How to Learn from Business Mistakes

Posted on August 3rd, 2017
no time for smbs

We all make mistakes. And when you start a business, you know you will make tons of mistakes.

However, once you make mistakes, it’s important to learn from them. Too many people worry too much about failure, try to gloss over it, and then move on too fast.

No one likes to dwell on failure, but sometimes it makes sense to take a step back, look at the mistake, and see what can be learned. Before you hastily move on from your next hiccup, here’s what you need to know so you learn from business mistakes:

Identify the Type of Mistake

First, you need to identify the type of mistake you’ve made. in some cases, the mistake is simple. A stupid or simple mistake can be the result of not paying attention, or not understanding some aspect of your business.

In these cases, it’s relatively easy to learn from business mistakes. You find out about your lack of knowledge, and you fill it in or hire someone who can compensate for your lack.

Other mistakes are more complicated. Perhaps they are the result of lack of market research, or maybe you took a calculated risk that didn’t pan out. This type of mistake is harder to learn from. You might not be able to fix it or even prevent something similar happening in the future.

However, even if you can’t avoid all the things that can go wrong with your business, it’s still important to learn from your mistakes.

Acknowledge Your Part in the Mistake

First of all, you need to acknowledge your part in the mistake. Are there behaviors or habits that are contributing to your business problems? Are you avoiding thinking about the way you avoid best practices?

Take a look at how you run your business. Are you encouraging behaviors that aren’t best for your business? Did you mess up when creating a business plan? Be realistic. Recognize, too, that even if it’s someone else’s fault in your business, it’s still your responsibility. Own up to it, and that will help you change things around and learn.

Look at How Others Handle Business Problems

An outside perspective can help you learn from business mistakes. As a mentor or some other respected business person to share their thoughts.

Talking to others and getting their thoughts, and learning lessons can help you find ways to make changes even though you made a mistake.

Plus, talking to others can help you go through the scenario again. The more you examine the situation and break it down, the more likely you are to learn from it. Take the time to work backward from the undesirable result to see how you got there. Talking about it can go a long way toward helping you work out the mistake and learn lessons that can move you forward.

You can also read about other businesses that have been through the same thing, or something similar. Find out how they approached the problem and see what you can do to improve.

Change Your Business

Once you have seen what led to the mistake, it’s time to make changes to your business. Learn from your business mistakes and use them as opportunities to move your business forward. When you don’t make changes, you risk making the same (or similar) mistakes. These can add up and sink your business.

Learning from failure — and learning early — is one of the best ways to succeed in the long run.

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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