Are you going to open your business soon? This article might help on your opening day!
Soft Launch First
Schedule a dry-run party before going public with your grand opening. A dry run is a private function to which you invite your relatives and close friends, business associates and who can ever do you any good, such as media People supplier. politicians, authorities, lenders, investors and contractors.
You can expect a high rate of attendance because the event is free. This is a chance to strut your stuff in a friendly atmosphere,
Even though no one will complain at a free event, if something goes wrong, every detail including mistakes and problems should he handled as though people were paying.
The reason for having a dry-run party price is to iron out any wrinkles in your operation.
The best planned grand opening will be of little value if people do not know about it.
So. you must advertise and publicize it well in advance in order for people to talk it up with their friends.
A frequently used technique for announcing grand openings with a big splash is to have all of your contractors and suppliers sponsor a full page newspaper advertisement that congratulates you on your opening and wishes you well.
The contractors have made money on you and your suppliers will make a lot in the future if you are successful — so it is in their best interest to do this. Besides, it puts their name in the public's eye, since most ads of this type have the sponsors business cards arranged as a border around the perimeter of the ad. Everybody wins.
Grand Opening Tips
- Visit nearby businesses to introduce yourself to their owners. In addition, make yourself known to their employees, since retail store clerks are frequently asked for recommendations on a place to eat by their customers.
- Offer an introductory discount to employees of neighboring businesses.
- Mail a copy of your menu and information about your hours and facilities to all businesses within your dominant marketing area. Be sure to emphasize your name and address prominently so that if the recipient does not read the entire mailing, they will at least know who you are and where you are.
- Supply all visitor information centers in your community with literature about your restaurant to be displayed in their racks. Give a gift certificate for a free lunch to the person at the visitor information center who dispenses information to visitors
- Put an an eye-catching "Coming Soon" sign in your front window announcing the date of the grand opening.
This should he done well in advance to attract the attention of the most people possible.
Press Release = Free Publicity
Newspaper editors who have the responsibility of filling many pages with print welcome newsworthy publicity articles from businesses.
Press releases are heavily utilized.
Publicity articles can be about a wide variety of things, such as grand openings, new products, significant contributions to charities, awards from professional associations, a change of name or a promotion of a key person.
They must be of genuine interest to the public and cannot be blatantly self-serving, contain unsubstantiated claims or be critical of other products.
In short, they cannot be advertisements. But, if they are truly newsworthy and well written and submitted on time, they stand an excellent chance of being published.
Free publicity is more valuable than paid advertising because readers tend to believe news articles much more than advertisements. Most people do not realize publicity articles are usually written by the business that they are about.
They are thought to have been written by an unbiased person and therefore must be true. Photographs make publicity articles much more interesting and increase their chances of being placed in a good location in a newspaper.
They increase the readership rate dramatically and editors like to run them. To be used however, they must be of good reproduction quality. It is worth trading a meal and a couple of drinks to have a professional photographer take a picture for you.