• The BIG Game Gives a Nod to Small Business

I am a “sort of” football fan. More college than pro. I think when I attend a pro game, that will change a little. But I digress. This Sunday is THE BIG GAME (am I allowed to use the words yet? Trying NOT to get sued LOL). As a PR girl, I ALWAYS look at the branding of the commercials. The messages fascinate me. The fact that entire fads are created in 30 seconds intrigues me (remember the “whassup” guys from the 90s?)

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As I am focusing on my brand and turning my side hustle into a small business, I am very interested in seeing 2 ads in particular. This year, GoDaddy is shifting from its overtly sexual (and frankly degrading) ads of the past few years to something that is actually more inline with what GoDaddy does–a tool for small business to create their online presence. In this year’s GoDaddy ad, someone is actually quitting their job “live.” Side hustlers everywhere just cheered and then sighed (wishing that was our story). Our mothers, on the other hand, clutched their pearls (smile).

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I believe the message behind this ad is that taking that step of creating a website of your dream business can ultimately lead to full-time self employment. Creating a website is on the short list of “must haves” for anyone who wants to or has a brand–bloggers, vloggers, small business owners, consultants, coaches, product makers, etc. This is a smart move on the part of one of the most popular domain and web hosting sites. I believe this message will definitely resonate with people who have been dreaming of starting their own business. And developing a website (or even a landing page) is one place to start.

intuitIntuit, makers of the uber popular QuickBooks and other popular small business products, will air the commercial of the winner of its Small Business, Big Game contest, GoldieBlox. For small and emerging businesses this is huge. The chance to have your brand featured in a commercial (on someone else’s dime) in front of MILLIONS is nothing short of miraculous. And unlike beauty pageants, even the runner ups are getting major publicity as well, including a business out of my home state of North Carolina.

Currently, FedEx is running a contest for a $25,000 small business grant contest (entries accepted until February 9, 2014). Big business recognizes that small businesses can help their big businesses grow and flourish.

So what are the lessons to take away from this?

  1. Start now, start somewhere. I know many of you have small businesses. Others I know have an idea. Start now by thinking. Do not allow physical, financial, technological or geographic limitations influence your thoughts. Write down EVERYTHING. Walk away from it for a while, but continue to think about it and jot down ideas as they come to you (you do use Evernote right? My favorite note-taking app EVER!). When you come back, begin to group your thoughts together. You don’t have to come up with a mission, vision, values statement right away; but you should be able to clearly articulate your ideas.
  2. Share your idea with a SELECT few. When you think you can articulate your idea, find a couple of people to share it with. Make sure whoever you choose is fair, objective and has a can-do attitude. I will say that family and close friends may not be the best people to bring in at this point. I was on a webinar recently and the person said (for the life of me I can’t think of who it was), “Dream killers are sometimes the people who love us most.” I know those that love you have your best interest at heart and don’t want to see you fail, disappointed or discouraged. But in order to see if this is truly a viable idea, you have to completely explore it–even if it’s only through conversation. If you don’t have anyone to share it with, feel free to set up a consultation with me!
  3. Find a coach and mentor. Marshawn Evans says that you cannot effectively coach yourself. I did not fully understand this until I started the process of building my brand (which was a hobby) into a business. A coach or (paid) mentor will really push and guide you in a way that you cannot motivate yourself. I have had 3 coaches in my life. And they have all come at strategic points in my development. I remain in contact with one previous coach and I am in a coaching group now. I am launching a coaching program in the next 15-30 days, if you would like more information on the launch, please consider signing up for the “group coaching” email list. It will resemble a graduate school co-hort–a mixture of group coaching and private 1:1 coaching and even access to my coaches.
  4. Invest in yourself. I completely understand that many of us start our businesses on shoestring budgets, at best. I have only one shoestring some times (smile). But in order to be taken seriously as a brand, you have to make some investments into yourself. Do not look at it as throwing money away, look at it as an investment into yourself, your family, your future. The investment could range from business cards to hiring a coach/mentor. While there are a lot of no cost or low-cost items out there, they are not always useful and effective.
  5. Buy a domain name. If you have a name selected for your brand, go ahead and buy the domain name. If you search for GoDaddy coupon codes online with the current month and year, you can usually buy a domain name for less than $5 (I’ve bought my last two for $1.99). Even if you’re not ready to launch a site, you have it. You will be amazed at how this small step can have big results in your brand self-confidence.
  6. Begin your business setup. This will be a long, daunting and sometimes frustrating process. I am speaking from experience here…smile. But it is necessary. I don’t intend to mess with the federal government (meaning the I. the R. and the S.) and I don’t want them messing with me. Start researching the process for establishing your business locally and with your state. Some parts of this process will take months and will have long periods of waiting. It’s during those times that you can do your creative work (logos, brand building, website creation, etc.). I would start this process sooner, rather than later. There are plenty of books online and in your library that can walk you through this process. This is also a point where a friend who own a small business can be helpful.

NOW is the time to begin working on your dream. It will take time, work and dedication. But the two Super Bowl commercials from GoDaddy and Intuit are illustrations that the smallest dreams can turn into the biggest realities.

I hope this post inspired you. Leave a comment below with one thing you plan to do to get you one step closer to your dreams (whether it’s small business or not).

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