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Is Saturday Considered To Be A Business Day?

Is Saturday A Business Day

Depending which industry the business is in, this will usually determine whether Saturday can be considered a business day. For example, professional services such as banks, lawyers and accountants typically do not tend to work on a Saturday. However, in comparison, the hospitality industry – which includes shops, cafes, takeaways and bars – would certainly consider Saturday a normal business day.

Understanding The Business Week

The normal ‘working week’ differs depending on what type of business is conducted, as well as where the business is situated. A typical working week in the UK would consist of 5 days on and two consecutive rest days for employee recuperation.

The most traditional working pattern is Monday through Friday between the hours of 9-5. However, more recently with the introduction of remote working especially, many organisations are flexible on when the work can be completed. This is job and industry dependent but can promote a healthier work life balance and allow businesses to operate at times previously restricted. There has also been a rise in workplaces changing patterns to accommodate longer working hours over a smaller number of days to allow employees more time off.

Whether Saturday is considered a working day is specific to each business, the industry that they operate in and other factors such as available resources. This will likely be driven by market demand and will determine if a business operates a full working day or reduced schedule to maximise earning potential while keeping costs low.

Which Businesses Operate On A Saturday?

There are usually two categories of business which operate on a Saturday:

High-Demand Businesses

Businesses which offer high demand products usually operate on Saturdays. They also tend to have longer opening hours to meet customer needs. Examples of businesses like this include supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations.

These businesses usually open on Saturdays and have extended hours to accommodate an increased number of customers who may only have time at the weekend to do tasks such as shopping.

Customer-Facing Hospitality Businesses

Customer facing businesses such as retail, or hospitality business’ such as bars and restaurants also open on Saturdays. To meet client demand and match competitor offerings, many of these businesses require to open on Saturdays.

Saturdays are peak time for family recreation and many businesses rely on an increase in customer numbers at weekends to remain financially viable. Cafes, bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues – like cinemas – will operate on a Saturday to take advantage of increased trade.

Traditional Monday-Friday Businesses

Due to the changing nature of the world we live in, even traditional Monday – Friday businesses like Estate agents can offer reduced operating hours or a smaller service at weekends to meet the demand of busy professionals.

Dental surgeries and GPs – which were previously considered traditional Monday to Friday business – now offer more flexibility by opening on a Saturday for a reduced time, usually between 9am – 12pm.

What Is The Definition Of A Business Day?

The definition of a business day is any day that an organisation is open and available for trading. Traditional business days for many in the UK are Monday – Friday 9-5, with Saturday and Sunday considered non-working days. However, most companies do now consider Saturdays to be business days and offer either a full or reduced schedule in comparison to standard working days.

There are usually specifically defined hours that a business will operate, although for certain circumstances such as Christmas or bank holidays, organisations may alter business hours – such as extending opening hours – to meet customer demand.

Benefits Of Using Saturday As A Business Day

There are many benefits for both business and customers in defining Saturday as a working day. It can give businesses the opportunity to increase turnover and customers alternative options as to when they can access the goods or services. Some of these benefits are noted below:

Benefits for Businesses

  • Being open on Saturdays for customer facing businesses such as bars, cafes or restaurants can attract customers who otherwise would be unable to use
  • Increased satisfaction for customers as Saturdays may be more convenient to access the goods or services.
  • Potential of increased sales by capturing business from recreation shoppers and diners
  • Ensuring customer needs are met for high demand services such as pharmacies and petrol stations
  • Ultimately, an extra day trading for business can lead to increased customer satisfaction and additional sales which will support profitability and growth.

Benefits for Customers

  • Customers may find it more convenient to access goods or services on a Saturday especially if customers themselves work a traditional week
  • It allows an ‘extra’ day for errands, that commitments during the traditional working week may prevent from being completed
  • Increased flexibility and choice over when they access the goods and services

Best Way To Check Business Opening Hours

Today, most businesses have websites and social media accounts – such as Facebook and Instagram – where they post up to date information about the business including details on opening hours. These can be checked from any smartphone, tablet or laptop and is probably the most convenient way to find this information.

They will also usually include either a phone number or contact methods if a customer wishes to confirm information that’s displayed on these sites, especially around holiday periods where operating hours can differ.

If attending business in person, checking signage on doors and storefronts that display up to date opening hours can be useful.

How Opening Hours Can Vary Between Industries

Even though most businesses operate as a traditional working day on Saturdays, opening hours can significantly differ between industries. Below is some further information on these differences.

Retail Stores & Shopping Centres

Almost all retail stores and shopping centres now operate business as usual on a Saturday between the standard hours of 9-5. There may be exceptions to this like Christmas, where traditionally, opening hours will be extended. It is also commonplace for Sundays to also operate as a standard business day, especially in the retail sector.

Supermarkets

Typically, supermarkets are open from between 7am – 10pm on Saturdays. Longer opening hours allows businesses to take advantage of increased customer demand at weekends. Some chains now operate 24/7.

