When you are a small business owner, you can be in charge of your own opening hours.

Get out of the mindset that you have to mimic what others in your same line of work are doing in terms of being open and closed.

Sometimes, being different and thinking out of the box are what makes a business stand out.

Is your business a standard 8 to 5 company? Are you sure it has to be?

Here are some benefits to keeping unusual hours:

Get More Customers

You have to remember that many of your customers also work during 8 to 5. That makes it difficult for people to visit your small business.

That’s why the roads are full of traffic on weekends – that’s the only time a lot of people have available to them to get their shopping and errands done.

If you want to get more customers, consider changing your business hours to reflect when your customers are off work.

Depending on your business, maybe you can get away with opening later in the day, or closing right after lunch.

After all, if you’re selling breakfast food, you might stand to save money by being closed after everyone’s had their fill of pancakes.

Adjusting your hours to suit your customers’ needs makes sense.

If you’re a dentist, keeping nighttime hours will allow your patients to come in and get their fillings done without having to take a vacation day from work.

In fact, you could be closed during the regular workday and be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 8 p.m. on weekends. Most of your patients would probably love you for it.

Being Different Is Valuable

If your entire industry is closed on certain days or at certain times, you can really make a mark by eschewing the norm and being different.

For instance, many hair salons are closed on Mondays. If yours stays open, your clients will see that and wonder as the following article looks at, “what’s the awesome reason why this salon opens on Mondays?”

They might even think that your salon is so amazing, you have a gazillion customers and you simply can’t fit them all into a regular work week. Being seen as different is valuable.

Your Employees May Love It

There are lots of employees who would love to have the chance to watch their son’s Little League game on Saturday in exchange for coming in on Friday night to finish up work. Why close the office if your employees want to make up time in the evenings and on weekends?

As a small business owner, you can make the offer to your employees and see how they feel about it. You just may find out that your employees love the idea of doing their work when they want, instead of when you dictate opening office hours.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your business hours. If you’re already mired in a tradition of 8 to 5, make subtle changes at first to see how your employees and customers react.

Over time, you’ll find a timeframe that is perfect for you and your business.

As a small business owner, do you set your business apart from the crowd?

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.