My greatest desire is that from the work we do here at MRX, you, dear Kenyan youth will be inspired and learn how to get your business off the ground. That you will learn from our mistakes, and be inspired to get your own business off the ground.
Ok, juicy story loading… (with a lesson of course!)
We were fortunate to land a social media gig with a new establishment and our job was to post pictures and let the public know about this new place. Sounds easy right? I thought so too. And that was mistake number 1. Let’s also add to that the fact that this was happening around elections time when all the conversations online were tibim this, nasa that, jubilation and more. Please understand that I am not making excuses for us. Just stating the facts.
One thing you need to know is that each client you will meet and do business with, is different. Some are really hands on, almost annoyingly in your face, others let you do your thing and simply ask for reports. Whichever the case, you MUST carry yourself professionally. As we all know, the customer (in this case client) is always right.( However not right they may be at times)
And so it came to be that things did not work out as we had hoped. Laxity on our end, internal miscommunication on both ends and overall timing for this job messed us up. I being the team leader tried to salvage the situation by seeking a meeting with the bosses. This is where it gets really interesting. As I was pleading our case on behalf of my team, a group of about 4 young men walked into the establishment. Actually, let’s put it this way, 4 young men marched in like Dothraki warriors, their preferred weapons- tripods, a camera and back packs.
Kinda cruel that the boss scheduled my meeting same time our replacements were coming to take over, but I guess some people are just who they are. These young men jumped straight into action, moving things around and ready to take pictures. It was at that moment I knew we had lost the account. I walked away ashamed and angry at myself for dropping the ball.
Monday came and you can only imagine how that meeting went down. I was mad. Mad because I knew this was the easiest job we could have done as our first, but we chose to be over confident, second guess ourselves and take too long to act. I had to make changes to my team. A few subtractions here, new additions there, hence THE PEN TEST.
I am however glad we lost that client. Were it not for the tough situation we found ourselves in, a baptism by fire, and all the challenges we faced, we would not have known what to do in such situations in future. This also enabled me to toughen up as a leader and put my foot down in matters I was trying to be diplomatic on. I have learnt that as a boss, you have to put friendship to the side in order to get the job done. If your subordinates don’t like that, well, tough luck.
A friend of mine and fellow entrepreneur said something to me when I lamented to him about this case. He said:
“In every set back, there is a lesson.”
- Never give a client a reason to boot you.
- Do not waste time and resources on a team that isn’t working. Make the necessary changes immediately.
- Don’t be bitter, be better.
- Never make the same mistakes again. Learn from them.
There is a silver lining to this story. We have yet another client. The work entails something similar to the previous job. My new team and I are razor sharp focussed and I for one aim to impress our new clients.
Ever felt that you let yourself down in a project? What did you learn from it? Do comment below!