5 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Your Business’ Grand Opening Event

Client Question: I am opening a new business soon. Can you provide some ideas to drive traffic to my business on our Grand Opening day?

Chances are good that you have invested a lot of money into starting your new business. Here I’ll provide some low-budget ideas for a Grand Opening celebration.

1) Rent an inflatable jumpy or bouncy to place in front of your business.

If you don’t have a front lawn, rent a sky tube. Also add balloons, yard signs and gigantic banners out front that read “Grand Opening” – anything that will make people look at your location. Use your connections too. Know someone that owns a hot rod, race car, or chopper? See if they’ll let you borrow it. Place it out front to draw attention.

2) Offer free hot dogs and sodas throughout your Grand Opening event.

Have visitors go inside your Martial Arts school or gym to get a coupon for the free food. In order to get the coupon, have them fill out an info card.

3) Create Grand Opening postcards or flyers.

Donate $250 to your local high school football, soccer, baseball or basketball teams. In return, ask them to put the postcards or flyers out in the neighborhood they live in. This is an easy way to get cards out for little to no money. It’s also a win-win for you and your local schools and sports teams. They need money too and will appreciate your donation.

4) Have hourly giveaways – gift cards to local restaurants and movie theaters.

Give something away every hour. Have visitors fill out an info card to enter the drawing for the prizes. Make sure you keep their information and enter it into your member management software so you can follow up with them about joining your Martial Arts school or gym.

5) Giveaway T-shirts with your business name and logo.

Drive around to local businesses, parks, and supermarkets. Invite the people you talk to into class. Have an appointment book on hand. Make sure they know about the Grand Opening celebration.

Remember that your Grand Opening doesn’t have to be just a one-day/evening event. Make the most of your new business opening. Consider running a one or two-week celebration to keep the excitement and momentum going.

Hope this helps,


Chuck Heacock is the owner of the Fitness Compound, a training facility that provides unparalleled fitness activities including Martial Arts classes, special boot camps, personal training, baseball, basketball, spinning, Zumba, cardio and more. Chuck is also a sought-after fitness industry consultant and a member of the Member Solutions Martial Arts Business Advisory Team.

How to Overcome Obstacles to Achieve Your Goals

Whether you’re striving to reach a high-growth target or achieve any meaningful objective for your Martial Arts school or Fitness business, you’re bound to be faced with obstacles along the way that will put your success at risk. The attitude you have and the actions you take during these critical moments will ultimately determine your success or failure.

The good news is that if you have a goal — or even one that is provided to you — many experts believe you are already half way to achieving success. You will certainly never achieve the goals you never set, so at a minimum, you are ahead of the game if you have established your goals.

Before we tackle how to overcome obstacles, there’s one more critical item to address in addition to setting a goal: that is giving you a deadline for when you want to achieve it. Without a timeframe, you are allowing yourself unlimited and acceptable delays to hinder achieving the success you want as soon as possible. Once you have a meaningful and measurable goal and a date to achieve it, I can assure you that Mr. Murphy will see to it that you have your fair share of obstacles to overcome!!

Attitude is the single most important component to overcoming obstacles because your attitude shapes your actions. I find it helpful to focus on the reason the obstacle exists in the first place: you’re trying to achieve a meaningful, worthwhile goal. Controlling your attitude is not easy to do, especially when the pressure is on. “When I changed my attitude, I changed the way I thought about my business. Doing this not only transformed my company but it changed my life,” says Mike Parrella, Member Solutions Advisory Team Member, and CEO of iLoveKickboxing.com and Full Contact Online Marketing.

Another helpful tip to help shape attitude is to be aware of the vocabulary you use and what words mean to you personally. Obstacles are often referred to as “problems,” which for many people has a more negative connotation. Some people like to refer to obstacles as “challenges” which creates a mindset that it can be overcome using wit. If you feel that “problems” are solvable, go with that. Ask yourself what vocabulary puts you in the best mindset.

The worst attitude you can have is one fueled by fear as this can lead to inaction. We naturally fear the consequences of our actions; and when obstacles arise, no action can have even greater ramifications to your success. If no action is a viable solution, then recognize that “no action” is an actionable decision.

As I’ve stressed, you”ll find that taking the right actions to overcome obstacles will be far easier with the right attitude, and this includes where you focus your attention. Focus on the goal, not the obstacle. If your goal is to grow your Martial Arts school by 50 students by the end of 2012, focus and plan on that end goal. Be prepared for obstacles but don’t let them derail you.

The specific actions you take are largely dependent on the challenge facing you, but here is what I find helpful when obstacles arise:

  1. Identify the obstacle and verbalize why it is in your way. Sometimes this exercise identifies non-priority obstacles that can be put aside because they have little or no impact on achieving your goal by your deadline.
  2. Your mind likes questions, so ask yourself if there is a way to avoid the obstacle. Can you circumvent it by taking a different course of action but still stay on the path towards your goal.
  3. If not, ask yourself what are other options available to you to overcome the obstacle and write them down. This exercise replicates self-brainstorming. One idea can lead to another, which just might be your solution.
  4. Get help! Others can sometimes see solutions not so obvious to us.
  5. If you are still stuck, you may need to focus on an alternative route towards your goal. Let’s cycle back to attitude. Did you fail or did you learn a way that didn’t work and now you are smarter? Keep trying.

Joe Galea is the President of Member Solutions. Galea, one of Member Solutions’ founders, has been counseling Martial Arts school owners for over 20 years, and spends part of every day speaking with clients and industry leaders.