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8 Great Grand Opening Ideas

Updated on February 11, 2015

Opening a new business is a very exciting time for any entrepreneur! Whether it’s a new business altogether or simply a new location of an existing successful business, it's a good idea to have a grand opening to attract customers to the new establishment!

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First Things First

Months ahead of time, you want to be sure that you are advertising the new business. Advertising is key in starting out successfully, and the stronger the start, the better it is for the business.

Advertising does take money, so if you do not have money set aside in your budget for this important and vital expense, then you may wish to push back the opening date until you do have the funds to start out on the right foot!

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Some things to consider:

  • Social networks: Social networking is free and advertising on them doesn’t cost all that much. Reach out to local groups on Facebook and drop an ad where allowed, and ask local admins of buy/sell/trade pages to help a local out!

  • Newspaper ads: Newspaper advertising is also an inexpensive way to get your name out there. People love coupons, too, so draft one up to include in your ad!

  • Banners: Have a big banner made to hang out front months ahead of the store’s projected opening date. Be sure to include something saying when you are opening!

  • Sign spinners: If the grand opening is in a few days, be sure to have someone attracting the eyes of people driving by to get the word out more!

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As a customer. what type of sales promotion attracts you most?

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Grand Opening Ideas

When it comes to a grand opening, you will want to make it awesome and memorable so as to get as many repeat customers as possible. Here’s a few grand opening ideas that will have people running for your doors!

  1. Barbeque: Who doesn’t love a good barbeque? Think burgers, hot dogs, chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, and a fruit salad in there somewhere. Oh, and don’t skimp on the refreshments!

  2. Benefit: If you have lost someone near and dear in your family or know of a prominent member of the community who needs help, reach out and offer to make your grand opening a benefit for those in need! Not only will this help the families affected, but it will be appreciated by them and help give your store good publicity! Just make sure you are doing this for the right reasons and not selfish ones.

  3. Local musicians: Be loud and proud that your new business is opening! Having live music outdoors is a great way to attract people wondering what all the hoopla is about! Live music can be heard from miles.

  4. Raffle: Have a raffle involving some of the products or services you offer! Advertise it in such a way that will have people running for your doors, such as “The first 25 customers will be entered into a raffle for…” Also, have a separate raffle that people can pay-per-ticket for so those who miss out on the “first 25” raffle can still have a chance to win something cool!

  5. Dunk tank: Dunk tanks are a lot of fun, as long as you’re not the one manning it. In the case of a grand opening, the one in the tank should be the owner! Offer free bumper stickers or t-shirts (which advertise your business) to whoever can sink you down!

  6. Inflatables: Whether it’s one of those gigantic gorillas, or inflatable bounce houses, inflatables are big, colorful, and so hard to miss! They are bound to attract people to the fun grand opening event!

  7. Samples: People love free samples, and sometimes this is something that you will have to offer to target a larger crowd, especially if your business involves food. Don’t be afraid to offer up free samples, but also be wary of those who will take advantage! You can use this as a way to collect names and email addresses for future newsletters prior to giving the samples!

  8. Discounts: Everyone loves a good discount, and those attending and supporting your grand opening event deserve a little something extra, don’t you think? Offer exclusive discounts to these wonderful people, and even offer some kind of one-time-only entry into a VIP club to receive ongoing discounts and email offers.

Do not take these grand opening ideas with a grain of salt. It is important to make a good impression and make the event as fun and grand as possible. Go big or your customers might just go home!

Event Marketing & Small Business Promotions

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