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What to consider when deciding your holiday business hours

November 09, 2016

When it comes to running your small business during the holiday season, there are many details to contemplate. One of them is determining your holiday business hours.

Of course, you’ll want to finish the year strong by making as many sales as possible. You’ll also have to decide if you have enough employees willing to work on a holiday, and if your business will get traffic on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, when many people are at home with their families. In this post, we’ll provide a list of things to reflect on when deciding what your small business’s holiday hours should be this season.

How many sales you’ll make

Deciding whether or not your business will stay open during the holidays can be a difficult choice, since it may be hard to determine if you’ll have significant traffic. It’s important to establish how much money you’re aiming to make before the new year, and if staying open on holidays will help you reach your goal. If you don’t make a lot of sales, staying open could cause your business to lose money. You’ll be paying employees and other costs in order to run your business on those days. These are all components to think about before selecting your hours!

Your employees’ desire to work on holidays

When choosing your holiday business hours, think about your employees. If you have a large staff, it might be easy to schedule them for short shifts, or have them trade off working on holidays. Some employees might want extra cash, so make sure to ask for volunteers to work on holidays first. Offering fair benefits for employees is important, and having a fair vacation and days off policy is usually important to professionals. If you don’t have enough employees to work holidays, consider hiring some seasonal staff members in order to stay open on these days.

The demands of your industry

Working on a holiday might be worthwhile, depending on your industry. If you run a restaurant, some people might not enjoy cooking on holidays, and could stop by your establishment for a meal. If you own a grocery or convenience store, you never know when a patron could stop by for a quick purchase. Retail stores might benefit from staying open, since some shoppers will be doing last minute holiday shopping. Other industries might see a dry spell during the holidays, and could be better off staying closed. Think about your industry and if it is realistically going to get business on the holidays.

Your holiday hours in the past

If your small business has been open for more than a year, think about the hours you stayed open during previous holidays. Was it worthwhile? If not, it might be wise to limit your holiday hours this year. You could be wasting money by staying open. In comparison, if you didn’t stay open in past years, and received customer complaints or wish you would’ve made more holiday sales, it might be smart to stay open.

There are pros and cons to staying open on national holidays as a small business. While you’ll want to accommodate your customers, it is important to consider your benefits for employees, and whether or not they’ll be willing to work these days. Before extending your holiday business hours, you’ll also want to think about how your business has performed on previous holidays, and if there will be a decent amount of customers visiting your establishment. Hopefully, you’re able to come up with a holiday schedule that makes sense for your business!

 

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