How to Manage a Business that’s Open 24/7

How to Manage a Business that’s Open 24/7Businesses that operate 24 hours a day tend to have their own unique operation structure and vary from one type of business to the next. But when you don’t have a set closing time in place, how can you handle issues that come up that 9-5 companies don’t face? Here’s how to keep your business running smoothly from the AM to PM with the following tips!

1) Have a manager you can trust

A responsible team member you trust should be delegated as being in charge for each shift in the schedule. Be sure that each supervisor is properly trained, understands what tasks must be done on their assigned shift, and knows how to delegate out duties accordingly to the rest of the team.

2) Be fair with employees

If you don’t have one or two people who prefer the overnight shift, scheduling can get tough. Rotating shifts is usually the fairest way to work, but switching shifts isn’t easy on anyone. The key to a successful overnight shift is to offer employees an incentive to work it. Monetary incentives usually get the best results, but survey your employees first to find out what they want. If you run a repair business that is open 24/7, like Advanced Roofing Company, the best option may be to have someone on call at night. This way you can still meet the customer’s emergency needs, but everyone can just take turns being in charge of the late night calls once a week or so. If you must have someone work the graveyard shift every night full time, try hiring someone specifically for that position so that the terms and hours are agreed upon in advance.

3) Have a plan for sick leave

Businesses that are open twenty-four hours a day need a plan in place when someone calls out sick. Nursing homes and hospitals tend to hire several employees on a per diem basis. In other words, they only work when someone calls out sick or goes out on scheduled days off. If can be hard to find replacements for night shifts with little notice, so have a plan or a list of employees willing to work graveyard shifts worked out in advance.

4) Communicate

A lack of communication among employees and management is, unfortunately, very common. One way to curtail problems is to put a communication log in place so that employees and management alike know what everyone is working on. You also need to make sure that you regularly schedule staff meetings. Use this time to take suggestions from your employees on how to improve business and the work shifts.

5) Stay on Schedule

Just because you operate 24 hours a day, doesn’t mean you can skip tasks that most businesses do at closing time. Have a schedule in place for any cleaning or sanitation that needs to be completed, as well as cashing out registers. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you stay on top of daily tasks and don’t get behind or overwhelmed. Divide tasks for shifts so that one team isn’t doing the majority of the work alone. If you are less busy during the night, for example, have the bulk of the cleaning and organizing done during that time.

Businesses that operate 24/7 are special in that their problems are much different than a business that is open for even twelve hours a day. By following the above tips, you can be sure that your business will run smoothly even when you are at home sleeping.

About the Author: Kandace Heller is a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida. She loves researching, writing and sharing what she learns with others. Follow her on Twitter @kandaceheller and on Google+ here.

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