Some of the biggest mistakes could be the best thing for your business

Making mistakes gives you an opportunity to fix problems and take a new path.

Did you grow up thinking that mistakes were a bad thing or a good thing? Believe it or not, they can be your best friend in business. Even the big mistakes can sometimes be the best thing for your business.

If you are like me, it might take you a while to get your head around. I was brought up trying to avoid mistakes. In business it doesn’t work to avoid mistakes. Some would say that “if you are not making mistakes in business, you are not trying hard enough.”

One of the joys of being in business is that there is always something new to learn. The way that we learn in business is by doing. You can learn some things in theory but it’s usually when you put that theory into action that business learning really kicks in. Not everything you do or try will work out and that is ok. Being successful in business is not whether you make mistakes but whether you learn from them. You learn not to do it again and try something different. It’s often the big mistakes or the ones that cost us the most, where we learn the fastest. Through mistakes you learn what will work for your business. In marketing, this is exactly what can happen. You need to try different things and discover what works best with your customers.

Any action could be the right action. Hindsight is a beautiful thing but we can’t also predict what will work, making mistakes gives you an opportunity to fix problems and take a new path. You may make a mistake with a customer it doesn’t have to be a disaster. In fact, if you can handle mistakes well you can engender greater loyalty with your customers. Many businesses shy away from social media as they are frightened of negative feedback. By handling the negative feedback in a professional way you have an opportunity to send a very powerful message about your brand.

Taking risks and trying new things is vital for businesses today. We need to be brave, bold and adaptive. Never put all your eggs in one basket and be prepared to break a couple on your business journey.

Remember: it’s not making a mistake that’s an issue. Is it how you handle the mistake that makes the difference.

Ailsa Page, small-business marketing expert, AP Marketing Works

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