When deciding the operating hours of a business, owners have many factors to consider. Customers, competitors, and employees all affect choosing the best hours of operation. Once selected, there is even more that goes into communicating hours. Check out our tips on business hours of operation:
While choosing which hours best suit you, it is vital to think of your customers and their shopping habits. Are your customers mostly retired and do their shopping during the day, or do your customers work 9 to 5 and cannot even consider shopping until the evenings? Will your customers need to take off work to schedule an appointment with you? Would they be more inclined to utilize your services if hours were available before or after work?
Consider tracking foot traffic and revenue generation to determine when your slow and peak hours occur, and take into consideration the hours of your competitors – are they stealing customers from you during the hours you are closed? Another consideration is whether or not your product or service can also be easily found online. The online market has shifted customers’ expectations to sometimes even 24/7 availability.
Once you have determined a set of hours, be sure to use those foot traffic and revenue numbers and calculate to ensure you will be able to offset overhead costs during the hours you’ve selected.
Be Clear and Consistent
After you have chosen hours and determined them to be on track to be profitable, it is important to ensure your selected hours are displayed clearly and consistently. Places to possibly post hours include in emails (whether in your signature or footer), your Google Business listing, on each page of your website, in your company window, transactional touchpoints (receipts, invoices, reminders), and social media to name a few.
No matter where you choose to post your hours, be sure to use consistent messaging in each place and keep a record of everywhere you’ve included them so that you can make updates to each when changes occur and can keep your messaging consistent and clear. Failing to make business hours clear and consistent only hurts you, so choose to keep everyone happy by communicating to the best of your ability.
Consider today how you can improve your business through your hours!
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s September 2023 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.