The devil’s in the details

April 4, 2017

Whomever first said the devil’s in the details was right. So right. Too right. It’s going to be a couple more weeks until my new business goes public, I’m sad to report. Here’s what happened:

Several of my offerings required printing and because I wanted a quality product, I worked with a reputable large printer in another state.  My designer had offered a type font for some of the pieces that I wasn’t crazy about. It was ok, but, in retrospect and for other reasons, I should’ve pushed harder for a different font. Lesson learned for next time.

The best laid plans

Because I used a traditional printer, I was overnighted printing proofs when the job was ready to print. As a good printer would do. And that’s when the proverbial shiz hit the fan.

The printed pages looked like bad photocopies. I knew the proofs were actually printed as the pieces would be and I couldn’t understand why it didn’t look as high quality as I knew it was. The printer rep and I went over everything–the paper, the ink and more until finally, we realized that the problem was the type font. No lie.

The font had variable strokes and one letter in particular had a very thin stroke on one end. So thin that it looked like the ink wasn’t picking up. It wasn’t the ink. It was the font. That made it look like a bad copy, instead of a beautiful printed piece.

That little detail, of all the details involved in this work, ended up costing me three weeks. Because my job came out of the printing queue while we tried to solve it. The printer did solve it, but it took time–by that time my little job had been pushed to lower priority by bigger, more significant jobs. And there went my launch date.

Hello, Murphy. Now go away!

Since we’re leaving for France May 10 I had to decide if I wanted to launch anyway OR wait till mid June. I decided to launch anyway.

Any entrepreneur will admit that Murphy’s Law is a big risk in a startup and some of my decisions definitely gave Murphy’s Law reason to apply. I should have replaced that font at the beginning. In fact, I should have considered whether the designer was really giving me her best work way back at the start. I let things spiral out of control. The decisions I made to go with the status quo aren’t like me, but I have to own them. Just as I own this delay.

I lost my entrepreneurial virginity on this business. If I were to do this again, I’d do it differently.  Ideas for new offerings are swirling in my head and I’m now better equipped to handle implementation. But it was a hard lesson.

What was the best lesson you learned when starting a business — or in business at all?


35 comments on “The devil’s in the details
  1. robin masshole mommy says:

    Oh man, so sorry for the delay. I always say that everything happens for a reason, though.

  2. Hope everything sorts itself out for you.

  3. Carolann says:

    Delays are inevitable it seems. I think these are the most valuable lesson for any business owner for sure. Excited to see your launch!

  4. You have certainly had your fair share of setbacks with this Carol – it will make implementation and a successful rollout all the more sweet.

  5. Kristy says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with you

  6. GiGi Eats says:

    PATIENCE. PATIENCE. PATIENCE. I am still working on this as I struggle with “waiting around”… Which is why I am ALWAYS trying to accomplish other things as I “wait” for other things to manifest!

  7. Donna says:

    I learned nothing is perfect,and just keep going forward. No matter what things happen, we deal with imperfect people and imperfect situations. And its ok. Things work out and all things work to our good. We made soooo many mistakes, mostly money mistakes. My clients know I care deeply about them, that I will do the best job I can each and every time. But things happen….sometimes big things happen…but forgiveness is key, gratitude is essential and hard work is a given. When I am grateful and forgiving, solutions appear, energy remains positive and success reigns. Years ago I listened to Neil Gaiman who said you only need to do 3 things…be on time, have a great product and be nice….sometimes you only need to do 2!and sometimes only 1!….I realized from an early mentor that there are no business problems, only people problems. You are going to be fine, the bumps you are experiencing will enlighten you later, all things work to our good.

  8. stacey says:

    You have to go with your instincts even after you get expert advice. You know your product better than anyone and it represents you in the end. Know that you are not alone and that setbacks are part of the process. Bon voyage!!

  9. We are sure that from now you will only have successes. Many of us have been through difficult times. Even we, the front of the website Cuidadores Online, here in Brazil..well.. we feel it.

    A hug of success!

