Apr 16, 2009
One of the most important aspects of a brick and mortar business is posting the hours of operation. This is by far one of the most often asked questions asked by customers of potential businesses is calling the company to know when they are open.
There are some companies that close shop whenever they want and there is no consistency in when they are open, when they close, or when they step out. I have gone to several companies here and there where there has been a sign on the window that says stepped out for a while and then you as a customer have to make a decision if you are going to come back.
The same goes for when a business puts up a website. Posting the hours of operation on your website is a very important piece of information that customers want to know about. The good part of having a website is it can be up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
The next thing to consider is what are reasonable hours of operation. Some may say staying open all of the time is a good thing, but in the offline world this is not the case. Keeping a store open 24/7 offline takes a lot of work to be up and running all of the time.
It is important to look at the hours that are most profitable and is in accordance with what type of business you run. For example running a hardware store at night is not going to be as profitable as running it at night. Running a nice restaurant in the morning is not going to be as profitable as at night.
Making a company be as profitable as possible does mean that you have to look at the hours of operation. When a company puts a website online even though the website will be up and running 24/7 does not mean that the people at the company will be able to take calls and answer customers questions 24/7.
The bottom line is that it is very important to put the hours of operation on a website so that customers know more about your company and know when they can call you or stop in to see you. A website should be the most valuable employee and customers do a lot of research online about companies to get a better feel about the company.
This will be highly more critical as customers do research online looking for local businesses. Local search will continue to rise and more and more companies will have to have a website that gives the consumers what they are looking for.
Businesses who do not have a website and consistently post their hours of operation may lose business as the consumers do more research online. Make sure to be consistent in your hours of operation so that consumers do not get confused.
This will be particularly important to those businesses who change their hours according to their busy season or around holidays as most companies change their hours around the seasons and holidays. Overall be consistent in what you show consumers and do not close shop whenever you feel like it, because if you do you will lose sales.