How to Choose the Best Hours for Your Small Business

July 2, 2019
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When setting up what your hours of operation will be for a new business, it’s an assumption that it should be as many as possible to make it convenient for your potential clientele. What’s convenient may not always be best for you or your business. Researching what similar companies or stores do for their hours is a step in the right direction but will you need something just slightly different? Here are some ways to determine if the hours of operation for your establishment are best.

Pull and analyze data from PoS system

The Point of Sale System is the best tool you can use to determine whether or not to adjust your business hours. See what hours bring in the most sales and what hours see no activity. Look closer at the times with high sales: was it one big purchase or many transactions happening in that time frame? Sometimes it’s not just the amount of sales but how many transactions that occur during what times. This is a big thing to consider when setting hours.

Know your operating costs

When determining what your usual operation costs are, look at months of normal operation and not November or December, the holiday season. See what months are average or typical and figure out what your standard order looks like. This will help you build a monthly budget and keep you more financially secure besides cutting down on any excess overhead that you didn’t need. Costs of goods and supplies help consider what hours are better with traffic than others especially in the food industry where fresh is always the best but it doesn’t store. Knowing when product moves best during operating hours cuts back on waste of product and waste of money.

Keep hours simple and consistent

If you open at 8 AM on a Monday it wouldn’t make sense to open at a later time on other days of the week. Keep hours of operation simple and consistent. It’s also a good idea to bank on extended hours or extra day(s) during the holiday season. Be sure to let your customers know ahead of time and post upcoming holidays hours in your business, on the door and/or in the window, on your business website and all social media accounts.

Think of your staff

Knowing what hours to be open will help in knowing the best times to schedule your staff. Having them working during heavier traffic times not only benefits you but them as well. It wouldn’t make sense to schedule a staff to help you out during a slower shift or day where you may be losing money just by paying them to be there. Not to mention the staff may feel like it’s not worth their time or, if they rely on tips, don’t see the benefit in coming on this day or shift when they don’t pull in as much income as another day or time.
An unexpected rush or slow times will happen during times they usually don’t but looking at sales data will help in determining the right business hours and when to schedule your help.