Are you opening a new business soon? Then congratulations, you’re joining the ranks of 31 million small businesses in the US!
You may be starting a business in retail and your focus is on your new store.
What do you need to get done? How can you ensure your opening week will go off without a hitch?
To help you out, here are 8 things you can’t forget during the opening process.
1. Order Equipment Well in Advance
Every store needs equipment, so get to ordering as soon as possible! There’s always the chance of hitting some snags with manufacturers or sellers; you don’t want that to happen before you open.
Also, ordering beforehand will let you know if something doesn’t fit. You may have made all the measurements and calculated all the costs, but there’s still the slight chance a table won’t fit into a corner, or a stove won’t fit into a nook.
2. Hire Full Staff
You don’t want to be scrambling around for staff members the day or week of opening. Considering the hiring process takes a bit of time, you want to ensure you have all your ducks in a row for staffing.
In fact, it may be a better idea to overhire rather than under. That way, if more customers come during the opening week than you expected, you can reach out to your on-call staff to come and help you out.
Hiring staff early on also gives you the chance to train them before you officially open. You won’t have to spend precious time on training when there are more pressing issues to attend to after opening. They’ll know exactly what to do so you can focus on fixing those issues.
3. Talk to Vendors
You can’t source everything yourself; for your store, you’ll need to rely on a few vendors to stock it with what you need.
Take the time to look at what they provide, their prices, return policies, and credit terms. See if they offer you a discount if you sign a contract with them for some time. This may be worth exploring if the prices are reasonable and you feel confident in their services.
4. Think About Product Placement in Your Store
Not only do you want to make it look great for your customers, but you’ll also want to reduce shrinkage. You want to make your items easily accessible, but not so much that someone can stealthily take them and walk out without anyone noticing.
You’ll also want to think about which products you want where. Their placement inside the store will directly influence how much you make. For instance, you’ll want to place the most profitable products in areas with high foot traffic.
5. Check Your Roofing
When you’re in the middle of planning for your small business, the focus is usually on everything inside. But one of the most essential parts is on the outside: your roof!
Your store may be prone to drafts and leaks without a stable roof. Neither are very impressive to customers, so ensure you thoroughly inspect them before opening.
Work with a contractor with experience in commercial roofing, as these can be a bit different from residential ones. In the worst-case scenario, if you need a replacement, these experts will be able to recommend the best type for your personal situation.
6. Advertise and Get the Word Out
You can set up your store to be the best one in town, but it won’t mean a thing if no one knows about it. You won’t drum up enough interest without some advertising, and your opening day may be disappointing.
The good news is that advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. Buying a few online ads or TV spots on local channels can be well worth it when you get people excited about your new store.
Some advertising can even be free, especially on social media. Yes, you can buy ads on those platforms, but you can also get the word out through your own posts. More tips on that are below.
7. Have a Good Social Media Campaign Going On
Again, you need to generate interest in your business as early as possible. If there’s no word about your store, then all of a sudden, you post that you’re opening tomorrow. It may be too jarring for some people. Plus, they may already be busy.
Create accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram before you’re open. While you’re getting your store ready, you should take pictures and videos along the way. Post them onto your accounts to show potential customers how things are going.
Not only can this pique their interests, but it can help get them invested in your business. When they see all the hard work you’ve poured into it, it’ll be hard for them not to stay away.
8. Try a Soft Opening
If you’re worried about how the opening week will go, why not give it a test run? A soft opening gives customers a sneak peek, and it gives you a chance to try things out. It’s a win-win!
The best thing about a soft opening is that your customers will know it’s not an official opening day, so if there are any kinks in your plans, they’ll be more understanding. Once you identify problem areas, you can fix them for your whole opening day.
Make Your Opening Process as Smooth as Possible
Using the above tips, you can ensure your store’s opening process will go according to plan.
But remember: you can do everything right and still hit hiccups along the way, so don’t panic too much! Just roll with the punches and make the most of it. These minor mishaps can make for some good memories in the future, so don’t stress out too much and have fun on your opening week!
Do you need more business tips? Then check out our other blog articles!