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Bring out the red carpet: How to plan a grand opening

Bring out the red carpet: How to plan a grand opening

“Grand opening” is a phrase packed with emotion. You’ve put hundreds of hours into preparing your new business – now, it’s finally time to open the doors and let the world inside. It’s almost impossible to avoid the nervousness that comes with opening a new store, but with the right preparation, you can make your opening a success.

To ensure you have an opening to remember, consider the following tips:

1. Budget the event
As with any important business decision, you need to start with the budget. This will determine the size and extent of your event as well as the reach of your marketing strategy. Entrepreneur Magazine suggested keeping your budget limited, as you’ll want to reserve your cash for other long-term business investments. One way to go about making a budget is to plan out everything you’d like to have, price it all out in a spreadsheet, and then adjust accordingly. Remember, a blowout isn’t necessarily the best approach – a more causal event could give you more opportunities to speak with your new customers one-on-one.

2. Create a timeline
You probably already have a date in mind for the actual grand opening, but do you know how long it will take to prepare for that date? Entrepreneur Magazine said that new retailers should give themselves at least two months to plan for the opening. This will give you ample opportunities to spread the word and make sure everything is set up perfectly.

Sit down with your completed budget and find everything you need to order and plan from those dates. For instance, if you’ve decided you need another display table, give us a call so our staff can make sure you get the piece on time.

3. Set up your store
In the run up to your opening, you’ll likely put some finishing touches on your space. By now, the walls should be painted, the floors should be polished, and you should be starting to put up your visual displays, like mannequins, display racks and shelving. You’ll want the store to resemble how it will look all the time, but account for some alterations specific to the opening event.

“Consider ad space in the local paper.”

4. Advertise your grand opening and special promotions
Once you’ve got the logistics worked out, you’ll need to spread the word. Chron reported that both traditional advertisements and digital methods are useful in promoting your event. Consider buying ad space in your local paper or sending out fliers through the mail and coupling those efforts with social media – buy targeted advertising through Facebook and Twitter, create a board on Pinterest and start following influencers on Instagram.  Mention special discounts on certain products or entice shoppers by giving out coupons to the first 50 people that stop by the store.

Your grand opening might be a little stressful, but don’t forget to have fun! You’ll remember this day for the rest of your life and it will mark the beginning of a successful career in retail. And as always, if you questions about retail design or need customized suggestions for your store, give us a call! We’re here to serve you in all your display needs.