Grand Opening Ideas for Small Businesses: Setting up a new business is not a piece of cake. It takes months of hard work to find a perfect location, create attractive displays and come up with out-of-the-box ideas to sell your products.
However, you cannot expect to do well in the initial days of your business if you have not generated buzz about it before the store opening. Just like you see advertisements of a new product on billboards or teasers of a new TV show before it gets aired, you need to create them before the launch as well.
We’ve already talked about Creative Store Decor Ideas for New Businesses to Try, now, to convince you more into putting in effort for the grand opening of your business, we have listed down below how it can benefit your business in the long run.
How Does Grand Opening Benefits Small Businesses?
A grand opening is beneficial for a business for multiple reasons, including:
- It creates brand awareness
- Easy word-of-mouth marketing
- Attract new customers
How to Attract Customers to a Grand Opening of a Small Business?
Your grand opening can become a disaster if customers do not show up. This is the reason you need to come up with business tactics to create the buzz to attract customers to the event. There are plenty of ways you can do it or do it altogether to have a successful grand opening for small businesses including:
- Alert the media
- Run ads on social media
- Have a soft opening first to test out your products
- Offer discounts and sales
- Have a live online event
- Host a giveaway or contest
- Offer a gift with the purchase
How to Plan Grand Opening for Your Small Business?
Depending on the type of business you own, we have gathered 20 unique grand opening ideas for your small business.
1- Balloon Entryway
Hire an event planner or come up with a cool balloon entry gate design to let the world know a party is going on inside. There are plenty of videos available on the internet on how you can DIY a balloon entryway yourself to save the cost of hiring an event planner to do it for you.
2- Drinks on the House
You can send out invitations brochures or post advertisements online with details of what your customers can expect at your launch party. That said, having guest bartenders at your event to serve free drinks to customers is a great way to leave a lasting impression on your brand.
3- Photo Wall Backdrops
Having photo wall backdrop banners at your event serves two purposes. First, it creates brand awareness and second it serves as a photo wall for your customers to click pictures against for social media. You can also offer them to post pictures with check-ins on their social media and get a free gift to promote your business.
4- Grand Opening Welcome Cut-outs
This is quite a budget-friendly yet eye-catching way to announce your grand opening. Huge cardboard cut-outs of balloons and “Grand Opening” will make your brand visible even from a distance.
5- Customized Cookies for Branding
Get customized cookies or cupcakes with your brand logo to distribute amongst your first-day customers at your grand opening. Moreover, if they take the cookies with them to their home or post pictures of them on their social media, you can benefit from the free marketing as well.
6- Pitcher Perfect
Just have pitchers filled with lemonade or soda at your launch party, with disposable cups so your customers can have as many drinks as they would like. Make sure to keep refilling the pitchers if you want them to stay for longer.
7- Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony is a great way to inaugurate your new business. You should also s8-end out official invites to your employees and you can even invite a celebrity or a government official to cut the ribbon. This would entice guests to come to the event to take selfies with the guest of honour.
8- Light Refreshment Bar
People always remember good food. By setting up a refreshment bar at your grand opening event you can lure customers into staying in for longer to look at your collection and learn more about the company.
9- Welcome Gift Bags
Since on the first day of your business you want to build trust and good relations with the clients, it is a nice gesture to hand-out gift bags to your clients. You can either put in something from your collection or fill the welcome gift bags with edible items.
10- Free Services
You can offer free services at your launch party. This will help customers try your service for free as well as build trust in your skills. If they like it, they will be willing to pay for it the next time for sure. Make sure you offer good customer service as well.
11- Great Discounts
Offering discounts on your grand opening is a great incentive into luring customers to make impulse purchases. However, it is recommended to have the discount extended over a period of days so you can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.
12- Tea Party
Tea parties have been gathering events for centuries across the world. If your business is of consultancy, real estate or any of the sorts, you can invite customers in for a talk over a tea party at your company’s launch event. You can hand over brochures for them to read about your business and services as well.
13- Balloon Garland Backdrop
A balloon garland backdrop gives the feel of a party. You can use it as a décor wall and double it as a photo wall. You can also set up a jumping castle next to it to attract guests with little children.
14- Invite Mascots
Mascots are not only meant for a sports team. Instead, having a mascot as your brand ambassador can really benefit your business in multiple ways such as creating brand awareness, engaging and attracting customers and promoting brand loyalty and trust.
15- Special Pricing
Similar to offering discounts on your inauguration day, you can offer special pricing on your services or a particular range of products to increase traffic and drive sales. Even if people would not really need to buy, they would be lured into making a purchase because they will believe they would not find such a lower price later on.
16- Enter to Win
Hosting a lucky draw event at your grand opening can lure passersby to enter the store and participate in the competition just to try their luck at winning the prize. Once the person is in the store, you can introduce him to your services and products as well.
17- Bite-sized sample
Let’s say you are opening up a bakery. How would you attract customers to buy from your store instead of the old bakery in the neighbourhood? Simple, you offer them bite-sized food samples on your grand opening.
That’s how they will know your products taste good and would definitely make a purchase. While your customers munch on the samples, you can talk about what ingredients you use or how hygienically you prepare all the baked goods to build trust. You can also take some ideas from these tips on How to Plan a High Tea.
18- Meal Boxes
At a launch event, when the place is quite crowded, it can be hard to make space for dining tables and chairs. This is why handing out meal boxes to your guests at your grand opening is a better idea. They can eat from the boxes on the go or take it home.
19- Games Ideas for Grand Opening
Have a spin wheel at your grand opening to play games with your guests. You can set up a minimum purchase amount to be eligible to play the game and win exciting prizes to drive sales.
20- Free Merchandise
Giving out your brand merchandise to your guests at your launch events such as a keychain, cap, pen or planner, is an easy and cheap way of ensuring your clients interact with your brand daily. This also benefits to be an efficient way to promote brand awareness and create a positive brand association.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a soft grand opening?
A soft opening is usually done prior to the grand opening to test-run products or services or tackle any problems that would arise when catering to customers. It is also a great way to train staff before the official launch.
Q. What is a grand opening for a business?
A grand opening is usually the first day of the business but this is not necessarily the case always. Sometimes businesses have a soft opening to test-run their products or services and then have a launch party to attract buyers when they are fully prepared.
Q. What is the best day for a grand opening?
Weekends are usually the best days to host a grand opening for your business. This is because most people would have their weekends off from work and go out for leisure. Hence, there is a better chance of getting a larger audience at your launch party on weekends.