Helping you plan, start and grow your business
When Are You Open For Business?
Do your prospects and customers know when they can reach you? For the self-employed, there is a difference between the hours in which we are working, and the hours in which we can be reached by prospects and customers. The former is likely to be longer – perhaps much longer – than the latter.
For retail store fronts, business hours should be clearly posted on or near the main doors, along with a phone number and/or email for after-hours contact. In addition, hours should appear prominently on your website, on any marketing materials, and be included in your phone messaging system, if possible.
As for non-retail operations, availability may be more extensive, because prospects and customers are most likely to contact you by phone or email. Therefore, it is critical that phone numbers and email addresses be readily available, and that you check and respond to messages in a timely manner.
In addition, identifying your location may be helpful – especially if your telephone area code does not reflect your current geographic location. Time zones should be clearly identified by businesses with international contacts.
Those of you who work alone, or are just starting a business, probably want to maximize the time that you are available to be contacted. Regardless, clients appreciate knowing when they can reach you.
Your best, long-term customers will signal how extensively they are willing to work outside of normal business hours. If they like to communicate in the early morning or late evening, or on the weekends, the speed of your replies to them will convey your availability during those times. Of course, unless you are very hungry for business, you may not want to be quite as responsive during off-hours.
Overall, business availability should always be appropriate for your target market, and easy for them to remember.
If a potential customer wants to purchase your products, or take advantage of your services, do they know when you are open for business? Make sure that they do!
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend