This is our second year as a company, having started officially in 2012, we have been to five major shows and struggled as all start up companies do. We’ve made some mistakes, but we’ve also grown and improved both our artistic endeavors but our business practices. This year we have learned an invaluable lesson regarding product creation and order fulfillment.
No excuses, we were slow and often late in getting product out from TransWorld. There are pitfalls to being a two man outfit with some side volunteers. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t work on improving. That’s something both Dan and I are committed to.
Today I had an unpleasant conversation with a potential customer. We had negotiated a project for him and gave him an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks. We’ve often tried to give estimates based on our current project queue, but some times we do go over. We also tend to work in ‘business hours’ of Monday – Friday, in the evenings, depending on our primary work schedules and other life concerns. So, this particular gent reached out and asked about his order and then promptly opened a ticket for a refund. Given the work we currently have, we decided that we would just refund his money. We did so, as that seemed to be what he wanted and then we caught some flack from it. None the less, the point is this:
If you have a project and you need something by a specific date, please be upfront about it. We don’t mind and depending on how soon you require fulfillment we may tack on a expedite fee for pushing your order ahead of others. We will be more mindful with newer orders to inquire as to when it is required, so we also can help establish the expectation as to when it needs to go out.
Also, if you have an inquiry to your order, we’d humbly ask that you give time for a response. Given that we both work day jobs, we don’t often check Facebook or email regularly during the day. Some weeks, depending on what we are working on it may take us a few days to get back to you. But we will try to answer every email, phone call or Facebook message. I will also admit that we aren’t keen on taking a lot of phone calls, again this is because the time we are dedicating to making orders is paramount, so phone calls can be overlong and eat into our productivity. We do call to get clarification or follow through on an issue, but for the most part, the best method by which to place an order or ask a question is through email. Email of all the methods of getting a hold of us is preferred because then we can have a running dialogue to go off of to work on the project.
We hope everyone has a safe and successful 2014 Haunt Season. After we have gotten through October we’ll be living in the shop sculpting, molding and creating new product for TransWorld 2015. Looking forward to going back to St. Louis and seeing all our friends again.