It’s here. The grand opening of your new venue.
All of your hard work has come to this. And you’re ready to share your passion project with the world. At least you think you are.
If you’re nervous about the big day, you’re not alone. But rest easier with these seven tips for a stress-free and successful opening.
1. Nail the basics
Before your venue can be the legend it’s destined to be, you need to lay the right foundation. Starting with the basics is a win-win for you and for your customers. After all, a successful foundation means a better experience for your guests — and better customer loyalty. While there are a lot of things in the “must-do” category, here are just a few to get you started.
- Research your location. What neighborhood could you be successful in? If you’re renting, how does that fit into your budget? Is your establishment close to public transportation?
- Obtain the right permits and licenses. Check with your local officials to find out what permits you need. You likely need specific permits if you’re selling food, liquor, or even merchandise.
- Love your name. You want customers to be sharing your business name to all their networks, so pick a name you love and start marketing.
2. Create multiple streams for your revenue
The business environment in a place like the UK is tough. Business rates and the minimum wages are ever rising. When you work in hospitality, you always need to keep costs in check. But when you’re just starting out, it’s tough to know how to do that efficiently. Get some inspiration with these tips.
- Only schedule the staff you need. Use a workforce management tool that allows you to forecast demand. Then schedule the right number of staff, at the right time, to avoid over-staffing.
- Create a multi-faceted experience. Bars with bowling alleys. Cafes with podcast recording studios. Pubs with painting classes. Boost your reach (and your revenue) when you enhance the experience for your guests.
- Say yes to delivery services. If you’re opening or thinking about opening a ghost kitchen, check out StoreKit’s guide to make it easier.
3. Get the right technology — and ditch the others
There are endless technology options to order supplies, manage your accounting, pay your staff, schedule staff, and manage bookings. For a new business, you might want all the new, shiny tech tools. But the reality is you don’t have the luxury to buy everything. You need to make smart choices about what tools are a must — and what tools are just a nice to have.
- Double down on integrations. One of the biggest mistakes you could make is onboarding new technology that won’t work with your other systems. Make sure your tools play well together. For example, your scheduling tool can integrate with your payroll to ensure you have accurate time tracking and paychecks.
- Choose the right POS software. Whether you focus on cost or features, search for the right POS that appropriately addresses your business needs and size.
- Improve the employee experience. Keeping the right staff is critical to a successful opening (a long-standing business). Software like Hastee lets employees take a portion of their earned pay before payday without an interest rate. And look for tools that let your employees swap shifts when something comes up.
4. Invite your network to the grand opening
In addition to your family and friends, you want to share your grand opening with your new fans. And while you might get some passersby, you can do work ahead of time to fill the space. Build buzz and get people excited by inviting them to the event.
- Join a town hall meeting. If your neighborhood or business has town hall meetings, join a few and get to know the community. Invite them to your grand opening — maybe even give them a private tour before opening to the rest of the public.
- Jump on social. Drum up some social chatter with your social media accounts. Use Instagram to show off photos of your specialty cocktails or pub fare, and Facebook to start conversations with peers.
- Invite the neighborhood. Printed flyers are still an effective way to get your name out in the world. Send flyers to residents in your neighborhood to invite them to your opening.
5. Invest in your staff
The ultimate goal of any new business is ensuring that customers keep coming back. A new business ensures that customers are given excellent services. How you treat your customers determines if they will come back the next day and refer their friends as well. With the staff, looking after their welfare is a sure step to excellent service to clients.
- Empower your staff. Use a workforce management system lets staff swap shifts and pick up open ones.
- Create fair schedules. Use automated tools that enable staff to easily request leave and set unavailability.
- Make communication easier. A workplace messaging system will also allow your whole team to collaborate on ideas and therefore feel more engaged as a whole.
6. Focus on building customer relationships
The grand opening is also a time when a business starts long-term relationships. Encourage customers to signup for email newsletters and discounts. Use your newsletter as a way to keep your customers up to date with the latest news, freshest menus, and current beer list.
Set yourself up for success
Opening a new site is exciting. It’s an opportunity for you to build a team — and a business — that’s set up for success. Check out the Welcome to the Neighbourhood guide to get more tips to help you run a successful business.