You’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and the big moment is almost here. It’s time to prepare your business for opening day. Maybe you’re a first-time business owner, or maybe you’re opening the newest branch of a successful business. Regardless, it’s natural to have those opening day jitters.
It’s important to be aware of last-minute snags that could pop up to have a successful opening day. You want to open your doors and operate smoothly for the best first impression to customers. There are a few ways to hit the ground running on opening day.
There’s nothing more deflating for a business than to open its doors without customers. Sure, you can build awareness once you’re open, but that means wasted days with low sales. The advertising campaign should start before you open, and it should center around the place where word spreads fastest: social media. Make sure your digital team has a strategy well in advance.
Building awareness is only one part of a successful marketing campaign. The other is making the opening day feels like an event. Many stores offer opening day coupons and promotions to encourage people to purchase immediately and not hold off until the crowds die down. You want as many happy customers coming out of your store as possible, so they’ll tell their friends and keep the buyers coming.
You want a busy opening day, but keep in mind that this is your whole staff’s first day on the job. They’re still learning the ins and outs of the business, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Unhappy staff translates to unhappy customers. It’s critical to have a strategy for staffing correctly.
To minimize the chance of staff hiccups, it’s better to over-staff than under-staff at first. Don’t be afraid to hire some temporary staff to fill gaps and do some practice trials to simulate work conditions. Find out where each member of your staff works most effectively and play to their strengths as the company gets up and running.
Focus on Cleanliness
In today’s post-pandemic world, cleanliness is one of the things customers expect from a new business. Make sure you have sufficient cleaning supplies on hand before you open your doors, including hand sanitizer and anything you need to clean surfaces throughout the day. You may want to have a sanitizer dispenser on hand for customers.
To aid cleanliness, make sure your business is well-spaced out to keep people from being too close to each other and provide a mat outside the door so people can wipe their feet off. Not only does this help your store look better, but it reduces the chance of slips and other hazards.
Implement Risk Avoidance Strategies
Every business has liabilities, and that’s why it’s important to be properly insured before you open your doors. This includes workers’ compensation for your employees, which is often legally required, and any liability coverage you may need in case of an incident with a customer. Remember that there are ways to minimize your liability to ensure this insurance is rarely needed.
Risk avoidance strategies reduce your liability if you examine them before opening. Is your business offering a service? Look into the errors and omissions for which you may be liable. If you’re running a retail business or other crowded space, make sure to eliminate any possible safety hazards. Complete insurance coverage for all areas of the business is critical, including any vehicles your business owns.
Enjoy the Day
Opening a business is exciting and celebratory, but it can also be stressful. Employees can feel the pressure, and you’re no doubt feeling stressed as the business owner. It’s important not to let those anxieties bleed out into the workplace atmosphere and let customers feel the tension in the air. That’s why one often-ignored area of prepping for opening day is creating a positive atmosphere.
Make sure employees know you appreciate their hard work and provide a token of that appreciation if possible. Reducing team stress will pay dividends in better performing employees and more company loyalty, as well as a better reputation for your store. If people sense your team enjoys being there, they’ll want to come back. Hiccups may happen, but focusing on the positive successes.
It’s Finally Here
You’ve put a lot of work into this day. Keep your eye on the end results, and these last few steps will make all the difference in a successful opening. The first day is often the hardest; just take it one step at a time.