Starting a business requires all your focus and resources. To ensure its success, you need to invest your money, time, and effort into this venture from beginning to end. You also have to prepare the legal documents and scour for the right suppliers for your products to ensure maximum profitability.
One aspect that often gets overlooked but is also an essential part of business, especially if you are in the retail industry and have a physical store, is the grand opening invitation. Of course, you may have already known that you need to plan for the first day of allowing customers and investors to come into your space and experience your products and services first-hand.
With this, you must ensure that all details are perfect to a T, including the invitations that you’ll be sending out. Most entrepreneurs, though, don’t put a lot of thought into these invites because they’re thinking of other more pressing things to complete with the looming deadline.
However, business opening invitations can be important to your venture’s success. Here are the reasons why:
1. Prove that You Mean Business.
There’s an old saying that goes, “first impressions last forever.” It’s true in meeting people and it’s also accurate when it comes to running a business. With many startups popping up these days, you have to make your company stand out from your competitors. One excellent way to do that is to be thorough in all aspects of your company, including your official opening.
Being meticulous about your grand opening, from invitations to the food and other things that you’ll be offering to your guests, shows that you’re serious about this venture. Customers and investors may not always voice out their appreciation of the effort that you put into the event, but they’ll notice the hard work you’ve poured out into it, earning their respect.
Some tips to follow for a successful grand opening of your business:
Know Your Budget – With the substantial capital that you’ve already put into your venture, you should be mindful of spending your limited resources. While a grand opening may lead to additional expenses, think of the money you’ll expend as an investment since you’ll be able to strengthen your relationships with investors and generate leads.
Have a Schedule – Find a date for your grand opening. Make sure that you check the national and local calendars so that your event won’t clash with a major holiday. Delegate tasks to your staff and ensure that everyone is on the same page in accomplishing this goal.
Comply with Legal Permits – Avoid running into problems with the government by completing the legal documents that you need to submit before your grand opening. This includes the operating license in your state and town as well as the permit for the event itself.
Promote the Opening – You should ensure that people know about your grand opening by promoting it on social media. Encourage your followers to share your posts and invite their friends to join them as they visit your store on the big day. If you have the budget, you should also try traditional advertising methods, like TV, radio ads, or flyers.
Invite Influential People – Aside from inviting prospects and investors, you should also extend an invitation to influential people, such as the mayor and other government officials. Try looking for influencers in your niche as well to boost publicity for your business.
Prepare for Lead Collection – The main purpose of your event is to officially start your business. However, hit two birds with one stone by collecting leads on the day. You can gather prospects’ email addresses in exchange for exclusive perks and discounts.
Pro tip: always offer an incentive and ask only for the details that you need, such as name and email addresses, so that people won’t hesitate to hand in their information.
2. Clearly Communicate Your Intent.
The primary function of grand opening invitations is to inform your clients and stakeholders that you’re officially ready to start your business. These paper and digital invites allow you to communicate your intent to your guests clearly about the time, date, and location of your store’s opening.
That being said, these are the details that you must include in your business grand opening invitation:
Business Name – Specify you and your company’s name as the host of the invitation. Big-time clients and investors receive a lot of letters, so make sure that they know who sent the invitation.
Event Date and Time – Avoid miscommunication by clearly printing the grand opening’s date and time. Use the standard format and be specific to prevent misinterpretations. For instance, it’s better to write “June 5, 2020” rather than “05-06-2020,” which can be misconstrued as May 6, 2020.
The same goes for the time. Aside from writing AM or PM, clarify in writing whether the program will start in the morning or the afternoon, or you can also use the 24-hour format.
Location – State the exact address of your physical store. Add a little map in the invitation if the space allows, again, to prevent misinterpretations. You can even include a QR code that your guests can scan to direct them to an online map for the precise location of your shop.
Contact Info – Don’t forget to include your business’ contact information so that your guests can contact you if they have inquiries or want to RSVP. Assign someone to take charge of this task so that you can focus on the overall planning of the grand opening.
Dress Code – If you want to have a dress code for the event, make sure that you state it clearly somewhere in the invite. You can also include the theme if you want to have a uniform aesthetic for your opening.
3. Make Them Feel Welcome.
More than informing guests about the details, though, paper business opening invitations take on a customized approach. You can print or write the names of your guests on the envelopes and in the invites if you want to make it feel even more personal.
