My Biggest Mistake: Flexible contract gave away the store
Consultants, self-help gurus and moms agree: Mistakes are how we learn. Small-business owners tell us their biggest error. Here is this week's:
Company: Mahogany Communications
What I did: Failed to specify the work that would be covered in a client’s contract
Background: After three years of doing public relations for a nonprofit, I decided to break out and start my own business. My friend referred me to a client who said she was holding a fashion show and needed help creating a buzz to promote her event.
The mistake: We met to talk about her needs and I put them in the service agreement. And I also put in a line that said “other work, to be decided.” I had allotted 30 hours of work for this client, but I ended up providing about 150 hours. I felt like I couldn’t say that because I had that “to-be-decided” in there.
What I learned: Never be afraid to talk to a client about paying more money for more work. And be mindful of what you put in the service agreement. I really shortchanged myself.
Have you made a mistake from which other small-business owners can learn? Please tell us about it at email@example.com.
-- Sharon Bernstein
On Twitter @sharonbernstein