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Expanding The Business, Step 17: Promote the Grand Opening

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Joe Marconi

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Now that we are close enough to pick a date for the grand opening, we need to start the promotion process and make plans for the day of the grand opening. We need to jump start this business with a big splash in the community. Having momentum right out of the gate will be important to the success of the project.

 

To help promote the business I have greatly increased our advertising and marketing. Prior to this project the only advertising I did was in the local yellow books, sport sponsorships and ads with local charitable organizations. I concentrated mainly with my existing customer base through newsletters, emails, service reminder cards, promotional flyers and specials. In order to increase market share, we need to expand our horizons.

 

We purchased mailing lists and started a post card campaign introducing our company to people who are not our customers. We target a five-mile radius from our shop. We also use a company to send offerings to all new residents in our area and we are part of the local welcome wagon organization.

 

Last spring we shot a TV commercial and started airing the commercial the start of the summer. This has been a great success and is more affordable than you might think. We just shot a new commercial last month, which will feature the new facility.

 

In January we started with radio. It’s too early to tell how affective this will be, but customers and friends tell us they hear us. And if they are hearing us, others are too.

 

We hired a press agent to help us with getting some free press in all the local newspapers. It’s amazing how newspapers like to promote local businesses. I convinced my bank to feature us in their newsletter. This was a good move. I had a new customer just the other day that walked in for service because of that article.

 

Six weeks prior to the grand opening we will start to invite people to the event. We will invite local politicians, bank officials, local businesses, local Chamber of commerce, all the people involved with the construction and, of course, our customers.

 

We will also hold a series of consumer clinics as a way to showcase the new facility. We will use the clinics as fundraisers for local charities. This is great end around marketing.

 

The day of the grand opening will be a daylong event. We will have food, door prizes and other products to give away. We will make sure that we obtain names and addresses for all who attend. We will cap off the day with a ribbon cutting ceremony and will drive the first car onto the first lift for an oil change. We will ask selected people to say a few words and I will also present a speech.

 

Promotion is key. I want to cause a lot of excitement in the community.

 

Stay tuned!

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