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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mission: Small Business Grant



Several weeks ago, we began receiving emails from our fans/customers saying that we should apply for the Mission: Small Business Grant. Chase is giving Grants to 12 small businesses across the country who do some cool stuff, and we plan to do cool stuff!

We need 250 votes to be considered for the grant, and after only two days we already reached that goal thanks to all of our supporters! You're still eligible to vote for us through the rest of June though, and we're thinking that maybe if we have a strong show of support then we could get more serious consideration (though they don't say that anywhere in their guidelines for the Grant application or anything).

The competition for these Grants is fierce, but if we did win we would put the money towards hiring additional staff to help with video and photo post-production as well as customer service. These are our two most important aspects of what we do, and even though we have what many would consider to be a strong reputation for our product reviews/education and our service, there's so much more we want to do. We have ideas just pouring out of us, so much so that we're throttled only by our time.

So if you haven't already, go HERE and search for Goulet Pen Company. The site will make you log in to Facebook to vote, which we wish wasn't the only option but it is (sorry, we would have loved a one-click link to take you right there, but we didn't set this part up).

Thanks so much for your help! Write On ;)

16 comments:

  1. Hope you get the grant. Because I really appreciate what you are doing for fountain pen world either as a company and a family.

    Best

    Zeynep (Istanbul)

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  2. I'm so glad you got your 250 votes!  I don't have facebook anymore and don't want to be on it, so I couldn't vote or I would have.  I am praying for you guys to get a grant!!  :)

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  3. Adding to the total - #383

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  4. Haha, thanks! We hit it and then some ;) 

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  5. Well, the odds are slim, but hopefully they like our story. A lot of the other companies entering are true 'local' companies, but online only companies are eligible, and we do a lot locally for our community through our staff and local suppliers. Plus, we explained the whole fountain pen 'community', and how we're serving it even though geographically we're spread all over. We'll see what they think!

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  6. Ah that's okay. If I had my choice I wouldn't have run the voting through Facebook, but that wasn't up to us. But we at least got our votes to be considered, and we'll see how it goes!

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  7. Awesome, thanks! I'm just floored :) 

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  8. So much for that. I would have added my support except that I don't have FB and never will. Why does so much good stuff have to be exclusive to FB?

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  9. I know, I know....I really would have loved to NOT have it be on FB...but it's Chase that set it all up, oh well. Still, I'm glad to know you would have voted otherwise :) 

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  10. You deserve the grant. I teach a Consumer Psychology course and use Goulet Pens as a case study in successful use of multimedia and social media to run a small business. This is why you are succeeding in a market where other well-established retailers have ceased operations.

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  11. Wow, thanks! I'm honored, not only because you (clearly) have a good idea what you're talking about, but also because you're using us as a model! Gary Vaynerchuck was my inspiration with WineLibraryTV, I took a lot of the good stuff he was doing there and adapted it to the fountain pen world while working my own strengths. 

    I don't know exactly if their intention was for choosing companies with a strong local focus (geographically)...if they like our story of being involved in a 'community' that's not geographically close but instead is close by passion and interest, then we'll definitely have a real shot. It's just hard to tell. The good thing about it, even if we don't get it, is that it caused us to really think what we will continue to do in the future as we grow.

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  12. I'd vote but I don't have the "mark" for internet communication....

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  13. I appreciate your support nonetheless ;) 

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  14. As usual I am playing catch-up. So this was 3 mos. ago. Have you heard anything yet from the grant people?

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  15. Nope, didn't get it. Oh well. It's actually for the best, doing an aggressive LivingSocial campaign (which would have been part of the deal for getting the money) likely would have really hurt our business anyway. And anytime you have a huge influx of cash/attention it's sort of like winning the lottery....it's exciting and all for a while, but a year later, the winner has usually spent it all and has nothing to show for it. It would have been a big disruption to our normal way of doing business, which I actually think is pretty good as it is.

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