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What Are 5 Steps To Move On From Your Business Mistakes?

When you make a mistake in business, you might feel like a failure, and you want to move on as fast as possible. But what happens if you don’t mean to make a mistake?

Most mistakes made in business are accidental or because you don’t know any better.

While making several mistakes consecutively can lead to the failure of the business, if you’re able to recover from them, then you can move on in business in the right direction.

So how can you move on?

1. Reframe and analyse the mistake

If you want to learn why something went wrong, you first have to understand how it went wrong. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What was I trying to do?
  • What exactly went wrong?
  • At what stage did it go wrong?
  • Why did it go wrong?

Take the following example where the wrong product was sent to a customer.

  • What was I trying to do? Send product A.
  • What exactly went wrong? Product B was sent instead.
  • At what stage did it go wrong? The wrong product was taken from the shelf.
  • Why did it go wrong? The packaging for products A and B are too similar and are hard to tell apart quickly.

While this is a simple situation, the same practice can also be used for more complex mistakes, such as why a business partnership failed or why some of your products aren’t connecting with your customers.

Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be on the right lines to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

2. Put the lessons you’ve learned into practice

Thinking about what went wrong and why it happened is only half the story. Eventually, you’ll have to start taking actions to prevent the mistake from happening again.

Take what you’ve learned from the above questions and start thinking about how you can change your processes to stop the mistake from happening.

Using the example of the incorrect product being sent to the customer, a simple fix would be to change the packaging so that the products can easily be identified.

However, with more complex mistakes, it could be something like improving how you communicate with your staff or preventing distractions so that you don’t lose track of time.

3. Make sure you’re making progress

No one likes to be told they’re the reason for a mistake happening, but sometimes you need to be held accountable. So how can you make sure you’re being honest with yourself about the progress being made?

Simply have someone else involved to hold you to account. Whether it’s your partner or a business coach, having someone other than yourself there and help give an insight into whether the mistake is still happening. They can also help give you guidance on what you can do differently in the future.

For example, it can be easy to see whether you’re still sending the wrong product to your customers by measuring how many people are phoning to complain. But how can you know whether you’re now communicating in a better way? This is where the second person can be invaluable.

4. Remember it’s ok to feel disheartened

After making a mistake, it’s common for people to think they’re useless and as though they shouldn’t be in business in the first place. But that’s ok; it’s just a feeling. It’ll pass, and you’ll come back feeling stronger and more confident (after all, you’ve learnt from your mistakes).

5. Remember mistakes are mostly accidents

We can’t control everything around us, and change is always happening.

When something changes, it can lead to unfamiliar territory, leading to mistakes as we navigate the new way things are happening. All we can do is try our best and ask for help from others who have been in the situation we now find ourselves in.

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