I’ve never seen a baby at age 1 jump up and bolt across an Olympic athletics track. Similarly as entrepreneurs, it’s necessary to learn the ins and outs of running a successful business. You may have all the zeal in the world. Your competitive advantage may be well figured out. You may even have the capital necessary to accomplish your startup objectives, but somewhere along the way, you’re going to make mistakes. Here are three rookie mistakes that I’ve made in my initial months of chief of my company.


Undercharging Clients

In the earlies, you often walk a thin line between wanting to generate profit and knowing the value of your product or service. The truth is, in our Caribbean culture, people oft want the most valuable of things to be within the price range that they want and not necessarily a price reflective of its value. As such, I remember giving a client a ridiculously under priced quotation on a job which was worth about five times the amount I charged them. It’s important to research pricing prior to setting up shop and also important to note that sometimes, it’s OK to set a price just below market value as a way to attract potential buyers. Lastly, a mentor counselled me to make it clear the original price on your invoice and make the discounted percentage even clearer so that your customer can see value of your product.


Thinking That Everyone Could Be Your Client

At a friend’s wedding in Toronto, where I helped organise, she really wanted poutine served at her midnight buffet. Poutine, a French Canadian dish comprises of cheese curds sprinkled over a bed of hot fries and smothered in a rich gravy. When I contacted a renowned vendor enquiring about the possibility of them catering the treat, after stating that the venue hadn’t the kitchen facilities, the business owner simply said that he couldn’t do it. His reasoning was that if he couldn’t prep the fries on location, it would ruin the integrity of his brand- which dictates everything being freshly made and delivered. So too should we have that understanding and always seek out our ideal client.


Clients Not Wanting To Sign Contracts

So here’s the scenario: potential client agrees to employ my services. The said client has known my parents for decades. That said client leverages her friendship with them to seemingly dodge the contractual agreement that was needed to legitimise the business arrangement. Smart me still sends electronic copy of what was discussed. Week before due date to collect monies owed, said client  does not pay. Client, unimpressed with the quality [read amazingly high quality] declares that they’d only be paying me one quart of agreed upon price. Nonetheless, I was able to remind said client about the work that was done, dismiss the filibustering of not wanting to pay full price, receive cheque and learn a very valuable lesson about not beginning to do any work until client has signed legal documents.