Steps to take when temporarily closing your business

What do you need to consider if you temporarily close your business?

These are difficult times and we know that unfortunately some businesses are unable to operate in the current climate and are having to close temporarily.

So we’ve set out some simple steps that can help you prepare for this eventuality, including managing your business energy account online – all to help make it quicker and easier to re-establish your business once the storm has passed and trading conditions improve.

1.       If you run a small business, register online so you can manage accounts, view bills and deal with correspondence quickly while staying away from your business premises.

2.      Send the latest meter reading so your balance is based on actual consumption rather than estimates using historic and potentially higher levels of business activity. If you’re an E.ON customer, you can do this through your online account or the app.

3.      You may have one (or several) energy plans that are due to end shortly, possibly during the temporary closure of your business. When this happens, you’ll move onto our non-contract rates which may be higher than those you’re currently paying. But don’t worry, we can agree a new contract and backdate these prices when you’re back up and running. 

4.      Speak to your customers so they know you hope to be up and running again soon. Social media helps you maintain relationships and deal with enquiries - customers will know you still have a role in their lives.

5.      Speak to suppliers. They may be able to help now or in the future so explain your situation. At E.ON we can discuss individual payment arrangements and, if you close your business or reduce your hours, it helps us to track expected energy use and support with future needs.

6.      Ensure the contact details you hold for your colleagues are up-to-date, so you can keep them up to speed with developments.

7.      Take steps to secure your premises – including testing and setting alarms, blocking access points and identifying vulnerable areas like CCTV blindspots. The Metropolitan Police offers guidance and the Federation of Small Businesses has some practical advice on protecting unoccupied property. 

8.      Move high value items into secured stockrooms and certainly out of view, and make sure no cash is left on site. It can be worth including signage on the exterior to advise there is nothing valuable on site.

9.      For Pay-As-You-Go customers we recommend keeping your meter in credit, especially if there is anything inside consuming energy. Be sure to unplug any appliances not needed to avoid using – and paying for – unnecessary electricity.

Closing your business may be one of the toughest business decisions you ever make, but following the necessary steps gives you the strongest chance of starting it up again and succeeding when the economy improves.

Published April 2020