Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lessons in Small Business Ownership

Oh, the things you learn in owning your own business. The more orders I take on the more and more I learn. While learning is invaluable, I’m hoping that at some point in the near future I will stop learning things the hard way.

Hello Cupcake is a one woman show. Undercharging on orders and money lost is literally money out of my pocket.

A few weeks ago I worked on a small order for a wedding up in Canada. The client ordered 24 of THESE over a month before their actual wedding date. Easy enough. Within the week I had the order finished and in the mail.

Since the order was shipping out of the country, I wasn’t able to track the shipment (which I do for any order over $10 in the US) but I did fill out a customs declaration form.

A week went by and the seller informed me that nothing had arrived. No problem, give it more time. Then another week and another week. Nothing. Ten days out from the wedding, a month since I had first shipped the item and still nothing.

I was at a cross road. There was still time to remake the order and get it in the mail, but at whose loss? Mine, the sellers or both?

After much consideration and talking to some friends who are Etsy buyers and of course my hubby, I decided to take the hit. Completely remake the order and ship it out again. I lost some money, but the client is happy.

Lesson Learned: Update my shipping policy for international orders and account for possible losses in the base price of the order.

What do you think? What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

Photo By:Christine Chang!

1 comment:

  1. You did the right thing in taking the loss. Although it wasn't your fault, as a small business you really want to try to keep the client happy. Also, you don't want any bad buzz circulating around hellocupcake. Smart move Stace:)