Being a business owner is, in a way, like being a King.
You decide everything – when to wake up, when to go to work, who will work with you – you are the boss of all bosses, the King!
Or are you?
It seems that whoever invented the phrase “the customer is always right” must have been a customer (not necessarily) because, the customer takes all that royalty feeling out of it all and turns you into the best of servants. And the better the customer is, the better servant you become. And it’s funny, because, we want customers (I am not sure about “want” but we definitely need them), and hope to satisfy them as much as possible so they will return.
Well, as in life, at the end of the day (regardless we are always King) customers are regular people – some are good, some are great and some we hope to never meet again – and I can honestly say that, most of the customers that passed through the business were and are wonderful.
One last thing before I start my story – as an independent owner you have (hopefully) numerous customers as opposed to being an employee when you have only one – your boss…
So, one of my most important customers, and one of the nicest people I know, ordered custom made bed linen in various Pantone colors – 6 to be exact.
The easiest way would be to find fabric or even bed linen from the shelf in these tones – but unfortunately there was no such luck.
So – after all I am a textile designer – I decided to create them, custom make them exactly to fit my customers desires.
A good friend of mine – also a textile designer – specifies in dying, and after consulting with her, we decided to spray the tones on white bedlinen fabric, using a hand spray gun…
Which was great BUT it is close to impossible to hand spray an exact tone of blue – “It has to be this Pantone Blue!” (not in a very friendly tone…) “and the other tones must be exact as well!!”.
At this point I was the complete opposite of being a King, all sweaty and nervous, seeing the poor results and understanding that I am looking at failure.
I have come to learn that failure is an important part of being an entrepreneur – everybody fails, everybody makes mistakes, and you will not find even one business owner that will say otherwise – failure is part of the foundations of who you are as a person, and what your business will turn out to become.
Back to the bedlinen…
For me these points of failure are the ones when I take control, calculate time, variables, expenses etc’ and plan a way to fulfill my goals – and provide what I have promised. At this point, the outcome is beyond the customer, even beyond money, it’s a challange, a quest I must conquer.
Long story short – we tried a different technique, succeeded –
And we even supplied on time