about 4,000 people had three fitness outfits.

One catered to women; another emphasized bargain prices and long hours; and the third focused on a clean, well-maintained gym, with knowledgeable staff.

Fitness Guru closed at the end of August this year. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision.

The owner handled the details quite well. She wrote and distributed a two-page letter, explaining that Fitness Guru in Sauk Centre was closing. The letter also specified when people with paid-up membership would be compensated for the time they'd paid for, but wouldn't receive. And, said that the equipment was for sale.

All in all, a very smoothly-run closing.

I'm sorry to see Fitness Guru close, but way that the closing was handled was a class act.

  • Timely announcement of the closing
  • Detailed communication with customers
  • Clearly-stated process for compensating pre-paid customers
  • No change in quality of service, right up to the end

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