It’s difficult to fathom just how much the working world has changed over the past twenty years. It wasn’t so long ago that businesses were almost exclusively out in the real world, and many of those businesses were closed for the entire weekend, and sometimes even one of the days during the working week. Now, it’s all different. The emergence of the internet as king of the world has meant that communication is absolute; we can be online at all times, and many people are. So there’s the question:
are you ready to turn your business into a 24/7 operation?
Is it Necessary?
The first question you’ll need to think about is: what will be gained from moving to ‘open all hours’? While some businesses will find it worthwhile, it’s not necessary for all companies to make the switch. It depends on a number of issues, such as what your business is, where your customers are based (and also where they are in relation to you), and what they expect. Some industries aren’t expected to be open 24/7, but for others it could help them get ahead in a crowded industry.
Getting Extra Help
There are costs connected with staying opening for longer hours, such as increased bills and extra staffing costs. Regardless of how many staff you currently have, you’ll need to hire more: morale will sink faster than the Titanic if you launch a 24/7 service and expect your current staff to pick up the slack. When it comes to hiring new staff, make sure they’re aware of the hours they’ll be working – and the pressure they might be under. It’s unlikely they’ll be too many people to help should they have a question at three in the morning.
Keeping Things Running
You can talk about how you’ll keep your business open 24/7, but it’ll be the technology that does most of the legwork. In fact, your technology functioning properly will paramount to its success. However, if something goes wrong – say, your server goes down – after business hours, you might find that there’s no one around to help get things back up and running. Before launching, make sure you have a reliable datacenter, one that’s located in a secure environment and which won’t be affected by a disaster. It’s having these kinds of things at the forefront of your mind that’ll make the transition more smooth.
You’re not going to conquer the world at night, and you shouldn’t try to. When you first launch, start slow. It’ll be a learning curve adjusting to the problems that can present themselves when there are no resting periods between open and close in which to evaluate the direction you’re going. You’ll have to think of plans and implement them on the fly. It’s not easy, for any company.
It’s important that you’re always keeping an eye on how the operation is going. It might be that it costs too much for little return, and is compromising the quality of your business in other ways.