Open All Hours: Running A 24 Hour Business

Open All Hours: Running A 24 Hour Business

The standard nine to five weekday-only shift isn’t suitable for every company. You may be working with international clients, managing a hotel or offering critical services to businesses. Adopting an open-all-hours service could be essential to scoring more sales or elevate you beyond the services that other companies are offering. But how do you make the transition to a 24/7 business? Here are some things to consider.

Hiring staff

You can’t run a 24 hour business on your own. If clients need to contact you all hours a day you need to have a point of call whilst you’re asleep. This will mean hiring staff to do night shifts and weekend shifts.

Some companies are able to hire permanent staff for such hours. However, in other services, such work can take its toll and you may find constantly putting someone on night shifts or weekends could result in them leaving for more sociable hours. A way to get around this is to have a shift pattern in which some days staff work overnight, whilst other days they are given day shifts (most commonly found in hotels and bars).

You may need to hire assistant managers that can cover the shifts where you yourself aren’t present, so that staff have an authority figure to consult. This assistant manager should be Health & Safety trained and be able to take charge when problems arise. Working some shifts alongside your assistant managers or having weekly meetings is important so that you are always on the same page.


For some companies, you may only need a 24 hour phone lines. There are a number of dedicated hotline services that cater for such companies, serving as a point of call for queries and emergencies when you are out of the office. This can be a more affordable option for some businesses.

Similarly, for international work, you may be able to outsource someone in another country to act as a point of call. Not only will they be able to offer services during their country’s everyday working hours – they may also have more expertise when it comes to the culture and language.


Sometimes you may not even need extra manpower to run a 24 hour business. If all you need to offer is 24 hour advice and not emergency action, setting up a webpage with commonly asked questions and answers on for clients could solve the issue. From here you can set up an automated out-of-office email reply that can link to this page.

Automated telephone services can also be set up but are costly and not always effective. They are better reserved for basic queries.For hotels, an automated check-out service may be something to consider. This allows guests to leave in the early hours of the morning without having to put someone on reception. For that extra special touch, you can set up a coffee machine and snacks so that early-risers still have the option to get a drink and breakfast.

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