Launch

Congratulations – you are almost ready to launch! Before you do, take this time to tackle some administrative tasks.

Build your network.

Get connected to the business development and business support organizations that can help you promote, launch, and grow your business.

Read more:

Connect:

  • Fairfax County is home to more than 20 chambers of commerce and nonprofit development organizations. Search this interactive map to find the closest business support organizations.
  • More than 200 trade associations and business development organizations are located in the area. See the list here.
  • If your business involves a destination activity, connect with Visit Fairfax, Fairfax County’s Destination Marketing Organization to learn how they can promote your business.

Learn more:

Get ready to connect with potential clients and customers.

Consider your clients and your industry.

Your business model and your client base will be the best determiners of your social media strategies. Are your customers most likely to be on LinkedIn? Instagram? Facebook? Be where they are.

Read more:

Refresh Your Website

You don’t need to know how to code to build a website. Many platforms offer pre-built shells into which you can drop your content.  Free guides exist online. Several Fairfax CORE resource partners offer classes to assist in website building.

Make sure to keep your content fresh and relevant by updating it regularly.

  • Change your photos often. This is a quick visual clue that your content has been updated.
  • If you have inventory on your website, try to make sure that you have it in stock, or note when it will return.
  • Blogging is a terrific informal way of providing new information and keeping customers coming back to your site.

Invest in Your Customers.

Capture customer contact information and use it.

  • Create an email newsletter and set a schedule to deliver it.
  • Establish a loyalty program to incentivize repeat purchases and referrals.
  • Encourage and reward publicity and promotion by your customers.
  • Always ask how they found you – knowing which of your marketing efforts works is key to deciding your next investment.

Explore Alternative Marketing Platforms.

  • Create a Reel showing how you do what you do.
  • Consider social media ads.
  • Think hyper-local; support your local community through ads and sponsorships to get your name out there.

Don’t Be Shy. It’s OK To Self-Promote.

  • Tell your customers what you are doing. Show off new products and skills. Let them know that you are working to expand your skills and stay current with your business.
  • Promote your colleagues, related businesses, and community.

Remember, consistency and adaptability are key. Experiment with different strategies, measure results, and adjust your approach based on what works best for your unique business.

Sign up for newsletters and bookmark pages.

By now, you have identified several Fairfax CORE resource partners. As your business grows, your needs will change. At the same time, our resource partners’ offerings are expanding.

Sign up for newsletters and email blasts to be informed of new opportunities.  Some to consider include:

Bookmark Pages to Keep Informed

Plan Your Grand Opening

Planning a grand opening for your business is an exciting endeavor! It’s a chance to make a memorable first impression on your community and potential customers. Consider:

Plan Ahead

  • What is your vision for the event? Will there be speeches, ribbon-cutting, product demos, or entertainment?
  • How many people do you expect? Do you have adequate parking and restroom facilities?
  • If your grand opening includes activities that are not part of your usual business model (for example, food service, bounce houses, live animals) be sure to ask whether additional permits may be necessary.
  • Before your grand opening, make sure that you have your Non-Residential Use Permit posted in your space. If you need a refresher, visit the Location Subguide.

Read more:

Connect:

  • Zoning Permits Section by phone at 703-222-1082 or by email.

Develop the Guest List

  • Invitations to the grand opening is a nice way to thank the team that got you ready to open.
  • Including the neighbors is a great way to meet them.
  • Send an announcement to your local chamber(s) of commerce and to your elected officials. They always appreciate knowing who is new to the neighborhood.

Promote the Event:

  • If space and programming allows for an “open” invitation, use various channels to spread the word: social media, local newspapers, flyers, and community boards.
  • Set up signs outside your building to direct people to the event location.
  • Connect with your locality to determine what types of temporary signage are permissible.

Giveaways, Samples, or Raffles:

  • Depending on your circumstances, providing samples can create awareness and enthusiasm for your products or services. These opportunities can help you market your event.

Tours:

  • Be prepared to show off your space. Offer guided tours and explain what makes your business unique.

Local Partnerships:

  • Collaborate with neighboring businesses. They can help promote your grand opening, and you can reciprocate by supporting their events.

Capture the Moment:

  • Take lots of photos and videos to use on your website, social media, and future marketing materials.
  • Send them to the local newspapers and advertising platforms for additional coverage.

Remember, a grand opening isn’t just about celebrating—it’s an opportunity to create lasting connections, build brand awareness, and set the stage for your business’s success!

Set up reminders for important future obligations.

Some of the commitments you may want to track include permit/licensing renewals/expirations, loan payments, inspections, tax filing deadlines, and networking/education opportunities. Make a commitment to revisit and update your business plan annually. And don’t forget to set a celebratory reminder – you did it!


FIND RESOURCES

Find resources to grow and improve your Fairfax County business.


HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Fairfax County every day.


STAY UP TO DATE

Our newsletter delivers insights, inspiration and events to keep you growing and knowing.