Franchises in Canada were once largely more expensive...
Your franchise location's grand opening is a pretty big deal. Because there are a lot of brands across Canada, you'll want to stir up interest and excitement in your new business to draw the attention of the crowd away from the competition. When you get it right, you'll be giving yourself a little head start in the momentum department, and it can make a good impression on the local community.
For your grand opening, your franchisor may have a process you need to follow, or they might leave some or all of it up to you. Regardless of the situation, keep the following in mind to ensure your first days start off with a bang and not a whimper.
Build some excitement
If your franchisor allows it, you can start to inject some excitement around your opening even before you have a date. "Opening" or "Coming Soon" ads can be used in advance to stir up interest. If you have a physical location, put signs up indicating that it's opening soon. If your brand is home-based, you can use social media to amp up excitement or even send direct mail to local residents.
Pile on promos
Even if your franchise is well-known, promotions are something people will expect. They can also be used to make your store more enticing. The incentives you will be able to offer will vary by franchisor, but you may be allowed some wiggle room. Even home-based franchises can offer discounts or other free things to engage people.
Make it a true celebration
A grand opening is a big deal, so be sure to make a big deal out of it. You are starting a new business and the local community is getting a new option that will help the area's economy, so it's time to celebrate. Try to have an atmosphere that is as festive as possible during your first day. If your franchise allows it, invite local news organizations to cover it. If you are in a large city, local radio stations and smaller neighborhood papers are an option.
When your brand is home-based, you still have celebration options via social media and advertising. If you can, sponsor a community event to show people you are now a part of their community.
The bigger deal your grand opening is, the more successful it will likely be. Getting people in the door is going to be one of the most challenging parts of your new franchise, so focus on your grand opening day as much as you can for a strong start.