Once you’ve put hours into your business plan, come up with the financial backing, found a location and purchased all of your merchandise, you are finally ready to launch your new store. Congratulations! This is a major accomplishment and it’s not always easy to turn a dream or idea into a reality. After already making such an investment into your store, both financially and time-wise, you want to make sure the launch is as successful as possible. You only get one first impression, so make it count.
Local advertising a few weeks before opening your store is the best way to spread the word. Put an ad in the newspaper, send out mailers, post signs and try to arrange spots on the radio or news channels. This is the most efficient way to get a buzz going about your new store.
Host a Grand Opening
The promise of some hors d’oeuvres and a sneak peek at your store is a surefire way to attract a curious crowd. If it’s in your budget, plan for some entertainment to be present, even better if it’s in theme with what you are selling. For example, if you are opening a book store, having a famous author there would be a major bonus. Build the promotion of your grand opening into your advertising plan to really spread the word.
Not many things will get folks to your store faster than a chance at winning free or discounted stuff. Offer a promotion to the first 10 people through the door at the grand opening, host raffles and games that have worthwhile prizes, etc. Make sure you point these things out when you are promoting the grand opening for an additional incentive. Continue to offer promotions for email sign ups to grow your database.
Even if you only have a brick and mortar store, advertising online can help drive traffic to your doors. Start social media accounts that allow you to promote to and interact with your customers. This helps build a sense of loyalty and is a convenient way to share information with shoppers. Building up and regularly using your email list is also a great way to keep customers up-to-date on store events that might not be social media savvy.
Launching your new store is an exciting time and a big achievement. Make sure you spread the word in order to get a nice crowd on opening night. Once you get that first group, word of mouth advertising will spread the word, and before you know it your store will be filled with regular patrons.