Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

A New Location for 2020?

Expanding your business into a new location is an exciting endeavor that can take your brand to new heights. However, as rewarding as it is, a big move like this can come with its challenges. That’s why it’s essential to go into the expansion prepared with strategies that will make the transition smoother and more efficient.

Opening a new location brings many considerations, from hiring new staff to furnishing and stocking the space to welcome new clients. You also need to consider the marketing and promotional efforts you’ll put in place to bring in those new clients that will turn your new location into a success.

Do your research.

As with any significant plans, research should be your first step to ensure you understand the parameters of your new location. Examine your competition and compile any data you can find about the area’s demographics. Connect with vendors who already operate in the area and record anecdotal information about unmet needs that you may be able to fulfill.

Registration is NOW OPEN for Catersource 2020, co-located with The Special Event! Click here for more information or to register!

Take the time to learn the trends of your new market, what your prospective clients like, how much they tend to spend, and how they like to work. If it’s an entirely new market with another language or distinct culture, you’ll want to hire staff that is fluent and prepared to work with new clients on their level.

Start hiring early on.

It’s important to have a reliable team on board before the grand opening so you can start training as soon as possible. You should be fully staffed by the day your doors open, so you can have well-trained employees who are prepared to launch alongside you.

Even if you don’t have a set opening date, explain this clearly to job applicants and ensure that new hires are prepared to ramp up quickly and will be ready to go once you do open. Starting a team from scratch can be challenging, but it will be far easier if you allow yourself the lead time to find the right people without an imminent deadline.

Promote it far and wide.

You don’t need to wait for your location to open to start promoting! Let your existing followers know about your exciting plans and post updates about the progress being made. Consider promoting new sites on social media and in newsletters to create a buzz in advance along with build up as the opening date gets closer.

Once opened, it’s important to promote heavily on social media as it has such a wide reach. Share Live stories, showcase the space, introduce your new staff, give some behind-the-scenes peeks — there are many ways to get the buzz going around your new company location. If desired, consider launching a social media campaign to spread the word further and build anticipation.

Plan a celebration.

Opening a new location is worthy of celebration, of course. However, planning a grand opening isn’t just for the party; it’s also a strategic way to immerse your brand into the local community. These types of events allow you to connect with other vendors who can support your business, as well as attract prospective clients who wouldn’t have known about your services otherwise.

Note that it doesn’t need to be an over-the-top event; it can be something small and intimate as well. You can even break up the grand opening celebrations into a few smaller events—one for corporate contacts, one for the public, one for chambers of commerce, and so on. The more people who see and know about your opening, the more awareness your location will receive.

Running multiple locations is no small task, but rest assured that the transitionary period is typically the busiest time with the most obstacles. Once your new location has found its footing in its new market, you’ll find that the rest feels like smooth sailing.

Heather Rouffe

Director of Sales, Partner | Atlas Event Rental

Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental industry serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years based. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality merchandise and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.