You know the old saying, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression"? Well, that's just as true for a place of business as it is for an individual person. Your business's grand opening is your chance for your store to make a first impression on the community and many of your potential regular customers, so it's important to go all out to make sure that first impression is a good one. A grand opening that goes by unnoticed is not a good start for your business. Take a look at some ways to make sure that your grand opening makes a splash in your community.
Involve Community Groups
Involving an existing and well-known group in the community will help draw people in to your grand opening. Invite a respected local charity to raise money at your grand opening event, or let the high school band set up a car wash for donations in your parking lot. You'll gather goodwill by aligning yourself with something that people in your community already care about, and you'll also attract more attendees to your event. More event guests means more potential customers.
You should also invite some of the more prominent members of the community. Invite the mayor, the city council, or members of the local press. If you can invite a local celebrity or athlete, that can also help bring in customers.
People are going to need to know that you're there and your grand opening is happening in order for it to be a success. There are many ways to advertise – you can send out invitations, buy ad space in a local newspaper, and even pay for a radio spot – but by far the most effective and least expensive form of advertisement is going to be your signage.
Banner signs from a company like Genesis Signs are a good choice for a grand opening, because they're large enough to catch the eye of people just passing by, and because they're inexpensive, which makes them a cost-efficient choice for a one-time only event. Allow your print shop or sign company at least a few weeks – and ideally a month – to create the signs that you need for your event. Remember that in addition to your grand opening sign, you may also need directional signs for the building and parking lot and signs to point out special sales or promotions.
You should do your best to make your grand opening event easy for your guests to attend. Weekends are good days to hold grand openings, because people are more likely to be off work. However, children are usually out of school or daycare on the weekends, so if you want local parents to attend the event, it's a good idea to provide something for children to do. Face painting booths or games can occupy children while allowing parents to browse your store.
If your event hinges on people sticking around for long periods of time, make sure that you offer food and drinks and provide enough restrooms for a crowd. The easier you make it for your event attendees to stick around, the more likely your guests are to stay and familiarize themselves with your business.
Orchestrating a successful grand opening can be tricky, but it's well worth taking the time to plan out an effective event. With the right guests, the right advertising, and the right accommodations, your successful grand opening can set the tone for years of great business to come.