Grand Reopening: Create the Hype You Need to Make Your First Day a Success

Host a grand opening event to celebrate your first day of operations.

Closing on your new business is a milestone achievement for you as an entrepreneur. Celebrate it by planning a grand reopening that reintroduces your business to your community.

In this guide, you will learn some key strategies to making this big day a success.

 

Strategy 1: Plan to start with a soft reopening

In the days or weeks leading up to your grand reopening, you should open your doors and/or website to a select group of friends and family members who will provide you feedback about the look, feel, and experience of your business as it currently stands. Here’s how:

  • If your business has a physical storefront or location, invite your soft reopening audience inside to meet your team, sample products, and place orders.
  • If your business is conduct remotely, invite your audience to visit your website and/or social media pages and talk to your customer service team.

 

Gather feedback from every person who participates. Ask for their impressions on your product or service offerings, the interactions they had with your team, and the specific parts of your operations that may need some tweaking. Use the feedback as you plan updates, improvements, and sweeping changes to help your business become more effective in serving its community.

 

Strategy 2: Connect with a SCORE mentor

As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE is an organization that pairs expert business mentors with novice small business owners. By connecting with a SCORE mentor who is experienced in your specific field, you can obtain free, personalized advice that’s tailored to your field of business and set of goals.

One of the ways you can use the mentor program is to attain support and feedback as you take the reins of your operation and plan your reopening day. You can share your plans, ask for suggestions, or allow your SCORE mentor to share their experiences and tell you what’s worked for them and others. Your SCORE mentor may propose solutions that had never occurred to you, and they may caution you against risky, costly reopening day moves that are unlikely to make an impact.

If you’d like to connect with a SCORE mentor, visit www.SCORE.org.

 

Strategy 3: Hire a marketing firm

Consider working with marketing professionals who specialize in small business successes. You can ask for advice on announcing your opening, attracting customers, and planning a memorable event that will make your community excited about your arrival. Some may offer you a consultation and provide you with steps you should take to make your opening day a success. Others will help you plan the event, invite key members of your community, and ensure that the right details are in place to make an impact. Both options should provide tremendous returns for your business, but you should choose the option that works best for you and your budget.

Looking for a marketing firm with this specialization? We can help. Click the button below to connect with a team who can help you plan and organize a memorable opening day event:

 

Strategy 4: Select the right date

Find the best day and time for your grand reopening celebration. One way to do this is by consulting your community’s calendar of events, sports schedules, road construction timelines, and other guides that will inform you about activities that may draw people close to your site or, conversely, keep them from attending your event.

For many businesses, weekends that don’t coincide with a major sporting event are ideal for grand reopening celebrations.

 

Strategy 5: Connect with your community

One simple way to build a buzz about your new ownership is to get into the community and start spreading the word. Some ideas for doing this could include:

  • Sponsoring a local team or co-hosting a community event to get exposure for your brand
  • Offering samples or coupons for your products at other neighborhood events
  • Talking about your grand opening with people you meet at other venues

 

Your presence at events can be instrumental in building excitement about your reopening, but the visuals and talking points you share can make an even greater impact. Here are some tips for creating excitement:

  • Invite conversations about your business’s products or services. Keep the conversation focused on your potential customer’s preferences and not your own opinions of your products.
  • Ask for feedback on your potential customers’ past experiences with the brand, and invite them to experience it in its newest iteration.
  • Talk about the specials that will be happening during your reopening day celebration and how the discounts provide an excellent way to try a product that others are buzzing about.
  • Bring signs that will leave a lasting visual impression on your target audience.

 

Strategy 6: Work your platforms

Create or make use of the business’s social media accounts leading up to your big event. Share updates of your remodeling projects, tease giveaways, and offer reopening day coupons for people who like and share your page.

Be sure that every photo, video, and message you share does something more than inform your audience. Try to build suspense and excitement over what’s to come. A few ideas for killer social media posts include:

  • Sharing photos of local tastemakers and influencers sampling (and loving!) your products
  • Allowing your social media followers to select your next giveaway (from a set of pre-selected options)
  • Offering fun, engaging, and easy-to-enter contests with unique prizes, such as personalized shopping experiences, a VIP parking spot for your reopening day event, or a basket of samples delivered to your customer’s place of work

 

Read: Social Media 101: Getting Started.

