So you made the decision to be your own boss and venture into self-employment, congratulations. One of the first important steps is your soft opening and your grand opening, both are extremely important and here are some helpful hints to assist you.
Prior to opening- Reach out to other businesses. Most villages have associations, where the business owners get together monthly and try generate additional local business (Medina Business Association- MBA, Albion Merchants Association - AMA, Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association- OONA ). The Chamber of Commerce is also another great resource and can help you network and provide insight. Your business might not be the same as your neighbor, however you have a common goal to bring customers to your location. Business brings business. Make sure you have started building a customer base on social media prior to opening, sneak peeks and previews will draw future customers.
Soft Opening- This is where you should invite friends, family and other business owners. Feedback is crucial and friends and family will provide this. Other business owners will provide more detailed feedback and take it with an open mind they are still in business for a reason. Things like lighting, signage, music, temperature, aroma, and windows displays all are important and it’s easy to overlook. Having an excuse why something is a certain way may be okay, but you already worked hard to get the customer to your store, make sure there first impression is great, you want them to come back.
Grand Opening- This is your time to shine. Have an official ribbon cutting both the Chamber and Business Association will help you set this up with the connections they have. The press should be present along with the local politicians. This will generate more buzz and every politician loves small business. Possibly have light refreshments, balloons, grand opening sign, maybe a special deal just for that day. You should have worked out the kinks and changes needed since occurred since the soft opening. Good Luck