Grand Opening Guide: Ideas, Goals, and Budget Planning to Leave a Lasting Impression

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Updated March 29, 2019
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Mark Teskey
Mark Teskey

Mark learned about composition and lighting through being a landscape photographer. By applying those skills to his commercial and cinematography projects, he creates imagery that is visually stunning and emotionally impactful.

So, after months, maybe even years, of hard work, you’re finally ready for your business’s grand opening. At times, it may have felt like this day would never arrive. But you didn’t give up and pressed on.

Now, the truly hard part begins. You have to throw open the doors of your business and be ready to help people with your products or services. No one said it would be easy, but you know what you signed up for and are ready for the challenge.

But before you do that, you have to have your grand opening! Now, you can always just pick a day to start operating and avoid all the pomp and circumstance, but holding a grand opening is a great way to build momentum for your first year of business to ensure sccess.

To help you prepare for your grand opening, we’ve come up with some solid goals, budgeting advice, and creative ideas to help make the initial kick-off of your business a home run.

Goals

Goals are an absolute must when it comes to grand openings. A solid list of goals will lead to a well executed event. Here are some goals that no matter what industry you’re in can be applied to you.

Create Awareness – As a new business, you need to drum up some interest and awareness. This not only applies to your products or services, but also the fact that you exist. The objective of this goal is to make sure as many people learn about your opening as possible, and that plenty of people also attend

Build Up Excitement About Your Business – This goal falls in-line with creating awareness. It’s easy enough to hand out a bunch of fliers for your opening, but you actually need to give people a reason to go. And, once they are there, you need to wow them and prove that they should be excited about your business and what you have to offer to the community.

Budget

Build relationships with potential customers – First impressions are everything. The best way to build a strong relationship with your prospective constomers is to make your opening a fun and positive experience for all. Even if they aren’t necessarily looking to purchase your product or service right away, a good initial experience makes them more likely to recommend you to their friends and family who are looking to buy.

When it comes to budgeting for the big day, a good rule of thumb is to allocate 20% of your store’s first year marketing towards the grand opening (this according to Fit Small Business). For the most part, this is a subjective number, but it’s a good basis to go off of at first and you can adjust accordingly based on your buiness’s size.

Fit Small Business also recommends that you don’t spend any less than $6,000 altogether. So this includes marketing and paying for the features of the actual event.

Ideas (Marketing and the Event)

Guerrilla marketing – Newer businesses and startups are excellent at guerrilla marketing. It’s also a very smart move for businesses who don’t have a huge budget to market their grand opening. This type of marketing might not be the best fit for your business, depending on the brand image you want to convey, but for some, it can be the perfect fit. Learn more about Guerrilla marketing with this Hubspot article, which features some great examples too.

Social media – So maybe your social media platforms aren’t terribly popular yet, but that’s to be expected considering you haven’t opened yet. However, you can still use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more by paying for advertisements. You can get pretty specific with who will see your ads on these apps to bring awareness to your primary demographic.

Flyers – Never underestimate the power of a simple yet nicely designed flyer in a coffee shop. It’s a simple, cost-effective marketing approach that even if you just get a couple people who saw your flyer to attend, it’ll be worth it.

Giveaways – If you want to get people in the door, then free stuff is the way to their hearts. It’s also a great way to show off how your products or services. Giving away one big item and a few smaller items gives everyone enough opportunity to win. You can also team up with a charity and do a raffle where all the proceeds will go to a good cause.

Local influencers– What a ‘local’ influencer is depends on the scope of your business and where it resides. If you have a big enough budget then go for a bigger influencer. The big thing to remember is to select an influencer whose values align with your own. Otherwise, the messaging between your brand and theirs will be coflicting.

Promotional Products – Coffee mugs, t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and anything and everything can be a promotional product as long as your brand logo is on it. But, make sure that the products you use are high quality and will actually be used instead of thrown in he trash.

Local band – Everyone appreciates live music and you can find a cheap live band pretty easy these days. Just make sure they aren’t heavy metal.

Branded hashtags – A great way to drum up some interest in your business for those who are not in attendance is through hashtags. Create a personal, branded hashtag for your event (such as “#BusinessNameGrandOpening). It’ll be a great way to get some free marketing from your event and boost your follower count as well.=

Valet – If you can afford to pay for valet services at your grand opening, then you should definitely consider it. This holds especially true if you’re located in an area where parking is a pain or limited. Your grand opening attendees will certainly appreciate you looking out for them.

Decor that fits your business – Spruce up your grand opening a bit with some nice decorations that will blend seamlessly into your store.

Photographer – Paying for a professional photographer is an absolute must when it comes to any grand opening. You can take pictures of guests and post them on social platforms or your website that they can take and share elsewhere. On top of that, video of the night works great as a header on your website and can be used elsewhere in marketing your business going forward.

If you’re getting ready for a grand opening and still need a photographer, then contact Teskey Mediaworks today. We have extensive experience in working with businesses and brands to create high-quality videos and images that they use in their marketing efforts. Take a look at some of our past projects and learn more about who we are and how we can help your business.

Mark Teskey
Mark Teskey

Mark learned about composition and lighting through being a landscape photographer. By applying those skills to his commercial and cinematography projects, he creates imagery that is visually stunning and emotionally impactful.

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