Bad news can have an adverse impact on your business, of course. But, even those events that cause problems for your company can turn into golden opportunities. In this guide, we’re going to go through a few ways you can turn negative PR or bad mistakes into ideas for improving your business. Let’s get started right away.
1. Weak currencies
First of all, let’s take a look at something that you have no control over whatsoever – currency. As you will know, currencies can shift all the time, but in extreme circumstances they can sink. Whenever there is doubt or lack of confidence in a particular currency, investors shy away from the risk. The result is that the value of the currency plunges.
On the face of it, it’s going to cause you untold problems – everything you make as profit will be worth less than it was a week ago. However, there are opportunities, too. You might find that you open up a bigger market potential abroad because your products are now cheaper in different countries. Wherever there is trouble, there is always a benefit, too.
2. Shine a light on your business weaknesses
If someone raises an issue with your company, it’s often a sign that something is wrong at the heart of your business. You will have to deal with each situation as it occurs, of course. But, in the post mortem process, you will have a fantastic opportunity to make things right.
Bad mistakes can help shine a light on those areas of your business that are failing, or that need a little more work. Even when human error is the cause, there are still questions business leaders need to ask. Maybe your training program is lacking in something, or you need to hire people with different skills? Either way, a grave business mistake can often open doors for a lot of improvement in your company.
3. Take a story and run with it
If someone has a grievance that you believe to be unfair, you can use the press to stake your claim. Take the story of Hampton Creek as an example. A while ago they were sued by food industry giants Unilever. Charges were eventually dropped, but the fact such a big company got involved made the situation a much larger story.
So, in February, the healthy food group had an opportunity. They got an interview with the LA Times to discuss the story and used it as a way to get a lot of Hampton Creek information out there. The media can be a great tool to spread the word about your products – regardless if it’s a positive or negative spin.
4. Show that you mean business
Mistakes happen all the time, and while some people will judge you for them, the vast majority will want something else. In general, people will judge you on how you react to bad situations, rather than what happened.
Take social media, for example. While many people use it as a tool to make complaints about businesses, savvy companies understand how to take the heat out of the situation. Everything is out there in the public eye, so treat each complaint with sensitivity and professionalism.
Do so, and people will be able to see how you respond to your customers, and it will win more people over than the original mistake loses. Facing up to you business challenges in public takes guts, and there’s no doubt that most people will respect that.
5. Give everyone focus
Sometimes it takes an enormous error to snap people out of the numbness of their everyday grind. People become relaxed when they do the same types of thing every day, and it can be hard to keep them on their toes. However, nothing focuses their attention more than a bad business failure.
Of course, the vast majority of errors are just that – honest, silly mistakes. However, by highlighting the impact, you will find that people are a lot more attentive to their tasks – and they will remember in the future.
6. Embrace failure
However, you shouldn’t chastise employees who make mistakes. Doing so can have an adverse impact on your business in itself. Successful companies understand that failure should be embraced, rather than covered up. If you are always taking people to task, your employees will withdraw into their shells, for fear of embarrassment.
It’s not a good way to go. People that make mistakes are often the same people putting themselves out there and being proactive. They are the risk takers and the ones trying to push your company ahead. Yes, mistakes can have a severe impact, but they are also great learning opportunities. So, turn those incidents into positive teaching moments instead of a disciplinary.
7. Get on the offensive
Everyone – and every business – faces great trials and tribulations. And there are often those waiting in the wings to capitalize on your mistakes. Don’t let them. Instead, use your mistakes and bad news as a tool to stamp your authority on a situation.
Quite often, you will find that doing so leads to your greatest victories. Show your customers and investors that you are finding the right solutions, and highlight the fact your competitors are not. Going on the offensive in the face of distress can be an excellent way to show people that you mean business. And, they will respect you for it all the more.
8. Channel your negative energy
Finally, your big mistakes give you the chance to channel a lot of negative energy into something positive. The vast majority of companies out there will prefer to hide their heads in the sand and ignore mistakes and issues. However, downplaying your problems won’t lead to any business improvements whatsoever. Instead, try and channel your efforts into repairing the damage, or looking at ways to improve your systems in the future.
OK, so that’s all we have time for today. Hope you have enjoyed this quick look at how to turn bad news into brilliant business opportunities. Let us know your thoughts, or feel free to lend us some more tips!