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Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time on Service Businesses in the United States
The Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time changes the way we live and do business. What are the true dynamics of daylight Savings. It was to improve the efficiency of energy supply and demand issues originally. Does it still work for that purpose. To some degree yes. But, not as much as you think. As a matter of fact until people readjust a little it actually hurts energy costs for those cities burning coal. Some cities use fuels to power up. Nuclear is best next to hydroelectric power. Wind sounds great, but we have not perfected that and the tax write off scandalists made a mockery of what could have been great technology and environmentally sound energy. Solar, may work better more now than previously due to the Infrared knowledge and more efficient solar cells due to nano tech. Solar sounds good since it is coming from the sun or space, stuff that happened billions of years ago now reaching us in other spectrums too.
Since the Earth turns at 600+ miles per hour and we have 4 times zones in the US, actually 6 if you count Alaska and Hawaii. Then every 600+ miles we need a new time zone. Which, we almost have. Some cities end up on the beginning of a time zone while others on the end of a time zone so they are already an hour off the of each other. Some states like Arizona do not change so half of the year they are on Pacific and the other half they are in line with their Northern or NAFTA Neighbors. This can cause problems in business due to scheduling and phone calls. Ever had problems reaching NY and find out its five there and everyone ran out the door at 4:59 their time? Happens.
The other problems that occur which you might not think about is the grassroots campaigning by Politicians stops when daylight savings starts. Why? Because people do not get home from work until 5-5:30 and so you cannot knock on their doors in the dark, it freaks them out. And you may only have an hour or so to knock on doors before it does get dark. So the grass roots marketing of candidates and propositions hits the mass media and all of a sudden we are flooded on the TV with ads, supply and demand price goes up, then more money is needed and more political favors are born. Surprising what a simple time change can do? When people go home they turn on their TVs and so viewer ship is at an all time high. Polls change as the ads begin. No longer can they use the door to door canvassing techniques, a favorite in local elections and small town PACs. Probably because it works so well to get votes.
If you are on the end of a time zone like in Seattle, Portland or in Boise, Amarillo, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Louisville, it can be tough on them. It gets dark very soon. If you are on the beginning of a time zone such as in Nashville TN, Montgomery AL, Chicago IL, Cheyenne WY, Denver CO, Spokane WA, Vegas NV, you will have a distinct advantage if you are a Brick and Mortar Retailer or service company. More hours enable a company to work with more clientele and easier working conditions. Mans eyes are much better in the light than dark and so innately we do our work in the day. Dark signifies the winding down of the day and time to eat. So restaurants start getting earlier crowds, happy hours change. The people flow in at different times at the beginning of daylight savings time while people adjust, and then even earlier once it gets closest to the shortest day of the year, where as during summer they have people still walking in for dinner at 10PM. People also go out and start drinking earlier and therefore more drunk drivers earlier in the evening and people much more drunk by the last call due to the extra hour of kidney abuses. This takes more police, more jails and court time. Also more fees for country courts.
Now lets talk a little more locally, what about the car wash business? Less traffic for after work during the week customers. What about a mobile service business? If you are not an early riser you should adjust your sleep schedule by an hour and that way you will be up to work an hour early, eventually the time and light will change to be more relevant to the actual time of the light and day that humans are use to. Also it would be important to get some early morning accounts and appointments. If you live in a Northern State and are a landscaper or work with water, then the water freezes and you need sun to warm it up or wait until later. But remember it now gets warmer an hour earlier even though the gap is being closed as the climate changes and it gets colder at night taking more time to warm up. If you are in the S. Carolina / Tennessee across to Southern CA states lateral line then is not a factor. 22 degrees is still workable if necessary. If you are above the southern most states you may need to follow the winter plan more carefully. If you are a farmer or feeding livestock there are issues with the water. Construction using water to mix with concrete have issues. Lots of businesses drastically change and if they do not have a plan then they will lose profits, lay off workers and be disrupted until they get back into the new reality.
Daylight Savings time is the start of shorter days, but you will not notice very much for a while. It is a time to think about increased efficiency needs. If you do not pay attention you could easily cost your self $60-100 per day if you are a single employee small business, this can cause severe stress on a marriage or family.
The Farmers Almanac calls for a middle of the road winter with perhaps a Scientific American Article pointed out above average ambient temperatures of 5-6 degrees hotter than usual, claiming Global Warming and inferred light increasing atmospheric temperatures. Good for some businesses, bad for others. Last Winter was good on the Industry one of lightest on records, costs for energy were not catastrophic although we did have spikes which could be felt in the Northeast as many small business owners complained about natural gas costs, although mostly due to the lack of new sources. Your competition may not be prepared for the Time Shift even though it comes every year with the same results, but you should be, it maybe a time to pick up new customers that they are unable to service. You may notice some businesses, which are mobile, which have additional generators for lighting, logo'ed jackets, various safety items and lighted clipboards? You may also notice signage on some businesses to not be turned on at dark while others are and some business vehicles with reflective 3M-vinyl lettering, which can be seen in the dark due to reflective-ness.
You might notice mobile auto detailers with enclosed trailers or boxes to protect engine and components from weather, and re-circulation hoses so you can leave the machine running all day. You will see contractors working out of enclosed vehicles with boxes and covering around equipment in truck beds. Without a scheduling strategy and correct market mix these types of mobile businesses could watch their gross revenues be reduced drastically from their projected goals. But, if these businesses concentrate on those goals and prepare their customer list to be in sync with their strategy, they can do fine. Using enhanced scheduling software is one way to increase efficiency. Then the time change really only means you are forced to get the same work done in less time and thus spend more quality time with your family. Be smart and follow a strategic plan. Let your competition falter and call customers back explain your changes and modifications to your schedule, try not to make excuses why it cannot be done and there is no time, customers will not appreciate that as they themselves need better service as they find themselves with less time in the day.
A small business will pick up those accounts that their competitors failed to communicate with which the customer perceives as their lack of good service. This is probably the best opportunity you will have all year to acquire new accounts from the competition. It is not a time to buy more units or train new employees on the job, it is a time to hone skills and cut teeth in the market, Get tough on service, get tough on competition, and play to win. It is a time when the free market hands out awards for good service and strategy. You should be ready prior to the time change with employees and items you need to stay on top of your customers. Remember that your competition now is dealing with price per gallon issues and trying to remain efficient with delivery vehicles and/or service vehicles and when they are additionally hit with shorter work days their stress level peaks, it can separate the prepared from the ill prepared, the winners and losers.
One strategy for small service businesses is to keep prices as is until November 15 th and let the competition drive to you their previously best customers due to poor service, shortened days, price raises and lack of proper scheduling. Allowing the Internet to help you drive sales might be another approach, since it cuts down on contact time. You will find actually some customers prefer this type of contact. This will leave you more time with those who want more personal contact.
The Daylight Savings time can rip a hole in your competitions schedule right when their costs are highest due to all those things mentioned. Where many people will complain about the daylight savings time use it to your advantage.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
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