A store’s grand opening is a major event. It is used to announce a new business player in the community. It is a fun way to announce a store’s presence and get to know the consumers, other business owners and potential business partners. It may look daunting but with careful and advanced planning and a lot of networking you can easily host a grand opening.
- The first thing you need to do is to prepare a plan on how you are going to conduct the grand opening. Will you have a ribbon cutting ceremony and store blessing before you open the store to the public? How many will you invite? Who will act as sponsors? What will be your advertising and promotions activities? What will be your in-store promotional activities and how long will you conduct the grand opening promotional campaign? The answers to these questions will define the extensiveness of your plan.
- Prepare the budget you are willing to spare for the grand opening. This will include the in-store decorations and promotional materials, your invitations, the reception if any, advertising and promotions campaign, souvenir items and prizes, entertainment and additional staff.
- Weeks before the grand opening you should be placing advertisement in local papers, local radio stations and television. You should also be installing streamers and posters in all available and visible areas where advertising is permitted. Consider your ties with the media to supply them with informational materials then can use in their columns as well as well-written articles.
- Get the store ready for the grand opening. Decoration should be in place. Promotional items should be ordered and other gifts and prizes should be prepared. If there is a ribbon cutting and store blessing ceremony you should be getting touch with a local priest, the special guests to cut the ribbon. You should also be ordering big floral arrangements ton stands to place in front of your door. Start looking at the menus for the reception that will follow the ribbon cutting ceremony. You may have to hire additional staff for the grand opening day, depending on how many staff you have in your employ.
- Consider looking at local bands, glee clubs and local entertainers from neighboring schools to start building your rapport with the community.
- Send out invitations a week or a week and a half in advance. Include local community officials, your valued store suppliers, owners and or managers of other neighboring local business establishments and members of the media. You have to make sure that the media is invited as this can extend free promotion and advertising presence in the news for your store.
- Consider opening earlier and closing later than regular business hours. This will encourage more customers to visit your store. Discount and redeemable coupons, raffles and store opening price cuts are major crowd drawers. Your store suppliers may be willing to donate small items for raffle prizes so do not forget to look into this. Free items like key rings, pens and other minor stuff are effective means to advertise and promote your store.
Make a workable and flexible plan for your grand opening. There will be instances where you cannot get the things that you want for the day so it will be wise to have a flexible and/or a backup plan. Make as much noise as your budget will allow to get your presence known. Utilize other non-traditional means to promote the grand opening without denting your budget too much.