There will come a time for every business owner when something goes wrong. Whether it’s something relatively small like buying into a product that flops, or something catastrophic that spells the end, mistakes can and will happen. But thankfully, you can turn your failures into positives, which will shape both you and your business for years to come. In the midst of a crisis, it can be difficult to see how you could ever come out of it a better businessperson. Here are our best tips for learning from your mistakes.
While it’s tempting to try and forget your faux pas after it happens, burying your head in the sand won’t offer you any opportunities to learn from it. When you analyse it properly, you can identify the cause and either fix it, or ensure it doesn’t happen again!
Maybe you made a bad judgement, had a misunderstanding, or you took your eye off the ball – analysing is all about discovering where the gaps in your knowledge lie, and learning from it is being able to fill those gaps.
And don’t just pore over that one thing – look at the bigger picture and all your past mistakes. Was this an isolated incident, or is there a pattern where you need to improve?
…but don’t dwell on it
It’s tempting to beat yourself up after something goes wrong. While your pride might take a little battering, sitting around and dwelling on it takes precious time and energy away from all the positive steps you can be taking to make things right again. Pointing the finger or blaming yourself is counter-productive. Even some of the biggest names in business have failed repeatedly. It’s just a frustrating part of life and owning a business so dust yourself off sharpish, and try not to let it get to you too much.
Talk to others
When you’re so passionate about your business, it can be difficult to see things objectively. Chatting with other people about what went wrong can be a great way to gain a new perspective or to throw up some solutions you’d never even thought of. Whether it’s gaining the opinion of a friend or hiring an accountant to take a detailed look at your numbers, that fresh pair of eyes could be just what you need to push things forward.
Know when you can’t salvage it
Some mistakes are easily fixable, while others will require a little more time and money. But every so often – and we hope you’ll never experience it! – a real humdinger comes along and sideswipes your business entirely. It can be tempting to keep limping along, not least because you are afraid of wasting all the time, money and effort you’ve put into it (check out the sunk cost fallacy! but knowing when to call it a day can be an important, if not heart-breaking part of the learning process.
For more information on how we can work with you to grow your business, get in touch today.