Don’t forget your failures…
It doesn’t matter what sort of business you have, two of the most important things you can do are to make the most of your successes and learn from your failures.
Don’t just nod and think ‘yeah, yeah, of course I’m doing that’. It’s not as simple as making a sale and planning to make another one, or messing up an order and promising yourself you’ll never do that again. To truly make the most of both of those things you need to take action.
Everyone is busy, particularly if you’re self-employed and you grab every spare moment for work, work, work. Sometimes it’s hard to devote time to looking backwards. But by making the time and coming up with key action points, you can not only learn from the past, but also turn it into profit.
Before you think this is all talk, let’s get to what you can start doing right now.
Think about all the work you’ve done in the past year. What are your top two or three successes and your top one or two failures? Perhaps you don’t have any failures as such. Mistakes might be a better word, or perhaps think about jobs that weren’t what they could’ve been, where there were elements you could have done better. Write a brief description of each one down if that helps keep the details fresh in your mind.
CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES
Take the successes first. This is not only about what you can ‘learn’ but also how you can use them to promote your business.
Did you talk about your successes on social media? If not, you should. If you feel uncomfortable ‘randomly’ blurting it out about your successes online, pick up a calendar and figure out a logical time to talk about it. Maybe it’ll be a year since the last time, maybe it’ll be nine months later, just when customers are beginning to think ‘I wonder who can help me when THIS happens’. Maybe it’s right now. Tell people what an amazing job you did. Show them pictures if there are any. Link to other companies or individuals that may have been involved and maybe they will share your posts too.
Thinking of pictures, are these the sort of successes that could be turned into something visually appealing? Perhaps going onto your website or into a brochure? What about an advert? Remember, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the skills to do this personally, you can turn to professional designers like us to work with you.
What about testimonials – have you got any about your best work? It’s not too late to go back to your clients and ask for some comments you can use. People don’t always pay attention to over-the-top sugar-coated testimonials, sure, but they do look for comments that feel real, that offer a genuine commentary on the services that you offer. Put them on your websites or your emails or other marketing materials.
Once you’re done shouting about your successes, do make the time to review how you did so well on those occasions and how you might replicate it again one day.
REVIEW YOUR MISTAKES
This is even more important when it comes to mistakes, where ‘reviewing’ instead of ‘shouting’ is the theme of the day. A good idea is to break down each ‘mistake’ or whatever you want to call it into three parts, and then examine what you should do differently next time.
First look at your approach – did you prepare properly? Second, what happened during the job or the task, if relevant? Could you have benefited from hiring outside help to assist you? Lastly, revise what you did afterwards. Sometimes you can prevent a mistake from getting any bigger by acting quickly.
Look at what work you have coming up and think about what you’ve just learned. You now have new information about your own business that you can start to apply right away.
Looking over the past to assess what you’ve done well and not-so-well is best done on a regular basis, otherwise you start putting it off as ‘one of those jobs to do tomorrow,’ again.
So when you’re finished, mark a date in the calendar which feels like a good time for review. Perhaps once a month or twice a year – you will know what will work best for your business. Just don’t forget. Our experiences shape us and there will be new lessons to learn very soon.
And remember, if you want an expert on hand for design work, creating a website or even developing a social media calendar, we’re only a phone call or email away at 155 Creative.
To speak to us today regarding a free consultation or to find out how we can help your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 275626. We look forward to hearing from you.