How to Host a Grand Opening for Your New Business

Why Hold a Grand Opening? 

If you are debating whether or not to hold a grand opening event for your business, you may want to consider the potential ways in which holding such an event may benefit your company. Like any event, a grand opening can bring more attention to your business. It can also provide a reason for potential customers to come to your physical location and see or try your product in person. Promoting your grand opening could earn you attention from local media and get people in the community talking about your business. Promoting a grand opening does, however, require time, and typically money. Wondering where to begin with planning your grand opening celebration? Below are some tips.

Define the Goal of Your Grand Opening 

While it may seem obvious, the first step in achieving a goal is to define what it is you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself what you want from your grand opening. It can be a time for you as a business owner to celebrate. Maybe your goal is to get a set number of new faces through your doors. Maybe it is to network with other people in the community, or spread the message of your mission as a non-profit. Clearly setting your goals and what you define as success will help you better navigate making decisions about your grand opening.

Setting a Budget for Your Grand Opening 

Before you plan anything for your grand opening, set a budget. As a business owner, you want to protect the financial investment you have made in your business so it can continue to operate. Setting a budget for your grand opening first will help you set the stage for what your grand opening will look like. Below are some potential things to budget for. Keep in mind that you can choose as a business owner to do a few or these, or potentially none.

  • Signage – If your business is near a busy street, consider outdoor banners or signs. Check with your local city and landlord to see if there are any sign restrictions or ordinances that you should be aware of.
  • Flyers – Handing out flyers to customers in the weeks leading up to your grand opening can give them a reason to return to your store. Including a coupon or redemption code on your flyers can give your customers one more reason to hold on to them.
  • Giveaways – Brainstorm what giveaways make sense for your business. If you are a bakery, will you have samples? If you are a retail location, does a raffle for a large item make sense for you? Weigh your options on the value trade for a giveaway.
  • Advertising – Paid advertising can get your business in front of more potential customers, but it can also be costly. Before you commit to paid advertising, think about who your potential customers are and where they spend their time.
  • Entertainment – Hosting a special guest or entertainer can be a draw for your grand opening or event. Consider a live band, a local DJ, a face painter for kids, or even a celebrity.

Free or Low-Cost Ideas to Promote a Grand Opening    

As a new business owner, budgets can be tight. Luckily, there are many marketing ideas to promote your grand opening that usually are free or have low costs.

Posting to Social Media

If you haven’t already, setting up social media pages for your business is one way to connect with the community around you. You can introduce yourself, talk about why you are starting your business, and count down the days to your grand opening.

Partner with a Local Charity

As a business owner, you know the power of networking. Think about a local charity that you could partner with for your grand opening that aligns with the mission of your business. For example, if you are a pet store, consider reaching out to shelters to see if you can host a pet food drive during your grand opening. Talk with the organization you are partnering with to see if they are willing to advertise your event as well.

Reach out to Your Chamber of Commerce

Many Chambers of Commerce offer services like free ribbon cuttings, a community calendar, and web pages for their members. If you have not already, looking at the benefits of becoming a member could be worth it for your business.

Offer a Low-Cost Service

Is there a service your business can offer that will cost only your time? If you are a jeweler, consider free jewelry cleanings. Daycares can think about a story time or music hour. If you are a landscaper, think about a class you could offer on tree maintenance or designing outdoor garden spaces.


Creating an email list is a low-cost marketing idea. If you currently do not have an email list of customers, sending a personalized message to other local businesses is one way to spread the message of your grand opening.

Community Calendars

If you go to your favorite search engine and type “[your city] events” notice the websites that come up. Some of these should be community calendars from cities and local media outlets. Submitting events to these calendars typically is free, although you may have to make an account.

Choosing Your Grand Opening Day 

The day you open your doors does not have to be your grand opening. In fact, it may be wise to have a “soft opening” first to work out any issues your business may have before the pressure of a grand opening. When choosing a date for your grand opening, be mindful of other events happening that could help or draw away from your big day. Avoid national holidays as people will likely have plans. If you want to have outdoor activities, consider the weather during that time of year. Also keep in mind work and school schedules. Holding your grand opening on a weekend or evening may mean that more people can attend. Another option is making your grand opening a week-long celebration. For example, if you are a boutique, you can hold your ribbon cutting on a Saturday, but offer special sales and discounts all week long.

Hype Your Team 

As a business owner, you know that your people are an important asset for your business. Your team should be just as excited about your grand opening as you are. Involve them in the brainstorming process for planning the event and encourage them to invite their family and friends. Be sure you will have appropriate staffing for your grand opening, and also define what you want your team to focus on. For example, designate someone to take photos and videos of the ribbon cutting. If you want to build an email list for the future, work with your team on how you will capture those email addresses.

Before You Open   

While planning a grand opening can be exciting, don’t forget to take care of all business and legal matters first. Be sure you have all licenses and permits you need to operate your business legally. If you have not already, make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage for your business. Reach out to a local insurance office, such as one of our many locations, to see what insurance coverages and packages are available for your business.

Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone 

Hosting a grand opening is a lot of work- and takes a lot of help. Think of how to reward your staff for all of their hard work. Send thank you cards to any special guests or local businesses who attended. Finally, thank your new customers through a social media post or messaging on your website.


This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

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