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?