 

Strategy 7: Invite key people in your community to attend your grand reopening

Ask several well-known people in your area to attend your reopening day event. Many political figures (including the mayor, city council members, and political candidates), art icons, and others may show an interest in attending, especially if you can offer some of the following incentives:

  • The opportunity to be photographed cutting the ribbon to your newly owned business
  • The opportunity to be part of an event that’s giving a portion of its proceeds to a popular charitable organization—and, more so, to be the person who delivers an oversized check to that organization
  • The opportunity to connect with and speak to a large audience
  • The opportunity to feature or sell artwork, play a gig, or demonstrate a talent in front of an audience

 

After confirming their attendance, promote the news on your social media platforms and with local media outlets who may send reporters, photographers, or videographers to cover your event. Representatives from newspapers, television stations, and radio stations will want a few weeks of notice to plan to attend your event, and most appreciate a reminder several days before it occurs.

 

Strategy 8: Build a buzz with your neighbors

If you have a physical storefront, reach out to the owners of businesses that neighbor yours. Share your plans for reopening day, and invite them to plan events at the same time to benefit from your influx of customers and draw an even wider audience to your block. You may also want to offer your neighbors an ongoing friends-and-family discount to build goodwill with them.

Any steps you take to join forces with the owners around you can pay off in big ways, especially if those businesses have a great reputation in your neighborhood. Demonstrate that you will be a good, considerate, and generous neighbor, and many will reciprocate.

 

Strategy 9: Put your friends and family to work

Ask your friends and family members to help you hype your business. In addition to asking them to show up on your reopening day, encourage them to share your social media pages and tell others about your new business. You may consider handing some of them a stack of coupons to share with their family members and groups of friends. Be sure to reward them with discounts or free merchandise for showing support for your business.

 

Strategy 10: Advertise

Look into the costs of advertising your opening on popular radio stations, in your city’s newspaper, in local magazines, and through targeted mailers. Many media outlets offer affordable options to promote your business. Some may even be willing to negotiate a discount.

You can get great exposure for your business through paid advertisements on social media platforms, too. Be strategic about where you advertise. Many new owners see great results from focusing their ad efforts on Facebook and Nextdoor, but you should consider other platforms your audience is likely to use as well.

 

Read: Strategies for Advertising on Social Media Platforms

 

Ad space is finite, meaning you have a limited amount of time or space to share your message. Use it to share a unique, memorable message with your market and to announce the details of your grand reopening celebration.

 

Strategy 11: Set the stage

After making necessary updates to your location, you can set up some signs, balloons, and other elements that’ll make your place of business feel like a fun place to spend time. Some options you might consider include:

  • A large banner on the exterior of your storefront announcing your opening day
  • A quippy message on a sidewalk sign or a sign near the road that will catch passersby’s attention
  • Balloons, flowers, and decorations that set the right tone for your business
  • Fun, upbeat music from a live band or DJ
  • Novel, low-mess refreshments for attendees
  • Parking lot inflatables or games
  • Tables set up with grab bags and sign-up sheets for giveaways
  • Frequent contests with great prizes on display
Too often, attendees show up for reopening day amenities without spending any time in the business. A great strategy to avoid this is to set up the refreshment stands, games, and activities in front of the store but require attendees to get a free ticket from a counter inside your business. Likewise, you should consider placing sign-up tables and contest sheets at the back of your store to encourage attendees to experience your store, see more of your products, and possibly make some purchases while they enjoy the free amenities.

Use these eleven tips to reintroduce your business to your target market and leave a lasting impression on your customers.

 

What’s next?

After your grand reopening, you’re ready to embark on the work of running your business, managing your team, and exploring growth opportunities. We can help you every step of the way. Log into your owner’s portal for strategies and support you can use to make your new business a lasting success.

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