My 3 key business philosophies

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

I had a customer service experience over the course of this month where I had to chase a missing order. The business owner ghosted me for three weeks, then was completely unapologetic and refunded me with no explanations. They disabled reviews on Facebook and Google so nobody can speak out. I felt gaslit and ripped off.

I won't name and shame this shop because they need to be able to defend themselves (don't worry, they've been reported), but it has made me think about my own business and how I treat my customers. I'm writing this post today to explain my major approaches to doing business, which help avoid anything similar to the situation I've described above.

1. Transparency

This, to me, is the most important philosophy. All of the prices for my services can be accessed from this website. I am open about what I can and cannot do. Quotes are broken down by hourly rate x work required, invoices are itemised, and deadlines are provided in advance. All important information is listed in my Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy and these are agreed to before any work starts. You can also find all my contact information except for my residential address in my website footer, alongside my ABN.

2. Integrity

I do not charge any more than I feel is deserved for the value and time of the job. I do not put restrictions on revisions of logos and designs as I feel we should work until the client is completely satisfied with what they have paid for. I alert customers if there will be any delays to their work for any reason, and I give discounts at discretion and when reasonable.

And I enable reviews! Whether you're happy with me or not, let me know so I can improve. You can leave a review here:

I attended a networking event a few weeks ago where the speaker, an entrepreneur speaking about his history in startups, said he never buys from anyone with all-5 star ratings because it means the business has never received the criticism they need to improve. While this might be a bit extreme, growth from criticism is important.

3. Creativity

I don't use templates for my logos - I make them from scratch every time. I use a huge variety of materials from the Adobe Suite, to Copic markers, to paints. I try to think outside the box and make my clients' ideas come to life rather than just going with what's trendy. I've made sure my own business is branded with bright and fun (but balanced) colours to separate myself from the current trend of sans-serif minimalism. I also pay for an Adobe Stock subscription, so we have plenty of stock photos to choose from for projects rather than recycling the same free ones over and over.

What do you think is most important for a business to do? What makes you feel most appreciated by people you work with? Let me know in the comments!