Just thought I'd share. The power of the front page.

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share my grand opening experience.

This whole month of January has been extremely slow. Every-single day so far, even Fri’s and Sat’s. Well, about a month ago, we decided its time for the grand opening. Since we wanted the have the mayor of our town come by and cut the ribbon, we had to book it early. Literally a week ago, we all started flipping out cause its go time. The pressure is on, the time is ticking. Around the same time, my sister contacted a lady with the Daily Herald for a LOCAL press release AND also for an advertising spot for the grand opening day (Thursday, in which we were to have an open house with Free Taste Testing from 5 pm-8 pm). The proof came out really nice and it was for Weds and Thurs paper. She called me Tuesday to let me know she was going to send a photographer over and then scheduled a phone interview for Wednesday at 1 o’clock.

Little did I know (within 24 hours mind you) I would wake up this morning to a HALF page in the BUSINESS SECTION on the FRONT PAGE! MY PHONES WERE BLOWING OFF THE HOOK! All day too. The mayor came by and cut the ribbon and took pictures that will be published for the town newsletter. We had the busiest day I’ve had since I’ve been open. It was just awesome. My whole family was there to help, we all did a great job. We made about 20 14" pizzas for the free samples and we still were getting tons of orders from the ad on the front page. Yeah it got really crazy, but it was well worth it. I’m hoping this really got the word out. We had a lot of good feedback from it.

Awesome! Hope this is the push in the right direction your store needed.

That’s awesome. Congratulations!

Great stuff! The question now is what have you planned on doing to sustain it?

Good for you! Great job getting the newspaper and mayor involved at the same time!

Glad to hear the good news!..We all know you needed it…All the best in 2009…

And just think…with your attitude, there’s no way THIS is going to remain your BEST DAY!! Congrats!!

Wow! Thanks guys for the support and kind words. This is EXACTLY the extra boost I needed. You guys are so awesome!

Represent! Stand tall and enjoy the spotlight.

Then, like everyone said, figure out how to sustain it before the spotlight gets too dim. Repetition of message is the key to successful marketing. . . . get your name/face/message in front of as many people as you can in a frequent and attractive manner.

Thanks again for all the replies guys. Also an update: Our grand opening was our best day thus far. Then yesterday, Friday, was even better! Then today was better than Friday! This weekend was better than any whole week we’ve had.

You know, I really am not by any means getting ahead of myself. I’ve been racking my brains, almost stressing out, on how to keep it going. I love it so much better when its busy, and its not even the money part that makes me happy, its the fact that people are loving what I have to offer and it keeps me from sitting on my arse all day. I’m so overwhelmed right now, almost scared what next week will bring and the week after. I have tomorrow off, I plan to brainstorm all day away from the store and really try to think about what we can do to sustain our weekend success. I hope this is just a taste of whats to come.

Maybe hand out customer comment cards?

What did they most like or dislike?

get feedback, and use it.

Random customer callbacks?

Just brainstorm… Why did they come in the first place? How do you maintain that motivation to come in or order again?

You’ve done great so far. Analyze what you did right, and find a way to repeat or improve the good things and eliminate (or minimize) the bad.

Ask your employees what they think worked or didn’t.

When you find mistakes, find out what process allowed the mistake to happen in the first place. Make process changes to minimize the chance of the mistake from happening again. Evaluate the outcome, and make further adjustments as necessary.

Continue to strive for “process improvement” and make all mistakes into opportunities for a process improvement.

What else can others here brainstorm to continue the great start?

Gregster has made some good suggestions here. One that I used for a while and for some unknown reason have let slip is the customer referal cards. I had a card printed that I gave to customers to give to their friends. When a first time customer brought the card in to the store they got something free (bread sticks or soda or something) the refering customer got a note on their file for the same on their next order.

God, I wish I had a POS system in place. That simple move could be huge in reinforcing brand loyalty while also expanding our market share. I’m thinking it’s time to sell the classic Mustang to reinvest in the store, should earn me a '68 Corvette in a couple years as a “thank you”, right?

Gregster brings up some really good suggestions. Try to analyze what’s working and continue to improve on it. Find out what’s not working and either stop doing it or adjust your approach. Stay relevant and top of mind to your consumers base. Someone once said, overcommunication is better than no communication. Best wishes for continued success.