You’ve dotted your I's and crossed your T’s. You’ve taken care of all the back-end business. You’ve branded your new company. You’ve chosen a merchant account provider and a POS system. You’ve leased a space and filled it in. You’ve hired employees.
All there’s left to do is tell the world you’re open for business. It’s time for the grand opening!
Of course, you want to gather a large crowd. You want to make a splash in the community. You want everyone to know they can now walk into your store. The grand opening is so important because it’s your first impression on potential customers.
That's why we’ve dedicated this week's business tips of the day to helping you ensure a killer grand opening.
Start with a soft opening
What better way to ensure your grand opening doesn’t end up being a total flop than to practice ahead of time? That’s what a soft opening allows you to do. It’s a smaller version of your grand opening and the only guests invited are your closest friends and family members. These are the people who will give you honest feedback regarding what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make changes before the big day.
Maybe your layout was confusing or a particular employee’s customer service skills could use some improvement. It’s better to know ahead of time.
Offer free samples
Who doesn’t love free stuff? You’ll be sure to bring in a bigger crowd if you offer free samples to the people who show up to the grand opening. This could be a free cup of coffee at your new café, a free dessert at your new restaurant, or free swag at your new store.
Free stuff will not only bring in the crowds, but it’ll also build positive associations. When people think of your brand, they’ll associate it with positive feelings.
Invite strategic guests
Friends and family can give you the support you need during your big day. Influencers can promote the grand opening online, so more people show up. Journalists and bloggers may write positive articles about your brand, allowing you to reach more people. Community leaders can share the news of your grand opening with community members.
When it comes to the grand opening, the more the merrier. But remember to send out some strategic invitations to get the most out of your big day.
Bring in entertainment
Hiring entertainment is a great way to ensure your grand opening is a smashing success, which is why it’s one of our top business tips of the day. While all members of the community might not be interested in the opening of your store or restaurant, they might be interested in the local band, celebrity, or local artist you’ve hired. Plus, the performers will independently promote the big day, which will help bring in more people.
Promote, promote, promote
Now is not the time to be shy. For the months, weeks, and days leading up to your grand opening, promote the event mercilessly. Put up posters in local community areas like the arena, the public library, and the post office. Reach out to local business owners and ask if you can put a poster up in their store or restaurant to spread the news. Take out social media ads and share the news organically, too.
Keep in mind that your promo must be timely. If you promote your event at the last minute, people might not be able to make it.
Opening a new business can be scary, but with these tips, you can ensure the big day brings in a large crowd, helps you build relationships, and enables you to spread the word about your new store. Good luck!