Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Small Business Big Game

A few weeks ago my mom mentioned that we should sign up for the contest to win a Superbowl commercial. I'm not a big fan of contests because the amount of work required usually outweighs the terrible odds of winning, especially in nationwide contests. So I ignored her, especially because she didn't give me any details about how to enter or who was running it.

Last week an ad popped up in my Facebook feed, normally I pay about as much attention to these as I do my mom, but this one caught my attention. It was something along the lines of "Only 2 Days Left to Win a Super Bowl Commercial." In a moment of weakness, I clicked on it and started the entry process.

The first step was pretty easy: create an account and tell us about your business in 600 characters. I skipped the usual sappy story and went for something a little more obscure in the hopes that it might pique people's interest to at least visit our website. If I was going to lose, I might as well do it with a piece of writing that pleased me.

A couple of days later I was notified that I had made it through the first round (as I'm sure everyone had). This is when the real work kicked in. I had a choice to make: throw in the towel or go to work and play the game. The second round consists of 5 parts: answer 4 questions and create a 90 second video. Oye!

The challenge of putting together clear and succinct answers to broad questions about your business is enough to lose the interest of casual entrants and slow down those serious about competing. But a 90 second video . . . that is real work.

Now I have no hopes of winning this thing. We are a small seafood market in a tiny town in a tiny state. While we think of ourselves as big shots around town with pretty strong brand recognition, we are nothing when you leave our radius of influence. So, naturally, with dismal odds and hopes of maybe selling a few boxes of lobsters, I plunged in.

Why do they love your business? https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/ME/Gurnet-Trading-Co/387729/392096

What's your best advice? https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/ME/Gurnet-Trading-Co/387729/389628

What makes your business special? https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/ME/Gurnet-Trading-Co/387729/393548

What's been your proudest moment? https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/ME/Gurnet-Trading-Co/387729/400191

This was the toughest question. We have so many proud moments. We have survived the rise and fall of the urchin industry. We forced our way into the cutthroat lobster wholesale business. The retail market made it past the dreaded first year in which most small businesses fail. We managed through theft and vandalism. We held the top seat among local restaurants on Trip Advisor. We survived the Great Recession that closed so many. We were selected for an expose by a Boston TV news. We have been included in two books: one about the best lobster shacks in New England and another about unique New England stories. We even have the 10 Year milestone is in the review mirror. How do you pick just one thing? Pick something that can never be taken from you, because it runs deeper than awards or milestones.

90 Second Pitch: https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/ME/Gurnet-Trading-Co/387729

Well, I have answered the questions and submitted my video. Now all I have to do is get people to vote for me. LOL. So click on one of the links above and vote. You can vote once a day.