Does Your Business Smell Like A Stinky Diaper? Here’s What To Do…

by Alicia Jay

You’ve probably been faced with the foul odor of a stinky diaper at one point or another even if you’re not a parent. You also know what to do next. You need to change it quickly–or have someone else do it. You might be wondering what this has to do with your business. You might be thinking, “I know she’s a mom. All of that diaper changing must have gone to her head.”

stinky diaper

Do you smell something?

At one time or another, we’ve all had a business practice or idea that just…well–stinks. This may not have been done on purpose. I’m not saying that any of us are dishonest. However, we all make mistakes or bad decisions when it comes to our business. The important part is how you handle it.

Recognize

The first thing you need to do is realize that a mistake has been made. If you’re going it solo, you will be aware of this right away. If you’re outsourcing some of your work (which I recommend) you can still be in the loop. Discuss things ahead of time with your virtual assistant and have a plan in place when things go awry. Good communication is key here.

Respond

After recognizing that a problem exits, respond to it as soon as you can. Was it a mistake on a customer’s order? Contact them right away. Maybe you want to offer a discount for the inconvenience if that makes sense for the situation. Was it a system you put into place that has caused errors? Find a way to fix that system or use something else.

Reflect

Once the problem is resolved, reflect on what you’ve learned from the situation. What can you do differently next time? What can you change to prevent this from happening again? Lastly, remember that you’re human. We all make mistakes. It’s part of learning and growing.  Use this situation as a learning experience and move on.

Have you applied any of these principles to your business? Do you have any stories to share? I’d love to hear it in the comments section.

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About Alicia Jay


Alicia is a virtual assistant specializing in transcription. She loves to help her clients make the most out of their audio posts, webinars and teleclasses by re-purposing them with transcripts. Her clients include entrepreneurs, business coaches, health and fitness experts and other virtual assistants. She blogs about news in the VA industry as well as business and customer service tips.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Dorman

The key is not to have too much reflection time, huh?

The corporation I work for (and part owner) has been around since 1941, so we must be doing something right. We are conservative by nature and most ‘bad’ decisions have not been big ones. However, we did try to expand and opened an office 3 hours away from our base of operations. At first it did well, but when the economy tanked we had to make some tough decisions, shut some doors and let some people go. If we would have been stubborn and tried to ride it out, it would have been our financial ruin.

The key is when you first start to smell the stink, be prepared to respond……..decisively, before it’s too late.

In reflection would we have done it again; probably. But in hindsight, we would have pulled the plug quicker too.

Live and learn, huh?

How about now, did this work?

Reply

Alicia Jay

Hey Bill!

We’re cookin’ now! Thanks for your patience–you rock.

I love the example you gave here.
Yes, with any new business or business venture there will be bumps in the road and mistakes made along the way.
The key is to be aware that something might not go as planned and prepare for how you will handle tough situations.
Thanks for this awesome comment!

Reply

Craig McBreen

I’ve made more than a few stinky decisions, but at least can look back and learn.

Recognize:
Boy, did I learn early on that communication is key. I’ve been burned by more than a few vendors and freelancers, so finally know almost all the right questions to ask up front, for less damage control down the road.

Respond:
If I keep the customer in the loop they are usually, I said usually happy. But yeah, fessing up to the mess is the proper thing to do.

Reflect:
This is usually more like the “I forgive myself” moment. Let it go, dude! I usually say.

Thanks, Alicia, just followed you on Twitter.

Reply

Alicia Jay

Hi Craig!

I can totally relate to your last point of letting it go. I’ve been known to beat myself up about bad decisions in the past. Look back at the situation, decide what you can glean from it and move on. Thanks so much for stopping by!
PS: Sorry it took me so long to respond, but my little vacation was work-free. Boy, it was tough keeping it that way but well worth it:)

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