THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I'VE LEARNED RUNNING A BUSINESS
We have all had rough experiences in business. Every day and every project is different. I recently had an experience that all designers dread. The final printed project never got delivered.
This particular project was for an awesome couple who wanted some custom hand-lettering turned into buttons for their wedding (fun, right?!). The project had been great up until I found out that the buttons' delivery tracking number was showing they had been delivered, but the clients hadn't received them! With only 3 DAYS until their wedding, I wasn't sure what I could do to make things right. There wasn't enough time to reprint. And I was the one who was responsible for the print management! After having a moment of panic, I thought about my options.
I could say "Eff it. Not my problem."
I could storm over to their apartment and demand that their doorman was lying and he had INDEED received the package but was hoarding it because he had a button obsession.
I could think of a solution and take responsibilit y.
Option 2 was my favorite for a bit. But then I thought about my number one business value: a great client experience.
So I went back and looked at the tracking number, the delivery information, and the shipping address. I called the printer and spent about 20 minutes on the phone trying to figure out what could have happened to this big ol' box of buttons. Finally, we realized they had been sent to the billing address - my address!
I ran downstairs to my mailroom, and there they were. I was so happy, I broke out into song! ("I Can't Feel My Face" if you must know...). The next day I hand-delivered the package to my clients apartment. They happily had the buttons in their hot little hands with 2 days to spare, and I had the relief of knowing that I had taken care of them and their project.
The most important lesson I've learned running a business is that you have to be in it to help people. That's what matters at the end of the day. Not the money. Not the distinction. You just have to give people the best experience possible, which doesn't always come easy.
Above all else, I want my clients to know I have their backs, and I will do everything I can to help them.