After all of your preparation and hard work, it is time to open your business. Use these tips to make sure your grand opening is a rousing success.
9 Tips for Running a Successful Grand Opening
1. Prep your business for your attendees: Get your business in immaculate condition – inside and out.
2. Make sure you are dressed professionally and have your staff wear custom branded apparel: Having your employees look the part is important. Make sure they are wearing nice outfits with your company logo.
3. Invite the media and promote on social media: Be sure that everyone knows about your event – reach out to friends and community members, networking groups, local media outlets, and social media channels, among others.
4. Personally invite local dignitaries: Invite your mayor, city council members, business leaders, chambers of commerce representatives, etc.
5. Make it a real celebration! Make sure you have a huge banner and decorations that you think fit your personality and business brand identity. Add some music, refreshments, and even raffle items to really give your grand opening a festive, party-like atmosphere.
6. Use print to spread the word and promote your business during the grand opening: Consult with a marketing professional to see how you can use print to promote your event and market your business during the grand opening. Business cards, banners, signs, brochures, promotional items, flyers, and of course invitations are all essential items that will boost your promotions.
7. Have promotional product giveaways to create brand awareness and engagement: Getting free stuff makes people love you. Giving unique, high quality promotional items will give attendees a special look at the high level of quality they can come to expect from you. And if you create a real connection, that grand opening attendee could turn into a new and loyal customer.
8. Offer a grand opening special: It’s a good idea to welcome attendees who made the effort to visit your grand opening event with a couple of special offers. Offer them a printed “Thank You” reward / coupon card with a nice discount on orders placed in the next week. This way, you can hit the ground running with your business and they will appreciate the added personal touch as well as the savings.
9. Utilize your staff as “brand diplomats”: All the members of your team should play a role in the success of your grand opening. Open a discussion with your staff about the event and take their feedback into consideration, utilizing their strongest ideas. Let your staff collaborate with you and they will turn around and become effective brand diplomats at the grand opening and moving forward as well.
Bonus Advice: Tailor the Event to Your Target Audience
Keep in mind that everything about your grand opening needs to be tailored to your target audience and match your brand identity, which includes choosing the type of entertainment for the day. For instance, if your target audience is the college crowd, an evening shindig with a “chilled-out”, party atmosphere would work, while a more family friendly, daytime event would be more suited to an audience consisting of parents within your community. All of the features and activities incorporated into your grand opening party really need to depend on the kinds of services and products you provide as well as the particular segment of the community whose business you wish to secure. They need to come and have fun, feel at home and get a good dose of the reason your brand is something they simply need to have in their lives.
Doug Harlan, Chicago area Regional Vice-President for Minuteman Press International, “To have a successful Grand Opening or Grand Re-Opening, it must be planned out properly. The key is to determine “WHO” my target really is. Different types of businesses have different types of prospective customers or clientele.”
A successfully executed grand opening does one thing very well — it establishes your brand and your business in the minds of members of your target audience. When you think of a target audience, you may think of would-be clientele.
How to Extend Excitement and Engagement Following the Grand Opening
While there isn’t solid statistical data about the positive impact a smashing grand opening will have on your business, common sense dictates that businesses can only be served with great publicity and a boost to their launch if they invest energy into official grand opening festivities. Besides, the fruition of your dream to become an entrepreneur is reason enough to have a big celebration and let the world know that you are rolling up your sleeves and opening your doors for them! It makes sense then, to create and enjoy a spectacular grand opening celebration. It will set the course for a more lucrative pace over weeks and months with buzz and excitement enough to drive folks in to your location, where they can nestle into your budding customer base.