Business Hours Templates to Give Your Business a Brandable Lift
Make it known that you are open for business and welcome customers at set hours with easy-to-customize business hours templates.
A Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Business Hours
Are your business hours helping your company succeed, or are they driving potential customers away? Figuring out how long your store should be open might seem like a minuscule task, but it’s not.
On the contrary, entrepreneurs often underestimate how business opening hours would affect foot traffic, income goals, and most importantly — your work-life balance. This quick guide explains how to make the clock work in your favor.
Why Figuring Out The Optimal Business Hours Isn’t Easy
People now shop at any time of the day or night (thanks to ecommerce). That said, statistically, we are now working fewer hours than 150 years ago. Research from European countries suggests that some 42% of establishments are open during unusual hours — for example, at night or on the weekends. 38% are open on Saturdays and 19% have regular work shifts (between 22.00 and 06.00).
In the US, working hours tend to be longer as stores remain open daily: 8 a.m.-8 p.m, and some offer 24/7 service. Normally, many venues will also be open full day on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday), though some might have different hours.
So when deciding on the optimal business hours for your business you have to take several factors into account:
- Customer expectations
- Peak hours for your type of business
- Staffing capabilities
- Local labor laws and regulations
Ideally, you’d want to stay open when the foot traffic is at peak and close down during downtime to save on the operating costs. However, such flexible arrangements are often hard to figure out (though not impossible!).
How to Determine The Perfect Business Hours For Your Business
Establishing ideal business hours isn’t easy because you have to ensure that you have adequate staffing for all of your opening hours. Also, you don’t want to be open during periods of time in which you aren’t getting much foot traffic.
Here are several pointers to help you decide when your business should stay open.
You should be open when your customers are ready to shop. So ask them directly. Try posting a poll or survey on social media or your business website. Or you can set up a quick voting station at your venue (e.g have two jars with two versions of opening hours and color-coded marbles to throw in as a vote).
Of course, it isn’t always bad to be open when you don’t have too many customers. This can be a great time to work on your own and get some other tasks completed such as cleaning or inventory.
Balance The Needs of Your Staff
Your hours have to work for your staff as well. Take that into consideration when you hire people and plan working shifts. Also, don’t spread workers too thin. There should be enough people to serve your customers during the busiest times.
Look at Your Competitors
Analyze how similar businesses in your area operate. But be smart. Don’t just post the same hours, instead consider being open when nobody else is. This creates an opportunity for you to serve the needs of customers that your competitors aren’t.
Build in Some Flexibility
Don’t be so rigid with your hours that you miss out on new business. For example, you could plan to extend your hours during the holidays, especially if you live in a touristy area. Another option is to allow shopping by appointment only one or two days per week.
By doing this, you avoid opening on days when you may not have much business, but can still meet the needs of the occasional customer who wants to grab your goodies. Pre-pandemic, almost 65% of millennial shoppers booked in-person retail appointments an average of one to two times per year. Post-pandemic, even more people are willing to consider such an option.
Publicize Your Hours
Let everybody know your hours. Customers should be able to find your business hours online and they should be posted on your door. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a business, only to find out they have closed.
Post your hours on your website, your Google Business profile, social media pages, Yelp, and other business listing directories. Then, update them as soon as they change.
Business Hours Templates to Swipe
You have your hours figured out. Now it’s time to document them. Grab one of the fabulous free business hours templates featured above to make your decision official!