As our country begins the process of re-opening, holding a Grand Re- Opening for your business is worth considering. Think like a start-up business. Maybe it’s time the world becomes familiar with your business. Make your business great again!
Start with the assumption that today is the first day of your new business. How are you going to tell the world about your business and what you can do for them?
I really believe that every business, even 100-year-old ones, should Start Up Again once in a while. Now is a perfect time to do this. Just as it was during the Great Depression of 1929-1933, there’s abundant opportunity today! Many millionaires will be made, and great new brand names will emerge from this period because needs are so great.
Never in our lifetimes have circumstances been so severe as during this Great Shut-Down, my name for this economic crisis. When the situation is threatening, needs are significant. And when needs are high, opportunities abound. Why not be one of those savvy entrepreneurs who emerge from the pack and succeed beyond everyone’s expectations? Come with me and let’s discover how much more successful you can be.
Most people do what most people do; they take the ordinary and predictable path. They don’t stand out from the pack because they are the pack! But don’t let that be you too. Think about it, haven’t you also been one of the pack members at many times in the past? I know that I have. But one day, long ago, I decided to change my approach entirely, and since then, I’ve achieved goals I had never dreamed could be possible for me. You can too! Let’s take the path less traveled.
ZERO BASED THINKING
Start thinking from ground zero – like a start-up, an entrepreneur, an innovator, a success seeker. Assume that you can change everything or anything about your business or career for more success. Reconsider when you’ll work, how you’ll work, where you’ll operate, what you’ll do most/ least/not at all, whom you’ll associate with, and what you’ll do next.
Ask, “How can I let the market know that we exist? How can I show what we can do for people? How can we stand out from all the other shops and specialists? What is our hook, our special factor, our distinctive edge? Is there some part of what we do that we do better than anyone else?”
The balance of this article will focus on how to promote and hold your Grand Re-Opening.
HOLDING A GRAND RE-OPENING
Knowing what you know now, if you were just starting fresh again, how could you orchestrate a big announcement of your business and draw scores of people to your shop and your website? Consider all the possibilities: events, meetings, messages, interviews, podcasts, social media, networking, boosting referrals, special offers, performing public services, and emails to make a splash and draw lots of business.
Here’s a structure you can use to identify each of your target markets – your public.
- Front of House – Business to Customer, (B2C)
- Back of House – Business to Business, (B2B)
- Side of House – Business to Neighbors, (B2N)
- Within the House – Business to Your Employee Team
- Natural Markets – Potential customers, already known to you, including friends and family
- Chosen Markets – Desired customers, not yet known to you
LOTS OF MOVING PIECES
Internal Set Up – Spend time with your team, making this a group effort. Sell them on the fun and profit that can come from this. Train them, motivate them, prepare them. Talk with each person privately, too, and enlist their involvement. Have them help you to reinvent your business: with better processes, better products, better services, better messaging and signage, better business practices, better working conditions, better customer interactions, better cleanliness and professionalism, better quality controls, and better attitudes!
- Pre-Event, B2B – Let other businesses know how you can serve them.
- Pre-Event, B2N – Bring everyone within a 1-mile radius to your shop for a special treat or service.
- Customer Pre-Opening, B2C – Contact all previous customers and get them to bring a friend to get some special treat from you. Show them that you value them.
- Community Pre-Opening, B2C, B2N, B2Everyone – Make this a shared celebration. Highlight neighboring businesses, too. Get everyone into the act – make it a community event, not just your own.
- Press/Media Re-Opening Coverage – Business to Media (B2M) Notify the auto industry press, chamber of commerce, local newspapers, TV stations, and local podcasters. Do interviews with photo-ops or hold special online events or in-person to answer questions.
- Auto Industry Insiders Pre-Opening – Get your friends and your competitors to come and join in. We’re in this together. Our industry needs all of us. Let’s join hands for a day a week, or until we’re all through it.
THE MAIN EVENT
Don’t hold back! There’s nothing wrong with “over the top” when it comes to major events. What could be potentially more important for your future, and for that matter, the future of your community?
- Lights, Camera, Action – Make it a festival, a carnival, a party, a show!
- Ceremonies – Ribbon Cutting, Photo Ops, Press Fest
- Live Music, Celebrity Appearances, Local Personalities
- Have the Mayor declare your special day
- Get everything into the newspapers, magazines, websites, TV reports
- Special Services, Features, Demonstrations, Freebie Giveaways
- Drawings, Celebrities Autographs, Amusement Attractions and Games
- Refreshments – Food Vendors, Food Trucks, BBQ, Ice-cream Truck
- Hands-on Opportunities – let people touch, feel, and interact
- Bring their cars in for a special something
- Hand Outs and Freebies – stickers, flyers, T-Shirts, patches, pins, and discount coupons
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
Keep your momentum going. Stay connected. It doesn’t have to stop after the event. Just like accelerating to speed in your car, it’s easier to maintain and build on what you’ve started than it was getting it going.
- Online services – access to “The Answer Man” online or by phone.
- Take what you do on the road to other shops, parks, public locations.
- Find creative and fun ways to connect with people everywhere.
All of this might sound overwhelming, but you don’t have to do everything on the list, and you don’t have to do it all in one day. Even doing just a few of these things will boost your business. You should plan that this will take 30 to 60 days, or longer if you wish.
Don’t think about it as being a one-day event. It’s not all about one day – it’s about your re-emergence into the marketplace and the new and improved you! Take things in bitesized pieces and do them right. You won’t have to spend as much time and money, as you think. In fact, you might even find sponsors who’ll want to help and also cover all or part of your costs. Don’t expect this to be over, ever. Just keep it going, whether little or big, into your new future. Business will flow.
You will make money from this! And it will continue to pay future dividends. More importantly, you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll create a base of market awareness that will make it impossible to ignore you.
Look out marketplace, HERE YOU COME!!!!!
Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, is a professional mentor and business advisor who helps companies reinvent themselves in ways that increase the fun and the profit! He’s a long-time friend of ATRA and GEARS contributor. Contact him at StartUpAgain.Me and see if you qualify to be in one of the small groups that he mentors each month.