No one wants to think about that day, but reality is it happens. And we need to be prepared for it. WildTree closed their doors today and it effected over 10,000 reps.
Can you imagine waking up one morning to an email from your company’s president letting you know that your business is now closed?
That’s what happened to these 10,000 WildTree representatives. I can only imagine the emotional avalanche that precedes that email. So I want to do my best to try and prepare you for what you need to do in the event that it happens to you. Clever Container recently closed and Advocare recently had some major changes that both affected a lot of people as well.
I don’t know all the answers, but I’m going to give you my own thoughts and plan of action if this ever happens to me. There’s no right or wrong answer, but here’s some direction if you need it.
Take care of your customers
The first thing you need to do is take care of business. And that always begins with your customers. Let them know the news so they don’t hear it from someone else. Let them know:
- you’re processing a lot of information right now
- you’re going to make sure they have all the facts as you get them
- you’re so thankful for their support from the beginning
- and you’ll be back soon with details
Download your contacts any way you can. Hopefully you can get them into an excel document. If not, it’s worth every ounce of effort to do them one by one.
You will need them if you start a new business. Your customers will follow you wherever you go. It’s not about the product you sell, it’s about the relationship you offer.
*thank you Karen Monroe for reminding me of this!
Take care of business
Now it’s time to take care of orders.
Open orders: contact each person and let them know the status of their order and they will appreciate you so much for doing so.
Last minute orders: I know that the last thing you want to think about right now is taking orders. But, if your company gave you a deadline (whether it’s 24 hours or 2 weeks), you owe it to your own paycheck and you owe it to your customers…to let them know how to place orders until then. Chances are there will be reduced inventory.
You need to sell as much as you can because this is your last paycheck for awhile, so make it count! Don’t cheat yourself out of a last paycheck because you’re hurt, or angry, or feeling lost. Business first, there will be plenty of time for emotions later.
Don’t engage in conversations that are angry and hurtful. It’s a waste of time and energy and will fuel negative emotions.
Your only concern through this should be your family, your team, and your customers.
Take a look at expenses
One of the first things I would do is look at my expenses.
What kind of subscriptions can you cancel?
- phone apps
- marketing services
It’s time to tighten the reins a little. But whatever you do, don’t delete anything. Everything can work for something in the future. So no matter how angry you are, don’t delete Facebook pages and social media channels. You will regret it.
Company cards and bank accounts
If your company has a company card you use, make sure you have a running list of accounts linked to it. You will need to transfer those “bill pay accounts” over to another card or bank account
If your company provided health insurance, you need to call and find out what this means for your health benefits:
- when is the last effective date
- what are your options for health insurance
- can a spouse cover you instead
Finding another company
You’re going to see lots of consultants flocking to another company. Sometimes, upper level leaders will have their own plan and rally the troops to reassemble under a new company. Trust me when I say the good ones are trying to help. They’re lost too. But they have experience and I’d rather be by someone’s side who cares and has invested in me.
I’m not against the idea. I think when you stick together with people you trust and love, you can make big things happen. So I might join. But I wouldn’t jump in deep yet. I would do it to not “lose my place in line” but I would think I would need time to sort through the issue at hand before I learned a new system, new products, new everything. But that’s just me.
Research your competitors.
Assess what you want to do.
Did you like your job anymore? If you did…search for their competitors and find another like company where you will have an easy transition. And remember, your customers loved you and everything you had to offer. It wasn’t just a product you offered them, it was an experience and a relationship. They will follow you wherever you go.
If you didn’t like your job anymore…guess what?! The world is an open door to try something new.
Take your time
If you have that luxury, take it slow. It’s not a race. You lost something. Big. Huge.
And it’s going to take time to work through those emotions.
Keep neutral in arguments and tensions that will run high. In the long run, that’s what it was all about. The relationships we built. Don’t let high emotions ruin that.
Maybe you need to get a part time job at a local shop or business while you decide your next step. That’s not a bad thing to give yourself a break and a new experience. Sometimes that is our biggest source of clarity. Time.
And most of all
Know that I love you, lots of people love you, you’re not alone now, nor will you ever be. And this is not the end of your story. We re-write endings every day. And the best is yet to come…