I owe you all a sincere apology -I am sorry!
A month ago, Chase (my beloved bank) in cahoots with Living Social, sent me a very unassuming email about a promotion to win a chance at a $250,000 small business grant. “Grant” of course meaning “free”. All we had to do was harang our beloved Facebook fans and friends and beg them to deem PLC worthy by making them jump through various difficult hoops to vote for us on their Facebook page. That, and for me to write a few short essays basically defining what makes us unique and how would we spend such an exorbitant amount of money to ensure our long-term growth and stability…
Ah, but alas, I went against my own intuition, good sense and experience and decided to jump into this bizarre competition.
Mea culpa, I can no longer subscribe to this because it goes against my heart – it feels greedy and just plain wrong. I am not saying that PLC couldn’t use a nice little cash injection to invest in our future, but this doesn’t feel like the right way to go about it. And, while we and other businesses run around begging for votes, tripping the light fantastic, we are all sure as heck doing a whole lot of advertising for Chase and Living Social…? I can’t but help to ask myself if this is a contest or a test of cons?
It seems wildly ironic to me that a banking institution would participate in such a contest! Because, for those of you like myself, who courted various banks for start-up funds, they made it very, very clear that nothing short of sure thing, a large chunk of interest, and three times the amount of collateral to back it up would be worth batting an eye lash at… “dream” and “chance” do not exist in banking terminology and that is a very good thing, indeed!
There is no magic pill! I know this! I’ve always known this! Immediate gratification is what you get by eating chocolate, but not running and growing a successful small business. I will not jeopardize our long-term growth with short-term band-aid strategies. Free money… yeah, sure! But at what cost?
So, to the 73 of you that voted for us – thank-you! I will give you each a truffle of your choice – BTW this would be considered a “bribe” by the contest standards and against the rules. Phooey! Consider this an official disqualification!
I still love you Chase! – you are a great institution and you have helped my business a lot – Thank-you, but no thanks for your contest!
What makes PLC unique? You do, our wonderful customers!! We are like small, giddy children doing what we love to do each and every day- playing with chocolate, and looking to you for acceptance. And you have rewarded us with an abundance of kindness and your love in return; you buy our products and come back and buy more – and sometimes you reward us with the most special gift of all – you bring in a guest or buy a gift card or gift from us for someone you care for. What a great honor! We are so very grateful!!! What more could we ask for?
This was a good exercise for me personally and professionally. In writing these contest essays, I was able to review and re-vamp our business plan – always a good idea!
We will continue to grow the old fashioned way; by providing you the very best quality products and service that we possibly can. Is it really that simple? Yes, I believe it is!