“Start with Why?” Determining the central reason for your business’s existence is vitally important. Once the “Why” is known, and the “Who” is defined (Your own identity and that of your customers), address the “When” question. When will you be open? When will you close?

During this pandemic, certain industries and individuals have been deemed “essential employees.” We tip our hats to these individuals and are grateful for the work they do. Likewise, every business needs to use this time to define the essential reasons they exist.

WTP asked this question. Knowing that their primary customers are the riders who come to visit the Hatfield McCoy Trails, it is important to know when these customers arrive and leave. In this area of West Virginia, tourists arrive weekly on Thursday and stay through the weekend, leaving either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. So, when does WTP need to be open? How do they decide?

To find the answer to this, WTP talked with the owners of local campgrounds to find out when trail riders arrive. And, of course, they observed people’s habits and preferences.

Due to the travel schedule of these customers, Wrong Turn Pizza doesn’t need to open too early Thursday but does begin to see people arriving in the early afternoon.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fill the business with heavy traffic during the breakfast and
evenings. Riders have to be off the trails at dusk. So, WTP opens for breakfast and then uses the daytime hours to prepare for the big evening crowd. Around 4:00-4:30 pm, the parking lot fills with Side by Sides and Quads. Many customers grab a beer (served in-house only) and reminisce about the day’s experiences before ordering food.

Knowing that these customers want to maximize their experience for the weekend, WTP remains open to 11 pm. By the end of the weekend, the staff of WTP know their customers well. This familiarity and friendliness help everyone feel at ease. Consider your customer base and answer these questions.

  • When do you need to be open to be available to them?
  • When do people drive past your location and have time to stop?
  • When will be your heaviest hours?
  • When should you close?

So, now we’ve worked through some of the questions that need to be answered to make your business essential in the minds of your community. You’ve worked through your “Why?” and your “Who?” and, now, your “When.” The intentional process may take an investment of time and energy today, but you will be glad you spent the time.