Thursday, 22 October 2015

lessons from the trenches

I regularly stuff up at this having-your-own-business lark. Earlier this year I had trouble getting cash payments from a client so I decided that in future I would ask people to confirm bookings with direct payment to a bank account.

That worked until I had a call from a woman who had a baby crying in the background and sounded stressed. I asked for the direct payment but she said something about the in laws paying, she also had an American accent and I know Americans are (or have been) a little leery of direct transfer so I said cash on the day would be fine.
So far I have had two 1 am cancellations for a booking on that day and one request for same day service which was subsequently cancelled.
Not to mention that after telling her the price once and correcting her twice she still offered me an amount lower than my fee.

Maybe sleep deprivation has adled her brain, maybe she is in a tough spot personally but never again. Payment can be upfront and babies can scream the house down while I painstakingly write down an email address and send out an agreement with cancellation fees detailed.


  1. Sigh.
    Tired she may be, but she is also mannerless. And exemplifies the reason that upfront payments are needed.
    Good luck.

  2. EC
    Thank you!
    your comment prompts me to ask: when did plain old tiredness become sleep deprivation, anyways?

  3. About the same time that people stopped getting colds. They only have flu. And when all headaches became migraines.
    Drama is all.
    And anyone who has been sleep deprived, had flu or a migraine knows the difference...

  4. A sad commentary on the morals of the client. I would not go there again if I were you. My niece runs a home made cake business from her home and often gets new referrals and some of them have behaved exactly like your client did. I know how you feel when you get shortchanged like that.

  5. Ramana,
    It boggles me that perfectly nice people seem to have such gaps in their manners.
    I try to assume that there is some factor I dont know about.

  6. The difficult thing about service payment is you can always take goods back but once service is performed there is no way to recoup it if someone decides to not pay or pay a reduced amount. About the only thing you can do is get it up front or opt to have no dealing with them again.

    Oh and I like the new profile picture!

  7. Anne,
    Right, service can't be taken back and working in the client's home means I cant even lock them in and call the police (if I was going to do a thing like that)
    i will get the right system and stick with it, i just have to be assertive and consistent.

    glad you like the pic :)

  8. Americans are not leery of direct pay, a little new to it on the service end like card readers plugged into a phone sort of direct pay--simply stated as a whole we are a cheap lot and spend most of our money on weapons.

  9. Mark,
    I must have been given a bum steer about the money side of it!
    I find the gun thing baffling.

  10. Running your own business is full of headaches like that, from what I gather. Give someone an inch and they take a mile. As you say, apparently nice people can have appalling manners. Pretending they misheard the fee is a very cheap trick.

  11. nick,
    I am ever so slowly learning to navigate all this stuff and apart from the logistical headaches it's fascinating to meet all different people all the time.


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