Come On In!

Want to stir up more business? Want to make your neighborhood aware of your existence and what it is that you and your business do? Want free advertising to do all this? Then – congratulations – get ready to have an open house!

Open houses are a great tool that businesses employ for all of the above reasons, as well as many more. It gives you the opportunity to get folks in the door who might not otherwise know you were there. It helps you connect with the neighbors around your business, and it allows the new folks to meet you on a more human level.

To make an open house a success, a number of things should be considered:

Thing 1: Offer refreshments. Offering free grub and soda is a sure way to get folks to stop in because, let’s face it, we all like something for nothing, even if it’s a hot dog and we have to drive fifteen minutes to get it: Crazy, huh?

Thing 2: Hold a raffle. Advise clearly, in all the distributed media, what the prize will be, what the rules are, and how one manages to participate: Referring back to Thing 1: we all like something for nothing.

Thing 3: Let your local paper(s) and television news outlet(s) know what’s happening. Often, they’ll run it in the Events Calendar of the paper at no charge and, if it’s a slow news day, they might run your event as a ‘filler’ story.

Thing 4: Let other avenues know what’s up as well. Talk to your neighboring businesses about putting up posters in their shops. Why would they want to? Because you’re about to increase traffic to your place of business – and they’re in close proximity. So, in essence, you’re benefiting them by association. Hand out leaflets to your existing customers (slip it in the bag), post it on your social media and web sites, and – if the law in your area allows – blanket the neighborhood with leaflets.

Thing 5: Offer specials. Have special deals, sales, etc. in place for that day, thereby sweetening the pot even further. Folks inherently like to feel like they’re getting a good deal on stuff.

Thing 6: Consider offering premiums on your big day. Give away branded or logoed Frisbees, mugs – whatever. People like something for nothing – have I mentioned that yet?

Thing 7: Prepare to handle the deluge. I would recommend that you ask all staff to be on hand that day. This way, the flow of business is not staunched and, also, the attendees can take the time to talk to you, or one of your associates, about your business, weather, their dog Fluffy – whatever. The point is to be accessible to these good folks who came here because they love something for nothing. They’re here – now network, and market to them!

Some other thoughts to be advised of:

Make sure you don’t need a permit to do something like this.

Make sure there’s adequate parking available.

Make sure that you know your maximum occupancy – you don’t want the Fire Marshall on your butt.

Make sure the structural integrity of the building you’re hosting in can handle a mass of people. I know that this probably sounds stupid but – trust me – it isn’t.

And – above all – have fun! This is a rare chance to be the center of attention. It was a lot of work getting there, so enjoy the moment!


~ by digitalninjasmedia on December 13, 2011.

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