New business owners face a lot of challenges. There’s developing the concept, garnering the human and financial resources to make it a reality and then actually implementing the plan. Simple, right? Oh, and then there’s ensuring that your company doesn’t fail. The odds are daunting. According to the Small Business Association, 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10. These pessimistic facts point to the need to continually innovate and invest in your business when it is already up and running just as you did in the initial stages. But to get your business up and running in the first place, you’ll need a Grand Opening that will launch your business into orbit at a quick enough pace so that it doesn’t come crashing back down to earth!
There’s a lot of useful material online about how to create a Grand Opening event that creates the awareness and builds excitement about your business. There’s a lot to keep in mind, but when you craft your event as carefully as you have your business, it is sure to be a success.
One key goal of the Grand Opening is to build relationships, and relationships are built in-person and through networking. Successful marketing events of all types, and Grand Openings in particular, offer a way for attendees, customers and potential customers to leave their contact information. Super successful marketers go one step further and garner referrals from everyone they can since friends of attendees give your the extra edge for growing awareness and interest in your new endeavor.
BUT! The Grand Opening is not a one-and-done event. It is advantageous to consider your Grand Opening as an all-out effort lasting between 3 and 12 months. Only after going through part or all of the annual cycle will you learn the ebb and flow of the business and garner the strategic insights that will allow you to succeed in the coming years. You are also likely experience the full variety of customers and most will be new customers during that period of time. Customers who view your business as “new” are likely to be more excited about it, and you should certainly try to capitalize on that excitement by asking them to share information about your business with friends.
Therefore, it is important to ask for referrals. While some customers may share your business information through social media, why not ask them to think about 3 – 5 specific people they know that they think would like to know about you? By using a platform like ShareSomeFriends, customers send friends a promotional message that you have crafted, taking all the effort out of the process. More important is the fact that the recipients will see a message from a trusted friend about your business and will be more likely to stop by.
Getting Grand Opening referrals, and nurturing these perspective customers will help turn your business into a success!