How Your Hours of Operation Affect the Success of Your Business
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How Your Hours of Operation Affect the Success of Your Business

When you first started your business, one of the first things you probably did was decide on your hours of operation. Maybe your diner is open 24 hours, or maybe your bar opens from noon to 4 A.M.. Maybe, your restaurant is closed on Sunday, so your staff can enjoy the day off, or maybe your hair salon is closed on Mondays due to a religious observance. The hours of operation is a major stone in the foundation of any business, and ultimately, affects its success. Here are a few ways the hours of operation affects your business and tips on how to choose when your doors are open or closed.

Think of Your Customers

Your customers and target audience should be the number one, deciding factor on when your business’ doors should be open. Considering your target market’s age range and occupations could help with that. If your clothing store typically serves middle-aged, working mothers, it may be a good idea to open at a mid-morning hour and close in the early evening – in this case, maybe 10 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.. These hours would give working mothers a chance to run errands, get to work, take care of the kids, and still be able to shop before close. If your bar sees a lot of college-aged patrons on the weekends, it may make sense to stay open a little later. Maybe closing time during the week is 1am, but on the weekends, it could be 2 A.M. or 3 A.M. depending on rules and regulations. It seems pretty obvious, but understanding the demographics of your target audience is essential when it comes to choosing your business’ hours of operation.

Pay Attention to Patterns in Sales

The next important factor to take into consideration when it comes to deciding on your hours of operation is patterns and trends in sales. Do you get more traffic on weekdays during school hours? Maybe groups of parents pass your storefront on Main Street after dropping their kids off at school down the street. Maybe your food truck see hundreds of businessmen and women during their lunch breaks in the afternoon every day except Saturday and Sunday. Paying attention to detail, sales, and revenue being generated is essential. You want your business’ doors open when it matters most! Downtime should be used to work on the business itself from the backend, or to be closed – saving time, money, and utilities.

Consider Your Staff

While you want to benefit as much as possible by paying attention to patterns and trends in sales, and accommodating your target market, you also want to take care of your staff, and ultimately save yourself some money and resources where possible. Is it necessary for all staff to stay late at the office on Fridays, or can they be dismissed a few hours early? Does your retail store really need to be open on Christmas Day? If so, is there a better way to accommodate your staff that also observe holiday? Maybe adjust your business’ hours to make both employees and customers comfortable and happy. Can you adapt the trendy four-day workweek and allow some staff members to work remotely one day per week? These are all things to also consider when choosing your business’ hours of operation.

The beauty of it all is that the world of business is always changing, and you must constantly change as well. Hours of operation can always be adjusted. Try a few ideas out and see what works best for your business, your staff, and your customers!

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