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Ensuring Your Grand Opening is a Massive Success
A grand opening gives you an excellent opportunity to introduce your business to the world and give your business a healthy start. It is also a chance to start building brand awareness and gain customers. Because of how important it is, businesses should make it count as they usually get one chance at it. Hosting a successful grand opening can seem daunting and overwhelming, but it does not have to be. In this article, we will be discussing some things you can do to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Why Do Businesses Need a Grand Opening?
The harsh truth is that no matter how long you have spent planning or how much money you have invested in the business, very few people will know about the business on its first day if you open your doors without telling people about it first. A grand opening allows you to change this.
A grand opening creates brand awareness and gets your business in people’s minds. You want your customers to recognize your business easily in the future, and a grand opening is typically the first opportunity you get to get your brand in front of people.
When done right, people leave the opening with knowledge about your brand, what it does, the products and services it offers, and much more. A grand opening is also an opportunity to start word-of-mouth marketing. Getting people to talk about your business with others is a great marketing tool that too few businesses take advantage of. If you have a fun event, people will discuss it with their friends and family — people who might become interested in your business — and the marketing for your business will have started.
Lastly, a grand opening is a great way to get new customers. It introduces your business to people who might otherwise not have known about it, its products, and its services. With compelling products and services, a unique value proposition, and the ability to cater to people's needs and solve their problems, you might find yourself making sales or getting commitments before the day is over.
Knowing all this, how do you plan a grand opening and ensure it is a success?
Have Goals for the Event
Everything you do in a business should be driven by goals, and your grand opening should not be an exception. When planning the event, also think about the goals you would like to achieve with it. Many businesses will be happy with the press and brand recognition they get, and this is a good goal to have.
However, it is important to think about customer acquisition, collecting custom information, being ready to start taking orders, and so on. Building relationships with customers during the event and creating a memorable experience should be high on your agenda.
Grand openings are very involved, tedious, and take a lot of time. You are likely to get overwhelmed if you start thinking about planning the event close to the date of the grand opening.
Early planning gives you enough time to get everything and everyone in place for the special day. It also gives you enough time to make changes and take detours if something is not working or falls through. If you are hosting the event at a different location, early planning ensures you can get a suitable date for the opening. This is especially important if the venue is often booked for a lot of similar events.
For businesses that want to use their home location, planning early gives you time to organize entertainment and catering, as well as to get the necessary permits and permissions for hosting a large event if these legalities need to be taken care of beforehand.
Have a Budget
A grand opening can be an expensive affair. Many businesses say that they spend about 20% of their first year’s marketing budget on the grand opening alone. Much of this money went into marketing and advertisement to get as many people to the grand opening as possible. You should focus on sending this money in the two weeks leading to the event. This way, people will remember to come to the opening.
Having a budget will help ensure that you do not spend most of your advertising and marketing budget on this one event. Remember that new businesses need a sizable marketing budget to break into the market, something you will need to think about once the business is running.
Create and Send Out Grand Opening Invitations
While you want the public to come to the event if it is open, there are certain guests and important people you want to attend the event as well. For these people, you need to create and send out grand opening invitations. These are people who will draw others to the event. They might be a celebrity or other VIP that people will want to mingle with.
There are some important things to keep in mind when creating a grand opening invitation. Always state the reason for the invitation and celebration, the time, date and location, the event’s formality level, and how to RSVP. You want to make things as easy as possible for your guests.
The design of your grand opening invitation should also be stunning and eye-catching. You can use the designs from services like Greenvelope which help businesses and individuals create, send, and track different types of invitations. They have numerous grand opening invitation designs to choose from and once you have the design, you can send it to a guest list using Greenvelope’s platform. They also validate all addresses to minimize bounce backs, which can lead to your email being marked as spam.
Advertise the Event
Now that you have notified the people you would like to come, it is time to notify the public. You should set up an advertising campaign two weeks before the event. You should ensure all materials and messages are consistent with your brand.
Some channels to use include social media, direct mail, radio, flyers and pamphlets, and press releases. If you manage to create enough buzz using some of these channels, specifically social media, and direct mail, you can use them later for other marketing campaigns.
When creating the campaign, ensure that it is highly targeted so that it is not only effective, but that it attracts as many of the “right” people as possible. These are the people more likely to interact and do business with your business.
Partner with Related Businesses
New businesses do not usually have as much reach as established ones. Look for opportunities to partner with established businesses to increase your reach. The ideal business to partner with is one that you have a similar customer base with, but one that you do not compete with.
There are advantages for both businesses, namely in exposure bought on by a larger turnout. Remember that the partner is not only introducing you to their customer base, but you are also introducing them to the people who come to the opening who might not have heard of them.
You already have a great business, and the only thing it needs is to get running. A grand opening allows you to get your business started on the right note, with brand awareness and exposure baked into the event. There are other benefits such as early customer acquisition. Just ensure you plan a fun, informative, and memorable grad opening that people will be happy to talk about with their friends and family.