Last week I learned one of the biggest business lessons I've had to experience thus far. Its definitely one I'll remember forever because it cost me unexpected out of pocket expenses, but the knowledge I gained was worth the price of admission.
In the middle of March I placed an order with a vendor that I had previously dealt with. I was told I would receive an invoice the same day but a week went by and still no further communication. Another week went by and I finally received an invoice for the order, which I never confirmed with the vendor due to their busy schedule. However, by this time I had already ordered and printed my own products so I chose to disregard this email. Last Friday, I received another email stating that my invoice was "overdue." So I did what I should've done in the first place: proceeded to inform them that I no longer needed their services due to the timing and lack of communication.
After numerous unprofessional comments, vulgar language and threats of lawsuits (yes, by the vendor), I realized I only had two options in dealing with this situation. I could either brush it off and move on because I said what I said, or come to a compromise so that way everyone involved is happy. I decided to pick my brand and my reputation over my pride, so I paid the invoice; even though I was given the worst customer service and was severely overcharged. Despite the fact that I had to pay for this (L)esson, I remained professional and handled myself with class, the way a LADY would.
I've always been the type of Lady that will get the job done right, no matter what it takes; especially if my name and reputation are on the line. With that being said, I decided to take my own advice and invest in my brand by purchasing my own equipment so I could begin to print the products myself due to overpricing and lengthy turn around times from other vendors; and to provide my customers with a better overall experience. Not to mention, I was always told the best and most efficient way to get something done is to do it yourself.
As I typed this, I felt a little better but a part of me still wants to call Chase and file a dispute for fraudulent charges because I really feel I've been scammed (lol), the other part of me is proud of the steps I've taken in the right direction. As I have grown in my entrepreneurship, I have learned the importance of maintaining high standards when it comes to how my business is operated and perceived. The lesson I learned from this situation is that no matter how someone or something may treat you, how you carry yourself in those situations is what will define who you are! So I hold my head high, as a lady should always be two things: classy and powerful.