The first step in opening a business is choosing what type of service you will offer. Restaurants, beauty parlors, groceries, and even small businesses all go through a long painstaking process before finally opening their doors.
Store owners still need to research their target market, look for a location with heavy foot traffic, create a menu or brochure, hire staff, buy equipment, and invest so much time trying to market their store before opening.
It would be a shame if, for some reason, your store will not be successful, right? So, what do you do to get people talking about a new store in town? The answer is simple. Host an opening. Whilst having one may mean extra expenses, having an opening party is a great way to create a buzz.
There are actually two types of opening – soft and grand. What is the difference between the two and how will you know which one you should have? This article will explain the different purposes of the two.
What is a Soft Opening?
A soft opening or soft launch typically happens weeks or months before a business’ grand opening. It is safe to say that having a soft opening is a way to test out the waters before moving on to the real thing. Soft openings are usually invite-only events, which means, it is an exclusive opening for a few families or friends.
Soft openings are done to test out a few things such as your menu, service, and logistics. Plus, it is a great way to prepare your staff, receive customer feedback, and take note of all the things that need to be improved.
Soft openings are also a great way to create buzz and get people talking way before you open your doors to the masses. Remember, proper marketing can arouse curiosity, and curiosity will always kill the cat.
What is a Grand Opening?
A grand opening is a social event intended to introduce a new business to the community. Unlike soft openings, a grand launch means more guests, activities, and some will also offer “grand opening promos”. Some businesses will even go the extra mile and invite media or send a press release to inform the people.
Since all the mistakes have already been fixed during the soft opening, a grand opening will assure store owners that the business flow will go smoothly. Starting with the customer service, then to the menu, and down to logistics, a business that already went through an opening before can perform better the second time around.
Hosting a grand opening can also mean creating good relationships with other local businesses. Business owners are usually invited to these events and getting to strike a conversation with them can be beneficial not only for your business venture but also for your personal growth. People who have been in the commerce industry for a long time already know the ins-and-outs of having a successful business.
Business Opening Checklist
There is a saying that first impressions last forever and it is true. People do not want to keep going back to a store with poor customer service or have bland and boring decorations. Store openings are great ways to introduce a business to a wide variety of people and make a strong first impression.
Build the hype, create a buzz, and get people talking by handing out pamphlets, giving opening day promos, and inviting social media influencers. Although not essential, getting people who have a big social media following to visit your store can make your business’s audience wider.
Even though your business is all ready for opening, there are still some things you need to prepare to have a successful opening. Here is a list of the top three things you need for a successful and powerful opening:
Already feel confident about your store’s decorations? Spice it up a little bit more by adding a couple of flower arrangements in the corners of your store. You can also opt to have a grand opening flower stand at the entrance to let people know that you are a new business.
Flowers are great decorations not only for their beauty but also because of their vibrant and warm colors. Plus, their sweet fragrance can add to the bustling atmosphere of your store. Let customers feel your hospitality and great service by welcoming them with beautiful flower decorations.
Create your guest list. Both you and your staff must know who will be attending the opening. One technique used by store owners to distinguish VIPs from customers is by creating an A-List and a B-List.
The A-List of guests includes the people who have personal relationships with the owners. They can also be other business owners, influencers, media personnel, or the store owner’s family. In short, the A-List guests are the ones considered as the VIPs.
B-List guests are the customers invited by the staff. The B-Listers are people who have a personal connection with the employees but are not as close to the owner, as the A-Lister.
Offering a bunch of opening day promos is a great marketing strategy. It encourages people to try your products or services, by making them realize that they are getting their money’s worth. Plus, if the customers end up liking it, you get free advertising through positive customer feedback.
Opening a business will always have risks. It may either be a huge success or a massive failure. Though running a business becomes easier in the long run, trying to get it started can be hard and stressful especially if it is your first time.
Many businesses have benefited from holding soft openings before the grand ones. It helps the owners and staff to get used to the pressure of serving customers and it helps get people’s attention. In short, soft openings prepare everyone from the variables that can affect a business’s success.
Successful store openings have a lot of upsides, too. It can help boost the staff’s morale; knowing that a lot of people came to the store during its first day can give a feeling of accomplishment. Of course, a successful opening can become the first step to having a successful business.