My First Ever Business Mistake…
Updated: May 9
...and the resulting hilarious phone call!
At the time of writing, this was about a month ago to the day, I’m not sure why that’s relevant but I’ve written it now...
For those who haven't visited this blog before here's a little context; I'm Aaron and I run Carrington Guitar Academy, the place to get guitar lessons in Bath, UK.
So what could I have done that was so big, so wrong, yet so hilarious at the same time?
I’ll get there.
The reason I’m writing this is because it’s important to be able to share your mistakes and quirks with other people.
If I can prevent one other person, whether they’re a guitar teacher or not from doing the same thing then this post will be more than worth it.
Getting Local Attention
One of the ways to grow your business in the beginning is to post flyers and posters in the local area. Seems easy enough so that’s what I decided to do.
But before you can do ANY of that you have to first DESIGN your flyer.
I needed a catchy headline that would attract guitar players I wanted to teach so that headline read ‘Writing Guitar Solo’s Shouldn’t Be That Hard’ (those of you savvy with your grammar might have already spotted the blunder).
I won’t bore you with the rest of the flyer information but I finished the design and uploaded the image to the printing website.
A Proud Moment
3 days later; hello 1,000 flyers! Look how nice they look! MY design in real life!
I could hardly contain the immense joy of having something tangible in my hand.
I was now primed and ready to get deliver the hell out of these badboys!
There was a grammatical error. Why oh why didn’t I realize that there is NO APOSTROPHE IN THE WORD ‘SOLOS’ – IT’S SPELLED ‘SOLOS’ – *NOT* ‘SOLO’S’.
I would now have to hand deliver 1,000 flyers with some stupid mistake. I even considered re-ordering them all without the mistake out of embarrassment.
Visions went through my mind. People might read ‘Writing Guitar Solo’s Shouldn’t be That Hard…’ and then respond; ‘YEAH NEITHER SHOULD GRAMMAR, MATE!’
ALWAYS, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR DESIGN AT LEAST TEN TIMES BEFORE SENDING IT OFF TO PRINT! ‘I CAN’T POST THESE’, I thought.
Actually, It’s Not That Big of a Deal
Then I thought about it a little more and figured it can’t be that bad.
These things are easy to over blow in your head but the truth is that in the beginning virtually nobody is paying attention and I’d wager that 99% of those flyers went straight in the bin unnoticed.
So off I went on my door-to-door delivery mission safe in the knowledge that nobody would even care and that I should just get on with it.
A day or so later I successfully finished my first ever local flyering campaign and off I went home to get some tea and warmth.
I really needed tea and warmth.
Post mission I sat and waited for that all important phone call from a would be first student.
One day passed.
Two days passed.
But the third day….
**ring ring** 📳
The Phone Call
‘Hello?’ I said.
‘Uh yes… is this Carrington Guitar Academy’ an elderly woman responded.
‘Hello, yes, my name is Aaron and I’m the guitar teacher here at CGA’ I said.
‘Ah well, I just had to say, something that really gets under my bones, where you have the word solos, well, you see, I just had to tell you...
...there is *NO* apostrophe in the word 'solos'’….
*a brief pause*
My immediate response was to laugh politely and acknowledge my own mistake and then congratulate her on spotting my error (disclaimer; the real life laugh was nowhere near as dramatic as the above, more of a snicker).
We talked at some length about the state of education and how important it is.
It was actually a very pleasant conversation in the end.
It’s safe to say we ended the call as friendly acquaintances and it created a real rememberable point in my day.
To be honest, I was just happy knowing that people were seeing my design, I got a real buzz out of it!
The Other, More Important Lesson
There’s a secondary and much more important takeaway here and it’s simply this.
Even people who want to nit pick things in your business can be turned into friends. Maybe that’s their way of helping you on your journey.
Always take criticism with a pinch of salt and use it as a gateway to connect with someone.
That’s what music (and life) is about after all.
About The Author
Aaron Carrington is the owner of Carrington Guitar Academy in Bath, UK. Since graduating from The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London Aaron has played in high profile locations such as Buckingham Palace, The Savoy and The London Eye.
He’s been a regular part of the UK wedding and corporate gig scene and has travelled internationally to the Middle East to play in top quality residency bands 6 nights per week. The finesse gained from this level of playing experience is passed on to his guitar students.
Now permanently in Bath, Aaron strives to deliver the highest standards of guitar teaching at Carrington Guitar Academy by offering a personalized lesson plan tailored to each student’s goals. You may also catch Aaron busking regularly on the streets of Bath. If you're interested in guitar lessons get in touch to book a FREE trial lesson!