  10. I feel your pain! It is very difficult to start a new small business. The businesses that we depend on for items, construction, printing and all the legal aspects are much more of a challenge for the little guy than the big guys with lots of money to throw at it. And yes MURPHY is always out there trying his best to challenge you.Here I am almost four and a half years in and I am currently struggling with computer software upgrades and the implementation of it to my business. Being a woman doesn’t make it any easier I swear I hear the tech guys sighing on the phone. I have actually said “really because I used to be in tech and I know exactly what I am doing your piece of software is messed up NOT ME, now get me a manager on the phone. Persevere my friend and in the end all will be wonderful!.

  11. Barbara says:

    I could tell you about the health spa that ate my house, but I won’t.

  12. Most people wouldn’t start their own business if they saw all the headaches involved, especially in the beginning. This will all be in the past soon and your new venture – and adventure! – will be a huge success!

  13. Launching is so complicated. I’m helping a client launch a vegan course and it’s so tricky. Fonts are also tricky not only print but on the web. Some don’t show up well on certain browsers. It’s important to check them all as well as mobile.

  14. I want to do an ebook, I will keep this in mind!

  15. Sheryl Kraft says:

    It’s so tough to be patient when you’re so excited about a new project. I’m sorry you’re dealing with these struggles, but be confident that in the end, it’ll all work out. That may sound pie-in-the-sky, but it’s true…it usually does!

  16. Amber Myers says:

    I’ve never launched a business before so I have no tips. I imagine it can get tricky at times and you need a lot of patience!

  17. Jessica Taylor says:

    That sucks! I wish I had some tips to give you, but I’ve never started a business before.

  18. Kim says:

    Starting your own business always has so many hiccups! It’s why many people don’t have the guts to do it. Hoping everything gets straightened out!

  19. Sorry to hear about the delays but the issues that you have faced as an entrepreneur is something I am sure we have all faced at some point. Keep going, I know you can do it x x

  20. Julie says:

    It’s certainly annoying. You hire people and hope they will do their best work. Glad you caught it and can rework things to your vision. Best wishes for a successful venture!

  21. Sorry there are so many snafu’s hitting you – especially right before a trip abroad. That’s got to be discouraging. Keep pushing through though – it’ll all come out in the end, and you’ll be so proud to have accomplished the goal.

  22. Sorry to hear that everything went sideways. It’s hard when you are relying on someone else to do your work when you are just starting out. Unfortunately, you can’t do everything and so you have to rely on people. All you can do is learn and move on.

  23. Kelly Reci says:

    hope everything went well for you! just pray and move on!

  24. Elizabeth O. says:

    Things will never go as planned especially when it comes to these things. You handled it well though and it’s okay if it’s a little delayed, don’t beat yourself up because of it, every good thing in this world is always worth the wait. Keep that in mind.

  25. Starting a business, whether big or small, always involves risks. It always a matter of how ready you are for them, and what countermeasures you have prepared for the potential loss. I wish you luck in your business, and hope things will be smooth-sailing from now on. 🙂

  26. Julie Syl says:

    I agree with Czjai whether big or small we have to take a risk.I wish you are fine and will luck in a business soon.

  27. Difficulties happens, unfortunately… believe in yourself and in what you do, you’ll reach your goal! Best wishes for all!

  28. oh, i’m sorry what happened and yes you need to push more when you don’t like things. my mom always tell me to fight for whats right and more if i’m paying.

  29. AJ says:

    I guess I’d say that nothing ever seems to go as planned. At least for me anyways haha! It’s difficult to be patient, and I swear it always seems to be one thing after another. Good luck!

  30. oh!It is sad to hear that printed pages look like just photocopies.But,you learned the lesson.That will be worth for the lifetime…

  31. blair villanueva says:

    The best lesson i’ve learned in business is, even you don’t have skills yet right now and when an opportunity comes (projects) grab it while its hot, even you don’t know how to do it. Relax coz it is also a great opportunity to learn new skills. Never pass any opportunity.

  32. Crystal says:

    Yikes. I’m so sorry to hear about the delays that you’ve experienced. But, I hope you have a good time in France.

  33. I’ve experienced starting my own business many years ago. It’s hard work which involves time and money to stay afloat. Good luck in your new venture!

  34. I learnt not not wait and juts go for it. You learn as you go and that’s how business works for me.

  35. I bet so many people starting businesses come up against such delays. I hope it all sorts itself out and that it’s a huge success 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  1. […] Starting a business ain’t for the faint of heart. I talk about some of my setbacks in a post HERE. […]

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