LoudounPreneur entrepreneurial newsletter
 Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave
March 2015

Put the "Grand" in "Grand Opening"

You've worked hard for a long time to get your business off the ground. Finally, you're ready for your grand opening. How can you get customers to come to your big event, and make it so unique that the press wants to cover it?


First of all, do something more memorable than just a ribbon-cutting. Offer a hands-on activity, or stage a photo that will go viral on social media.


For example, Top of the Podium is a new Loudoun business that's a state-of-the-art youth wrestling facility. Their grand opening is next weekend, March 14 and 15. Instead of just a ribbon-cutting, they're offering activities that will let kids who've never wrestled before experience the sport for the first time.


This is the kind of grand opening event that will get parents and kids to invite their friends, post photos on social media, and talk about it afterward. The result will be free publicity for the business.


The best kind of grand opening allows guests to interact with your product or service. When Easterns Automotive had their grand opening in Loudoun, they allowed guests to take selfies in beautifully restored classic autos, and drive around the lot in sleek, high-end sports cars.


Opening a pet-related business? Host a dog show at your grand opening. Do you sell food? Offer a month's worth of free items to people who agree to camp out in line for your grand opening. Does your company have anything to do with clothes? Give a seminar on how to dress for success, or have a photographer take glamour shots of teens wearing your outfits.


If you don't sell anything tangible, you can get publicity for your grand opening by partnering with a nonprofit organization. That's what new Loudoun business SpeedPro Imaging did this week when they announced their year-long partnership with Loudoun Interfaith Relief at their grand opening.


If you did something unique that made your grand opening successful, tell us about it. Send your story to: LoudounBiz@Loudoun.gov.

Events and Training
How to Build a Rockin' Web Presence on a Shoestring

The SCORE Association hosts this online training that covers key points, from how to effectively assess your online needs, to how to maintain a website once it's online.

Date: Thursday, March 12

Time: 1 p.m.

Place: Online webinar

Cost: Free


Start Your Business

Learn about creating a business plan, sources of financing, taxes, licensing, marketing, and insurance.

Date: Thursday, March 12

Time: 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Place: Mason Enterprise Center, 202 Church St., Leesburg

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door


Getting in on the Benefits of LinkedIn

Learn how to use LinkedIn to generate leads and build your prospects list.

Date:  Thursday, March 19

Time:  6 - 8:30 p.m.

Place: GWU-Ashburn, 20101 Academic Way, Exploration Hall Room 101

Cost:  $25 online, $30 at the door


Loudoun Small Business Week

Save the dates! May 11 - 17, Loudoun Economic Development and our partners will offer a wide variety of events and networking activities for county businesses. Look for more details in the April issue of this newsletter; in the meantime, see if there's a picture of you in the photo album from last year.

Read It and Reap

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

This bestseller argues that the key to success is understanding how habits work, whether it's how to maintain a regular exercise schedule or how to be more productive at work. It not only tells you how to gain good habits, but also how to kick bad ones. This book has interesting stories, from business boardrooms to the front lines of the civil rights movement. According to many positive reviews, it's not only a manual for change, but also a very good read. Check it out for free from the Loudoun County Public Library.

Gut Check From a Guru

"It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen."

-- Scott Belsky, Co-founder of Behance