Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year’s Business Resolution

Warning: Somewhat of a rant coming down the pike)
Sometimes, in the course of doing business, you have those days (or customers) that make you want to grab you keys, lock the door, get in the car and drive til the gas runs out without looking back. Of course you don’t but it isn’t because the fantasy doesn’t occur to you.
Our business is creative and technical and wonderful and hectic.  In this new year, I’ve made a few business resolutions that are intended to preserve my sanity while dealing with customers, deadlines and being pulled in different directions.

I have a tendency to skip over my own rules and procedures that I have in place sometimes causing issues that are the reason I created them in the first place. You know…. When you trust a customer  (or employee) and they disappoint.  This makes me my own worst enemy.

I also sometimes allow people to talk me into (or out of) things I know better than to do… either a heavily discounted price for a sob story or including multiple versions of a design without charging an editing fee for my time.  I can be a bit “lax” about invoice collections, late fees or allowing customers to go past their terms. All this does is teach customers that your time is not valuable and, believe me, they rarely appreciate it and expect it from then on.

 Lastly, I sometimes let customers dictate things I KNOW won’t work in the name of service to appease them and prove it. Customer asking for lettering that’s too small for the application or fabric type or trying to cram WAY too much text into a tiny area of the design will demand that I try it any way and then say, “Oh yea, that’s too small” or ‘That doesn’t work”.  *eye roll*  Of course they expect me to redo it at no charge that way it should have been from the beginning.

You know, I’ve been digitizing commercially for over 22 years and I can tell by looking at a design what will work and what will not.  I know better than to let customers run me, but we all want to please our customers so we deal with it and call it service. 

This year, my resolution is to follow my own rules and stand firm on the procedures I’ve set in place.  Work smarter, stick with my pricing schedule and stop being a pushover with my time. If I have to “fire” a few customers, then so be it.  After all, It’s not personal, It’s business.

Rant over!  Off the soapbox now!  Onward and Upward!

Any of these issues sound familiar?   Do you need to organize better?  Stick to your prices?  Stand by your procedures or create some? 

What are your business resolutions for 2016?  Do share!

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