Make sure your very first day in business is a success – whether you are opening real doors or virtual ones. Building up some buzz on social media, via local press and even by hosting an amazing event can help new startups take off.
Generate Social Media Buzz
Decide which social media sites best match your business in tone – and the ones that attract the most visitors from your target demographic and set up your social media presence. Open an account on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and any other sites that you feel are a good match and start posting and promoting before you open. You can run a contest, build buzz and even ask people to share your message. Social media is also an ideal place to run a contest, give away freebies or promote your grand opening event, too.
Create a Press Release
People can read about your new business in the newspaper, a local magazine or even see a video on television – as long as you take the time to create a compelling press release. If you have a local business, make sure you send a copy of your release to all local news outlets with enough lead time; they may want to send an actual reporter to speak with you.
If you have a virtual business or something with an online presence, then your release should be distributed via a site like PR web as well. You can also sign up for a free expert account on sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and respond to journalist queries and requests for interviews, too.
Plan an Event to Mark the Opening
Create an event to tempt visitors to your new storefront or location. Marking the occasion with an event not only attracts visitors and gives them a reason to stop by, it gives your local journalists something to photograph, videotape and write about too. Target your event to the audience and see if any related vendors or non-profits in your area want to exhibit as well.
A health food store could offer a wellness fair, featuring a local chiropractor (they always have great traveling exhibits), free samples, fitness checks, health screenings and more. If you are opening a new kid’s boutique, then renting a bouncy house and a face painter or balloon artist for your event ensures that every kid that drives by will insist on stopping in. Spending your money wisely and paying only for the services you must have allows you to make a newsworthy, fun event that makes a splash.
Join your Local Business Associations
If you have a local business or one that relies on local resources, then joining your Chamber of Commerce, local Business Owners Associations and any other business networking groups is a must. Not only will you make some valuable connections and hopefully access some additional promotional opportunities, you’ll be able to coordinate with local events and activities, too. Check the calendars for these organizations and make sure you participate in any locally sponsored events, too.
You’ve taken a lot of time and effort to make your business the best it can be – so make sure you get things started right by building some buzz. The right combination of marketing and events will help ensure your target customers know you are open and ready for business.