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Grand Opening Ideas
Written by John Hernandez03/05/2022

Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

When you start a new small business, your first day is the most important event. It's your best chance for a big first impression and the litmus test for future momentum.

You also get a rare chance to spread the word about your brand to your entire community.

A grand opening is a lot like a wedding. You've prepared for months and you want it to be amazing. You're nervous too. But ultimately, you don't want it to last one day. You want a bright future with your new partner, filled with adventure and a wonderful life.

Your big day should be amazing and it should set you up for years to come. It should be the chance to display the value you offer to your community and increase your reach. It's a big announcement and with the right preparation, you could build momentum for the business.

We've come up with a few grand opening ideas for your business so you can get started.

But First: Before Your Grand Opening

Your grand opening does not start the day you open the doors. If you wait until you are officially open to spread the word about your business, then you face an uphill climb. Whether you plan on opening a year from now or in a few months, it's always best to start early.

What reality do you prefer? An opening day with a line out the door or having to build a brand from scratch and waiting a year to get momentum? The difference is branding and marketing your business before the doors open.

There are tons of ways you can do this. One is event promotion. Imagine setting up a tent at a neighborhood festival or morning market. You can hand out samples of your product, spread the word, and get them connected through email and social media.

If you are moving to a location, add signage letting people know you're arriving in town. Display the big date so they can plan on visiting. This helps spread awareness and saves you time and money.

Media announcements are powerful. You can get the local news channels and papers to mention an exciting new small business opening up in town.

Promote your products and offer a waitlist through online ads. Build an email list, which will be one of your most powerful means of communication when it is grand opening season. Also, share digital assets in exchange for emails; blog articles, ebooks, and other materials to help build your list.

Use these methods to gain traction for your brand. When it's opening day, and you open your doors, you'll be steps ahead.

Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

1. Launch a Grand Opening Party

The best small business grand openings are big events. On your opening day, you can host a party with live music, giveaways, and more. Make it a community event that people are excited about. They should know weeks ahead of time, through social media calendar events, mail, and emails.

The more exciting your party is, the more successful your grand opening could be. This should be memorable. This is part of your branding and marketing campaign, and your impression will live long after day one.

2. Hold a Fundraiser at the Same Time

People love experiencing great new businesses. They love it more when they can do good at the same time. On your grand opening day, you can hold a fundraising opportunity.

You could donate proceeds, hold a raffle, and other ideas to fund a nonprofit or need. Make sure it is a cause everyone understands and can get behind. The more clear it is, the better response you'll get.

3. Host a Social Media Contest

Days before the grand opening day, you can start a contest on social media. It can be a giveaway and people can enter by commenting and tagging their friends on your post. Their names will be entered in the raffle. This will spread the word and create some buzz.

To encourage people to show up to the grand opening day, state that the winner will be announced on-site. You will also open it up to people who are physically there, which means that social media participants can enter their names again when they arrive so that they have a better chance of getting chosen.

4. Do a Kids Special

A great way to encourage families to come is by offering a big deal for their children. It could be a free meal, a discounted family plan, or anything that has value and is relevant to your product.

Post the announcement in local family groups. When parents are passionate about something, they know how to spread the word.

5. Advertise a Big Deal for Grand Opening Day

We've mentioned offering deals a few times but make sure there is a hard-to-refuse offer for everyone who shows up.

You could go all-in depending on your budget. For example, if you are a coffee shop, what better way to have people try you out by offering free regular coffee? Everyone will get a taste and they'll want more in the future.

To help with sales for the coffee example, make sure to display baked goods and other premium items that they could try. They will be more willing to spend money on things that they normally wouldn't.

This technique is one of the strongest motivators for grand opening word of mouth.

6. Promote a Week-long Offer

After your first impression, you want people to return. After all, that's the main goal of a grand opening: to raise awareness and establish consistent business in the future.

On grand opening day, tell customers about your week-long offer. The super gas station and convenience store, WAWA, does a great job by offering free coffee for a week through special seasons.

That can work for almost any business. If you are a barber that offered free cuts on opening day, you can promote a free touch-up a week later. If you opened a breakfast diner with free pancakes opening day, for one week straight you can offer a free cup of coffee when you purchase a meal.

These incentives encourage customers to build a new habit and visit you as a routine. If you could get a customer to see you a few times in a couple of weeks (or a good amount for your industry) then you increase the chance that they will provide regular business years to come.

7. Invite Influencers to Promote Your Grand Opening

Social proof is powerful. If you could invite people who have followings on social media and have a track record of moving them to action, you could increase turnout.

Influencers have credibility in their community. When they give their stamp of approval, others will follow. Find a way to invite them for grand opening day. Offer them something in return if required. When they show up, you borrow their influence and attract more people.

8. Do a Big Giveaway Raffle

We mentioned a social media giveaway, but you could also include a physical giveaway exclusively for people at the event.

Chick-fil-a is famous for this, offering free meals for a year to many of their first visitors. Think of something similar you could do to get people excited.

After the Grand Opening Day

When you've had a successful grand opening for your small business, it can't stop there. You want your business to succeed for as long as possible. The only way to do that is by converting first-time customers to loyal customers.

Keep promoting incentives for them to return. Use your email list (which you should have grown through the Grand Opening Day) to offer value throughout the next coming months. Leverage social media to share the emotion and experience of choosing you.

* * * * *

Think about these 8 grand opening ideas for your small business. Depending on your goals, you could adopt many of them for your strategy. Grand opening days are one of the best ways to spread the word about your business. Getting the same results could cost several times more on a normal day.

People are always excited about new things and capitalizing on that emotion will help solidify the future of your business.

You might be wondering how you could experiment with some of these ideas.

With Profit Frog, you could simulate many of them.

For example, you could measure how much you could make per product if you offer a free add-on. Any idea could be tested before you try it in real life.

Minimize your risk and start planning for the big day.