Are the 9 to 5 hours right for your business? The more important question is: are those hours killing your business?
If one of the problems with your business is the number of customers walking in the door, then this is definitely a question that you need to ask yourself, and you most certainly need to find the answer.
This question came to mind for me recently when I saw a local retail store go out of business after only being open about 6 – 8 months. Additionally, a hobby shop in that plaza appears to be on the same track.
The other day, I realized that I needed to pick something up, and a hobby shop would be the perfect place to get it, so I called this store. They told me their hours were from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.
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Time Is A Business Deal Breaker
This was a deal breaker as I don’t happen to be home at that time, and there is no way for me to get to his store before closing. I would also be willing to bet that a majority of his clientele are unavailable at those times.
I have a huge heart for entrepreneurs, and I want entrepreneurs to live the life they want, but even entrepreneurs have bosses: customers.
The Boss Is In
Like it or loathe it, your customers are your boss, and if they demand you to be there at a certain time, and you don’t show up, you’ll get fired (so to speak), Henry Ford has excellent quotes about a customer’s role in a business, such as:
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”
– Henry Ford
Here is another gem of a Henry Ford Quote:
“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
– Henry Ford
You work for your customers, and you better make sure that your hours are convenient for them too. If you don’t, then not only do they not have the motivation to go to your business, many times they are physically unable to!
My Business Hours Are Non-negotiable
Life has its obligations, and I understand that. Maybe you have kids that need you at home at certain times. This is a perfectly legitimate reason, what are some of your options?
- Exchange one week day for a weekend day.Find out which day of the week is consistently the worst for business, shut down that day, and open up on a Saturday. You can even reduce the number of hours you are open on a weekend, but it will still be convenient for your 9 to 5 clientele.
- Bring your kids to your store after school.I’ve met many adults who grew up helping their parents run a business and it was a great experience for them! You get to talk with your kids if no one is around, and teach them the responsibilities of working.
- Change your line of business.I know this is a drastic one, and I toss it around a bit, but I’m constantly astonished at how many people get into the wrong line of business, even if they did it for the right reasons. I’ve also read it in Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc Magazine numerous times. Sometimes the best answer is to cut losses, and find something that works for your situation.
Don’t give up just because things are going badly. The worst thing you could do is continue with the decisions that are killing your business. Identify the problem, and think of all the things that could solve the problem. Now is not the time to take anything off of the table.
There is an excellent book titled Weird by Craig Groeschel which I reviewed. The tagline for the book works perfectly here: Because Normal Isn’t Working! If normal just isn’t working for your business, then it might be time to get Weird!