Early Bird, Night Owl
The old adage that nothing good ever happens after midnight may no longer be true-- at least in the business world. Franchises and other chains are staying open later and starting service earlier, hoping to earn business from both the early bird and the night owl.
McDonald’s reported, along with strong quarter 4 earnings, that the hours of midnight to 5 a.m. are the fastest growing time segment in its U.S. business. Nearly 40% of McDonald’s U.S. outlets are open around the clock, according to the Wall Street Journal. Should you be doing the same?
These days, everyone’s schedules are changing. The traditional 9-to-5 workday is a thing of the past. Many of us work multiple jobs, start the day later or work well into the night. It only makes sense that the businesses the population relies on (and vice versa) change, too.
If you’re contemplating changing your hours, there are three things to consider:
Does the projected added revenue cover the added wage expense?
Staying open longer (or later) means you’ll be paying your employees a bit more to keep your business open. Make sure to go over your finances to see if you can afford to do this for a few months, until the word that you’re open later gets around.
Have your current customers already expressed a need for your to be open beyond your current hours of operation?
Do your customers often wish you were open more days or at different times? If so, you’ll probably reap the rewards of longer hours. If not, you might earn the business of new customers whose schedules don’t allow them to swing by between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
How will you get the word out to your current and potential customers?
It doesn’t do you any good to change your hours of operations to accommodate your customers unless they know about it! Have your employees tell your regulars you’re changing your hours. Post reminders on your front door and print them on your receipts. Contact your local community newspaper’s retail reporter with a press release announcing the new hours, if you feel it’s necessary.