Banks

Big high street branches usually offer a reduced timetable on Saturdays, typically 9am – 1pm in the UK, and although ATMs are available 24/7, some banks do not open at all on a Saturday.

Restaurants & Hospitality

Saturday tends to be a normal business day for the hospitality industry. Most people’s free time to eat and drink is the traditional weekend and businesses need to be able to cater to customer needs.

Tradies & Contractors

Unless pre planned, tradesmen and other contractors will only provide a limited service on Saturdays such as an emergency call out.

Medical & Dental

Doctor surgeries and dentists are typically following the same pattern as banks whereby they offer a reduced schedule on a Saturday, for example between 9am-1pm. Outside of these hours, patients would need to contact an on-call doctor or visit a hospital.

Government & Council Offices

Leisure centres and other government or council run facilities usually operate a normal schedule on a Saturday although other public sector services like courts and post offices remain closed.

Saturday trading hours fluctuate greatly depending on what industry the business operates in and although most businesses do now operate full schedules on Saturdays, it’s best to confirm directly when they are open for trading.

Should My Business Be Open On Saturday? Key Considerations

There are some key considerations which need factored in when deciding if opening for business on a Saturday is likely to be beneficial:

  • Customer Demand – Is there a Saturday demand for the goods and services from your customers?
  • Resource availability – Do you have available resources comfortable working on Saturdays?
  • Profitability – Evaluate competitor turnover through same period and determine whether operation costs for a Saturday would enable a profit to be made
  • Work/Life balance – Consider staff wellbeing if increasing work patterns. Are your staff satisfied with working on Saturdays?
  • Industry Standard – What do competitors in your industry offer? Not being open to meet customer needs could prevent potential sales.

It also depends on the type of goods and services you offer. For example, high demand products like groceries or services like petrol stations, that customers expect to have access to quickly, would see a negative impact on their business by not opening on a Saturday like their competitors.

By continually monitoring performance indicators, it will provide insights into your business that can be used to understand customer needs and plan business strategy to maximise opportunities and mitigate any threats.

Case Studies: Industries Embracing Saturday Trading

The standard work week is evolving due to changes in customer habits and lifestyle patterns and although Monday-Friday 9-5 still dominates in most sectors, customer expectations are meaning more and more business are now including Saturday as a working day.

Below are some examples of industries that are extending opening hours to include Saturdays based on customer demand:

Healthcare Clinics

Due to the changing nature of people’s lifestyles, many healthcare clinics now open on a Saturday to provide more flexibility for patients. This means those who work the traditional Monday – Friday 9-5 now no longer need to take time off work to attend appointments. This also allows clinics to maximise the use of their facilities to help patients.

Not all medical centres open on a Saturday but for those that do, appointments are usually fully booked which shows the demand for the service, providing extra flexibility to those patients who would struggle to make appointments within previous hours of 9-5 Monday – Friday.

Fitness Centres

Fitness centres and gyms have also changed their traditional working hours to meet the needs of clients. A poll conducted by industry leader Les MIlls, showed that nearly 60% of members preferred weekend classes to be included in the offering. This information allowed providers to plan resources to meet customer expectations and provide Saturday access.

By providing access on Saturdays, fitness centres have been able to maximise turnover especially at the start of a new year when people look to develop new habits and there is a higher demand for fitness centres.

Mobile Pet Groomers

Weekends are becoming extremely popular in the mobile pet grooming industry because of the change in service availability. Without having to coordinate grooming around a traditional 9-5 job, it allows customers to arrange a time that is convenient for them.

Industry statistics show that Saturdays are becoming the most popular time for consumers to arrange pet grooming and as a result, some businesses now have waiting lists despite being open 6 days a week.

Extending open times to include Saturdays can be very profitable to a business but it must evaluate the viability of such an offering before going ahead.

Future Trends & Predictions

Trying to predict future trends can be difficult, however, due to changes in modern lifestyle as well as customer habits, the opinion of Saturday being considered a business day might change. Below are some examples:

  • Analysis of data shows customers prefer increased flexibility and variability of trading hours in every sector
  • Due to ageing population, further access is required other than traditional 9 – 5 for things like routine appointments and consultations
  • Online e-commerce platforms are becoming more popular meaning physical locations or specific opening hours are required
  • Changes in legislation to remove Sunday trading restrictions
  • With traditional working schedules now trending to a condensed 4-day week and home working, Saturday availability will increase business turnover as less people office based

Whether your work is done in the traditional 5 day working week or the newly introduced 4-day work week, social norms suggest Saturday is and will continue to be considered a standard working day.

Final Thoughts

The sector and industry usually determine whether Saturday is considered a standard business day. For many firms, retail and hospitality alike, Saturday has quickly become an extremely important trading day for business profitability and is likely to remain so to ensure more flexibility for consumers.

In summary, trends show that customers enjoy the flexibility offered by Saturday trading. It provides more variability and is often more convenient for customers.

So, if customers continue to spend, businesses will continue to view Saturday as a normal business day!!

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