In dealing with businesses, first impressions can either make you or break you. First impressions last forever, too, and if your store happens to leave customers with a bitter taste, then there is a big chance it is going to go downhill from there. After all, you are only given one shot to imprint your brand in your customer’s memory.
Launching a new business or opening another branch means going on a tedious process of planning for a grand opening. Making your opening event count and getting the business to a healthy start will generate enthusiasm within the community.
Grand Openings: What is it?
Grand openings are not just any event. It is an entrepreneur’s only chance to introduce his or her business with a boom. The first step to making an opening a huge success is to set your goals. For instance, a grand opening aims to:
- Create your Brand’s Identity
Creating a brand identity is one of the first things an entrepreneur should do in starting a business. Everyone involved should know or at least have an idea about the business’s goals and plans. Having a tight and unified brand identity ready from the get-go will attract all the right people.
- Build Relationships Within the Community
Beyond awareness, entrepreneurs aim to create an authentic connection with the local community. Grand openings can help business-owners socialize with the locals. Plus, it is an opportunity to inform the people what makes your business different.
It is better to be meticulous and allow enough time for a memorable grand opening than to have it rushed and risk failure. Knowing how to make your store stand out on its very first day can go a long way. Hence, it is important to have an idea of how to make grand openings feel like a total party.
Starting on the Right Foot
There is a lot to consider when planning for a grand opening. The details and activities of the launch will vary from business to business. However, some common ideas will never go out of style and will ensure that your opening day is a success.
- Support a Cause
Partnering with a charity event or organization that is closely aligned with your business’s themes and goals will surely get people talking. Drawing people who like to support businesses for a cause is one thing, building good relationships by supporting a cause is another.
This is not only an effective marketing strategy but this is also a great way of bringing current issues to light. Showing support to a charity can also help in building a positive reputation amongst those who share and support the same cause.
- Have an Exclusive Sale
Admit it, passing up on free things is as hard as ignoring your friends. People love being given free perks, as simple as that. Whether it is a complimentary drink, a free upsize, or a buy-one-get-one promo, offering opening day sales will put your business on people’s radar.
Being given something that is only limited for a certain time will convey a feeling of exclusivity and it helps develop a positive association with your business or brand. Opening day sales will get your store jam-packed, which in turn, will attract passersby as well. It is a win-win situation.
- Invite Social Media Influencers
Social media has now become a hotspot for marketing new businesses. People discover new stores online, specifically in social media. Social media influencers are people who have a huge following in the digital world. One Tweet or Instagram post from them can already attract people to visit your store once the doors are open.
In addition, inviting an influencer to the grand opening can inspire their followers or fans to visit your establishment to get a glimpse of their idol. Having an influencer post positive feedback regarding your business will also put your store on the map.
Grand Opening Checklist
Knowing what to do during grand openings is not enough. More than planning the activities, certain things still need to be taken care of to ensure a successful grand opening.
Having a checklist, where you can keep track of what the store needs for its big day, is an important part of planning. Grand openings require tedious preparations that must be started weeks or even months ahead of time.
Already feel confident about your store’s decorations? Improve it a little bit more by adding a couple of flower decors or arrangements. You can also opt to have a congratulatory flower stand at the entrance to let people know that you are a new business.
Flowers are great decorations because they fill the air with so much color and beauty. On top of that, their sweet fragrance can make people feel calm and relaxed amidst the store’s lively mood. The flowers’ vibrant colors also entice people to visit and check out what the store offers.
- Guest List
Inviting VIPs to attend a business’s grand opening is an important part of hosting one in the first place. Thus, creating a guest list will ensure that the guests will be accommodated specially and with exclusivity.
VIPs can be local business owners, influencers, media personnel, or people that have personal relationships with the business owner. It is important to treat these people with the utmost hospitability for them to give positive feedback.
Making a budget and sticking to it is probably one of the most stressful yet important parts of planning. Sure, spending big bucks to make an opening grand and luxurious is necessary. However, going way above the budget is like digging a hole for your business.
For businesses to succeed, entrepreneurs must take into consideration the difference between necessary expenses and extra expenses. Money spent on the big day should always be accounted for to avoid financial problems in the future.
Think of it this way, if you spend so much on the grand opening that you no longer have enough funds to advertise your business after its launching, then people will more or less forget your business even exists.
There is a lot to think about when you are planning to launch your very own business but it is not as intimidating or complicated as some people make it out to be. Following these tips and ideas will ensure a flawless grand opening.
Kick-start your new business by going the extra mile and make it as energetic and lively as possible. Sure, there are risks but the feeling of success after a smashing first day will increase everybody’s morale. Make your launching day count and imprint a positive first impression on people.