Your grand opening should be an event that showcases what you’ll be offering the community, starts forming a customer base, and helps generate some buzz about your startup. Of course, this only happens if people from the area actually attend the event. And that’s where the following pointers for marketing a grand opening for a local business come in.
To have a successful storefront launch, you need to be aggressive about getting the word out. The work should start well in advance—especially when it comes to building a social media following. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media networks can be powerful tools for marketing a grand opening for a local business, but that publicity depends upon being able to reach the public—not to put too self-evident a point on it.
Every entrepreneur should find creative ways to spread the word about their startup that relate directly to their industry and/or target market. But “be creative” isn’t very helpful or actionable advice. We obviously can’t get specific about every type of brand here, but there are plenty of helpful, actionable tips for marketing a grand opening of a local business that are generally applicable in most situations.
How to Get People to Your Local Business Grand Opening
- Create and publicize incentives for people to attend, such as live entertainment, free food and drink, a product giveaway, etc.
- Put up a big, highly visible sign outside your location announcing the grand opening and inviting everyone who passes by to come
- Hit the online city and neighborhood forums to spread the word
- Check out all these tips for using social media to boost event attendance—from a month or so ahead of time all the way through to during the event
- Put up flyers in bulletin boards at area parks, community centers, coffee shops, etc.
- Distribute postcards to residences in the immediate area
- Consider joining local business groups and associations that will help promote your grand opening to other members and the local community
- If you have a mailing list, use these tips for creating an effective email event invitation
- Don’t forget to invite your personal network, and those of your employees—including family, friends, and neighbors
- Reach out to local press and other media, including reporters and bloggers who cover local business and topics related to your industry; don’t just ask them to publicize your event—ask them to attend it, too
- Try to get a well-known local politician, personality, or celebrity to attend, and ask them to let their network know about their appearance at your grand opening
- Create and distribute a professional press release for your event
- Local newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio ads are still a great way to advertise for a local business and event
- Hire a popular local band to play whose fans might be in your target market
- Involve local artists by hanging their work in your building or letting them sell work from a small booth, and they’ll publicize your event to their followers
- Include something entertaining for kids—games, a bounce house, a magician, etc.–if you’re catering to families
- Partner with a local charity and donate a percentage of grand opening sales, hold a raffle, or find another way to benefit them at your event