Learning from your mistakes is one of the most important skills to acquire in business. Very few make on their first ride of the business merry-go-round and if by some miracle they do, when the fan gets hit there is nothing to fall back against, no previous heartache or experience to draw upon. Also, trying to replicate luck second time around is like trying to staple strawberry jelly to the ceiling, it can’t be done.

 

There is a delicate balance between looking back to learn from previous mistakes and lessons and getting stuck in the past. One mentality is wishing to turn back time, have the chance to make a different choice or dwell on those mistakes for so long they crush you into the dirt. The more positive and productive approach is to create those same opportunities again and give yourself the chance to act differently.

 

Think of each mistake as a form of filtration, creating a more and more refined attitude, thought process and vision of where you want to be and what you want to achieve. One of the biggest mistakes I made with an earlier business was spending too much money on pay-per-click advertising. Ego got in the way of good business practice and in order to appear on page one of Google a fortune was throw down the drain.

 

For a few short (and expensive) weeks those paid for adverts would regularly feature in the prime spots at the top of the page, my false confidence was up and I got cocky. However, with no clear business plan to relate back to I found myself unable to capitalise on the traffic, maximise sales and use the momentum to drive the business forward into more organic lines of lead generation. As the potential business started to run through my fingers like a handful of sand I made the classic error of trying to buy my way out of trouble. Not an uncommon situation for a small business but an error all the same. That particular business ended up in failure. That led to some personal depression and a number of difficult months for me personally. But rather than continuing to wallow in the ruins of an unsuccessful business I recognised the need to right some of those wrongs and ultimately grow as an individual and as a professional. Getting stuck in the past was not achieving anything other than keep me under a dark cloud and I knew if I had the right business planning tools the next time would be different.

 

Start-Up businesses are in most cases naive and in all cases vulnerable. It is therefore important to protect yourself by only making mistakes you can afford to make just as shrewd investors only put down money they can afford to lose. By simply having a plan to refer back to it is possible to keep all decisions rational and business focused, without being drawn into emotion, a vital skill to creating long-term business success. I am not saying I wouldn’t have made any wrong decisions if I had access to a sound business plan but any mistakes I could have made would have been better ones.

 

For a small initial investment, it would have saved me thousands and pounds and months of stress. But all that heartache has led to this point where I can help others benefits from all those moments and for that I am thankful.

 

Your first mistake could be not preparing properly for your business. Take our Business Quiz to see how a MyBizPlan Business Plan can become the best tool for your new venture.

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