Even if you print out a general template and mass-send it via post office to customers in your area, it would still succeed in making clients feel that you want them to be with you on this major milestone.
4. Boost Awareness for Your Brand.
Invites, whether printed on paper or published digitally, can create anticipation for your business. People have developed the habit of updating their social circles with their personal lives. With this, when you send out invitations to prospects and investors, they can easily take a snap of the invite and introduce your brand to their followers.
Regardless of whether you’re a startup or a large corporation, brand awareness is crucial because it leads to customer loyalty. You need to set yourself apart from your competitors and keep your business at the top of consumers’ minds.
A few brand awareness strategies you should employ are:
Be Consistent – Your brand name and logo must be featured prominently across all materials and resources being published on your website as well as social media accounts. This can help customers become familiar with your products and services.
Prioritize Customer Service – The best way to make people love your brand is to ensure that they get quality customer service. Create channels where they can submit their feedback and show that you’re listening by improving your merchandise and processes.
Boost Your Online Presence – Nowadays, you can reach most consumers online, so it pays to have a strong online presence. Create an official website that showcases your products, services, and advocacy. Make sure that your site is also optimized for search engines. Be visible on social media, too, by publishing posts and engaging customers in conversations.
Don’t Ignore Offline Marketing – It’s tempting to think that digital marketing is all you need for the success of your business. However, offline advertising methods, such as direct mail campaigns and branded handouts, continue to work well for retailers.
Establish Affiliate Marketing Programs – An affiliate marketing program is the new word-of-mouth advertising method where people refer your products to their friends in exchange for a commission. With this, they get a unique hyperlink that allows your online purchasing system to automatically track how many people bought from their referral link and give their incentive accordingly.
5. Show Your Company’s Fun Side.
Competition is more intense nowadays, making it more challenging for small businesses to rise above their competitors. You have to find your brand’s voice and infuse personality into it so that consumers can remember your company better.
However, you shouldn’t force your brand to keep up with trends and styles that don’t feel genuine. People can spot inauthenticity from a mile away. Moreover, it’ll be more difficult to maintain consistency if your company doesn’t stay true to its advocacy.
Your business invitation is a great tool to showcase your brand’s personality right at the beginning of your official business date. If you’re aiming for a fun, quirky tone to captivate younger consumers, choose a design that will resonate with them without being too crass. If your audience is a bit older, you might want to tone your style down and opt for a more formal and minimalist aesthetic.
The fundamental question you should ask yourself in finding your brand identity is why you started the business in the first place. Your mission and advocacy is a crucial aspect of knowing what your brand is and what values drive it.
Next, you have to discover your unique positioning. What are the things that you can bring to the table that your competitors can’t? Lastly, think of three adjectives that you want consumers to use when describing your brand and incorporate them into your invitations and other documents so that people can associate it with your company.
Did you know that the font you use in your invitations can affect how people perceive your brand? Here are the four major categories of typography and when you should use them:
Serif – Examples of this font type are Times New Roman and Garamond. It’s characterized by an anchor at the ends of the letters. You can use this if you want a more formal and traditional vibe.
Sans Serif – Sans serif fonts, like Helvetica, entail smooth edges. They don’t have the anchor that comes with serif types and are used to give your business a sleek, modern feel.
Script – You can use script typefaces, such as Monotype Corsiva and Pacifico, if you want to imitate cursive handwriting. It provides a luxurious and grand aesthetic to your invitations or posters and other promotional materials.
Display – Think of display fonts as customized typefaces for your brand. If you want a font that will make consumers recognize your brand instantly, you can hire a designer to create a font specifically for your business.
When starting a business, you should always be mindful of first impressions. This includes being meticulous with all the details involved in your grand opening, especially if you have a physical store. One aspect that’s often overlooked, but can help your event to succeed, are the invites. You must put in great care when creating the invitations that you’ll be sending out to your customers and investors.
A well-designed business opening invitation can show customers that you’re serious about providing quality products and services to consumers. It’s also an excellent tool for communicating your intent and giving them accurate information on the date, time, and place of your grand opening.
A printed invitation also takes on a personal approach and makes guests feel welcome. More than that, it can boost awareness for your brand as well when they post it on social media, thus, introducing more people to your company. This can increase conversions and, ultimately, sales.
Lastly, these invites can showcase your brand’s personality to consumers and investors. Whether you go for a fun, quirky tone or a low-key, minimalist vibe, the right invitation design can captivate your target audience and bring in more customers to your store.