Pre-Opening: Build Awareness
Must Do & Could Do
We’ve highlighted, activities we strongly feel Must Do. These are basic ingredients for success. Skip these and you’ll jeopardize a successful opening.
The rest, non-highlighted, are Could Do activities that go beyond the basic. We recommend these in situations where your store may have a challenge, for examples:
- Poor visibility
- Lots of competition
- Low brand awareness
If you’ve got the budget and staff to do more, we highly recommend doing more. You only open a store for the first time once.
Finally, we’ve broken the activities into two columns… things to do at-store / in-store (in or at the locaiton) and out-of-store (away from the location).
Items highlighted are activities we strongly feel Must Do.
We call these “at-store” instead of “in-store” because you don’t yet have an in-store to do activities!
Use your store as a billboard. At your store give people an idea of when you’re going to open. A “coming soon” banner or even better “Opening April 23” if you can pin down a date.
You should be touring your neighborhood, introducing yourself to area restaurants, retailers, and other businesses. These people will become your customers. Have invitations or postcards printed up so you may invite them to your event. Drop off your business card. This is the same point in time when you should alert the local newspaper, TV and radio station, and town websites that you’ll be opening soon.
It is never too soon to start using the right social media tools. That is, the ones your customers are using and on which will “listen” to you. If you are part of a multi-unit chain, make sure they allow social media* at the store level.
If you have other locations of your brand within the area – be sure to promote your new site in those stores. Perhaps it will be more convenient for some of that store’s customer base.
We do recommend a Friends & Family event as opportunity to practice prior to opening to the public and give people a sneak peak.
*If Social Media is a weakness for you and your team, we offer a Social Media Course you may be interested in.