Although the pandemic has shut down many things, creativity in the form of entrepreneurship is not one of them. While an overwhelming number of small businesses (100,000) have permanently closed their doors due to COVID-19, many new businesses are rising from the ashes.¹ New entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate to fill the new, and changing, needs of consumers in this pandemic era.

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics indicate there is an increase of roughly 31 percent new businesses applications filed weekly this year, compared to 2019.² However, starting a business during a pandemic is only half the challenge — figuring out how to generate consumer attention and earn sales, from a distance, is an equally important task to ensure your new business venture literally pays off.

For new businesses, there are a few key factors to consider to hit the ground running: generating buzz about your products or services, showcasing your businesses, and both engaging and gaining customers. If you’re starting a business, we’ve got you covered. Read on or skip to our infographic as we reveal 10 virtual grand opening ideas for your small business.

Announce your new business on social media

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Wallpaper instructions: Download the pdf then edit with your custom text. Save your custom wallpaper and upload to your instagram for sharing.

1.Hire a celebrity or local influencer to promote your products or services

Have you ever wanted something just because your favorite celebrity had it? Guilty! Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most effective and efficient ways to promote a business and broaden your reach to customers. Although hiring an influencer could be pricey, having their dedicated fanbase learn about your products or services could be extremely beneficial.

When choosing an influencer to promote your brand, look for ones that match your company’s values and can influence your target market. Additionally, make sure they have a dedicated following and engagement on their social media channels — that will increase the likelihood of your brand or products being seen. Once you’ve identified what you’re looking for in an influencer, finding one is easy. One way to find an influencer is to leverage social media hashtags. You can search for hashtags like #sponsored, #ad, #blogger, or #influencer on Instagram and vet the results to find a profile/influencer that you think would be a good fit to promote your brand.

You can also use online tools to find influencers and check their engagement rates. These tools can help you to further evaluate what their influence may be worth. Once you find a potential influencer, make sure to reach out with a compelling proposal and call to action.

2. Create a hashtag for a social media campaign

So what’s the deal with hashtags? A tweet with one or more hashtags is 55% more likely to be retweeted.³ Hashtags also work on Instagram, and can help customers weed through the noise on social media and find your business.

Creating a fun and easy-to-remember hashtag is a great way to promote your grand opening and get your business trending — did we mention it’s free?

3. Distribute an opening day discount code

Coupons in the form of discount codes can be an effective strategy to introduce new customers to your business and its offerings, and encourage them to try something new. In addition to encouraging new customers to try your services or products, a discount code could drive more traffic to your store or site.

Social media makes it easy to distribute discount codes to your audience by sharing a photo or wallpaper on your account detailing the code and its discount toward your purchase. Another technique is to have potential customers share their email address in order to receive the discount, which allows you to later share important news on your business, products, or other discounts with those on the email list.


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Wallpaper instructions: Download the pdf then edit with your custom text. Save your custom wallpaper and upload to your instagram for sharing.

Showcase your business from a distance

4. Live stream your grand opening

A live stream is a great way to introduce your business, without the crowds and from a safe distance. During a live stream, community members and potential customers can view a ribbon cutting, see the business doors open for the first time, and feel the excitement of a grand opening from the comfort of their own homes.

Not only will customers appreciate the invitation to be a part of the big day, it’s a great way to get a number of eyes on your business. In fact, video consumption is at its highest yet, due to COVID-19.4 Make your grand opening feel like the real deal and go all out with decorations, balloons, music and more.

5. Showcase your business with a 3D tour

With a virtual tour, you can give your audience a realistic idea of what your business is like, before they even have to visit your location. Given the current pandemic, being able to showcase your business, products, and values from afar is more important than ever.

This first impression can help potential clients decide whether or not they’re interested in your products or service — and hopefully give you a competitive edge among other similar businesses.

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6. Share a video reel of your business

Did you know that video content represents around 80% of internet traffic?5 It’s also a fun and simple way to tell your brand story, and continue to grow your brand. By sharing your video reel on a top video-sharing platform, you could increase your business’ reach to potential customers.

Almost all social media platforms have tools for you to create and share your own video reel.

Here are some of the most popular video-sharing platforms:

  • YouTube: 2 billion monthly users
  • Instagram TV (IGTV): 1 billion
  • TikTok: 800 million active users
  • Vimeo: 240 million active users

Within a video reel, you could display new products or services, educate your audience on your expertise or journey to begin your small business, take viewers behind the scenes of your business, or announce sales.

7. Send mailers to local business or potential customers

Sending a themed mailer or promotional package to potential customers or local businesses owners is a great way to introduce your new business to the community. Within the mailer you can share information to educate the receiver, and offer product samples or discounted services to get them excited about what you’re offering. Sometimes the best way to get new customers, especially during this pandemic, is to physically put your products in their hands.

Increasing customer engagement on opening day

8. Do an online giveaway on your opening day

An opening day giveaway can engage potential customers, and create a great first impression for your brand. If your giveaway is done correctly, it can also build a strong following for your business if you have people follow, share, and post your content in order to win the prize.

By incentivizing people to follow your brand, boosting engagement, and building brand awareness, a giveaway is a low-cost way to promote your new business.

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Wallpaper instructions: Download the pdf, then edit with your custom text. Save your custom wallpaper and upload to your instagram for sharing.

9. Stream a live Q&A

Another way to engage with new customers is to host a live Q&A , where viewers can ask you questions about your business, expertise or your “why.” Getting these insights directly from the business is a great way to educate consumers and increase brand loyalty.

Host this event on opening day and invite friends, family, or any potential new customer to participate.

10. Create an online pop-up shop

A pop-up shop is a temporary retail space where you can promote or sell your products or services — you can also do it online with a temporary site. Use this as a way to showcase feature items, collections, or information for a short period of time and garner consumer excitement. The great part about an online pop-up shop is that it can have a theme to celebrate your opening day—make sure it’s fun, exciting and all about the experience. Furthermore, the temporary shop may also provide a sense of urgency for your customers to explore your products or services before the site expires.

Even through a pandemic, opening a business is an exciting event — so be proud, and make sure you’re taking the time to celebrate the product of all of your hard work. Starting a business during COVID-19 may be a challenge, so let us make the process easier. Get a quote to make sure your business is protected today.