It is important to learn and move on from mistakes. Dwelling on mistakes does not help. Having said that it is not easy to move on.
When you are running your own business the buck stops with you. You cannot blame anyone else. You are in charge. You are responsible for all cock-ups.
Two mistakes got to me this week. I am trying to move on but it is not easy. Both these mistakes have cost me substantially financially. Further, they have dented my ego.
I will start with the second mistake first. This was reducing client fees without having all the information. I made the decision fast. This decision was made when my confidence was at a low level as a result of my first mistake.
My client’s business is not going well as a result of some heath problems. She went into detail into about these problems. On listening to her problems, I offered to lower her fees by 30%. She did not ask for this! Her response was it would help her a lot till her health improves.
Towards the end of our conversation she mentioned that she is having an extension built and she needs an Accountants Reference for the lender! So she can afford an extension built.
I feel stupid. At the same time you have to bear in mind my confidence level was low as a result of my first mistake on the same day. My fear was I would lose this client. It was my attempt to retain this client. Though she did not say she would be leaving me! What a blunder.
My First mistakes is hellish. I find it difficult to write about it. I wish I could rewind last few months. The cost as you will see are significant. It is a memorable end to 2013.
Basically the client, from my very early days, has contracted with me to produce statutory accounts for 5 Blocks of flats. Think of this as 5 separate clients with a total recurring fees of £3,000. It is such simple work.
I messed up. Here are the facts:
- Client sent the paperwork for one block.
- Paperwork sent back to client.
- Client asked where are the accounts?
- My first response sorry accounts not done. Send the the paperwork again. Client not at all happy.
- Accounts then found! Said to the client, all okay do not send the paperwork.
- Client response, not happy with all this, we have asked another accountant to prepare the accounts now.
- My reply to client – does this apply to the block in question or all blocks. No client response. The answer is obvious.
How did this mess happen? Poor filing and carelessness.
I have lost £3k recurring income plus fee reduction recurring. My total loss is £3, 500 recurring income. Just imagine the effort, stress, time and costs it takes to win £3.5k worth of clients.
I could go on and talk what I learnt from my mistakes but I am in no mood.