The adage "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" is never truer than during the grand opening of a new business, such as a new hair salon. Unless you are branching out on your own from an established business, most of your customers will be new to you and your business. Setting the tone by having an efficiently run, entertaining and successful grand opening can dictate how well your business will do in its infancy. Having a memorable grand opening party for a hair salon requires advertising, working with local businesses and making sure that you handle customers promptly and satisfactorily.
Create a budget for the grand opening party and stick to it. Include everything that will cost money, including advertising, entertainment, catering and extra employees.
Select a date for the event that is likely to draw the biggest crowd. Consult area event calendars to make sure that there are no similar events to yours happening on that date or any big events that may draw potential customers away.
Have a contingency plan in case your grand opening falls on a day with inclement weather or other unforeseen issues. Set up alternative activities that take place inside or even an alternate date for the grand opening.
Find out from your landlord or your local city government if there are any regulations regarding advertising such as signage or crowds.
Arrange with a printer to make all allowable temporary signage, such as a banner or a sidewalk sandwich board. Have the printer make fliers for your grand opening. Consider having a coupon printed on the fliers, such as a free hair product or a percentage off of a salon treatment. Proofread everything. Make sure everything is spelled correctly and grammatically correct on all advertising material.
Advertise in local publications and on local websites. Contact a local newspaper, television station or radio station to alert them of your grand opening -- new business stories are commonly reported upon in some manner. Arrange to have a promotion with a TV or radio station where they have a live remote broadcast from your grand opening.
Contact a caterer to arrange for refreshments and appetizers for your grand opening. Work with the caterer and come up with a theme that ties the food to your salon, such as pigs in a blanket shaped like hair rollers or cookies with your logo baked into them.
Talk to local government officials about having a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of your salon on the day of your grand opening.
Hire entertainment, such as clowns for the kids, a guitarist or small band or even the local high school marching band.
Employ extra staff to take care of any potential customer overload. Hire temporary workers from a local cosmetology school to handle simple tasks such as hair washing and floor sweeping. Contact your product suppliers and see if they can have representatives on hand to assist and sell their products to your customers.
Based in Virginia Beach, Mark S. Baker has been working in editorial for more than 20 years. He has served as a writer and editor for publications such as the "Houston Post," "Boca Raton News" and "Interactive Week," among others. Baker also has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and has his own catering business.