I signed off on a contract without realizing costs had increased

I ran the farming operations and production facilities in Ghana while my cofounder and partner did sales and marketing from Washington DC. When we started the business, we shared all the decision-making and everything worked well.

As the business grew we were making more decisions and making them faster. The flow of information was just enough to get by, but things started falling between the cracks.  Our roles and responsibilities were getting blurred. The worst example was when our largest customer visited Ghana. They wanted to talk about a long-term contract and wanted a quick decision. If we did not do business with them they would find someone else while they were there.

They laid out terms that seemed reasonable to me. They were higher than we were getting and it was for a year. I did not see any problem with signing there. That night, I updated my cofounder. She was shocked because it was way too low and didn’t  include the cost of customs clearance. Now we would lose money on every delivery. I told her I thought we were making money from them and she said we were, but that the cost of clearance was going up and we needed a 2% increase to cover the cost of currency movements.

After a lot of heated discussion we agreed we needed to meet face-to-face. We needed to set out our role and responsibilities and who makes what decisions. We needed to talk more often.