Spring Forward, Fall Back, or Just Leave it?
With the changing of the clocks, overnight we are handed an extra hour of daylight. The question is what are you going to do with it?
In the Nordics this is the beginning of seasons where there are fewer hours of night, so sometimes it’s hard to know when day ends and night begins.
Keep it BST 365
There is a school of thought that we should just leave the time on BST – have longer evenings in the winter and forget this twice yearly change. There’s no doubt that it changes our mood. When we get that first drive home in the dark at 5pm we can feel a little down. Then when the evenings get brighter we feel brighter. It then follows that this is the same for our own teams, and our customers. Do we notice any discernible increase in the lighter days than the darker ones? Are our conversion rates higher in the summer months?
If we left the time as it is would that would mean that we’d all feel slightly happier all the time? We might sleep a little better and we could stop worrying about changing all our clocks!
From a business perspective it would work well, we’d be at the same time as the rest of Europe so that odd hour difference would become a thing of the past, and our business hours would match.
In Scotland this would affect their winters more of course, no daylight till 10.00 am in some cases.
Maximise on The Light
Forward thinking managers will be thinking about how to maximise on the light. Retailers should consider staying open later for the lighter evenings, and pubs and cafes are far more likely to be used on these evenings.
It isn’t just July and August that is your summer trading. Your summer hours start now. When your customers come to see you after work and it is still light what can start doing now and plan to do better that you wouldn’t have entertained.
Answer these questions
- Put yourself in your customers shoes what would a customer like to do with the extra morning and evening light that they couldn’t do before?
- More importantly what services free or paid for can we now offer to make doing business with us easier?
- Demographic Considerations: What do our early bird retired customers want from us as they brace the day?
- What can we offer to our customers that they are likely to do after the school run, or school pick up, or returning from their commute at 5p, 6pm or shall we stay open later on Thursdays till 7pm to ease the weekend congestion?
- What new services would people pay for to receive either at our place or at their home or office at the start of the longer lighter day, or at the end as the light lingers longer? (Hey alliteration thrown in for free, Pub Poetry Night for example).
The secret is to stop thinking your business is selling products. Look at the news about NEXT and New Look. The mid market fashion labels will suffer the same way as the mid market food places if they continue to believe the business model is about the cost of manufacture and distribution of clothes with living wage wages paid to the untrained to sell the clothes. When your rates go up and your enquiries go down aside from negotiating lower prices from your suppliers, what else can you do? Lift your service – lift the sales.