Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Common Mistakes Theme #2 - Test Things Out

So we're onto the second theme in the Mistakes Happen series - I'm sure you're already laughing at how similar Theme #1 sounded to you. Let's move right on into the second theme...

Theme #2 - Test Things Out

There are lots of techniques and tools out there, but just because other people have mastered them, doesn't mean you'll be able to pick it up over night. Test things out thoroughly before offering to charge money for it. Here's an example:

Remember these pretty pink silhouette little girl cards? We used little crystals on the fronts of the card, and I had heard somebody recommend self-sticking crystals, so I decided to use them. I spent hours attaching them to the cards, and once they were all done, I packaged them up and sent them off. A few days later my client emailed me to let me know that she got the cards, but all the crystals fell off. I was devastated. I reprinted all of the cards and used the clear crystals I had always used in the past (I knew they would stay glued forever!). The next day I wiggled each one to make sure they were secure, and then I sent them to my customer. My customer emailed me to say that the cards arrived and were in great shape, but that she had really needed pink crystals. I ended up mailing her a third batch of cards, without any crystals at all, so that she could try to find the exact pink ones she wanted. At the end of the day, my client was so fabulously understanding and patient, but I completely felt like a failure.

Lessons Learned:
  • Don't ship something new until your positive it's good quality
  • Communicate often - I should have told my customer that I was using clear crystals because the pink ones were back-ordered 
  • Do more research - don't take just one person's opinion. Or if you are taking somebody's opinion, test out a sample of something first
  • Double-check your work. When I switched to a new program for printing invitation envelope addresses, I found the new system botched a bunch of addresses. Unfortunately, I found out when my bride got all her invitations back.  
Anybody want to share how long their first orders with ribbons/crystals/bows/embellishments took to put together? Luckily my husband is super detail oriented, so he always helps me get things perfectly. But the very first order I had took us both nearly all night! 

Ready to learn a little more? Can you relate to Theme #3? It's all about learning to say no when people ask for favors - which is even harder when you know the person!

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