How do you operate when things go wrong? Whether it is an everyday issue or a more serious business problem, be ready to tackle it. Stick to your word, no matter the circumstances. Because in business, like in life, your word is everything.
“The very first thing you should expect is that nothing is going to go the way you’ve planned.” – Fred Cary.
Have an action plan at the lowest level, whether it’s a delivery, supply, or employee problem. A backup strategy makes all the difference in how you deal with it. For example, if you launch a product and start getting complaints and one-star reviews, you need to react immediately. Ask what you did wrong and how you can make it better. Give your contact information. Be ready to give a full refund, send another product, or do whatever you need to do to make them happy. Make your customers understand that you are trying to do the right thing. Monitor your reviews, be proactive, think of a worst-case scenario and whatever you do, do it ethically and honestly.
Protect Your Reputation
Being an entrepreneur means walking a bumpy road with pitfalls, detours, dead ends, and cliffs on either side of it. How you deal with those obstacles is what separates you from the competition. The goal is not always successfully handling the problem. The goal is knowing you’ve dealt with it thinking about purpose, reputation, and that it’s not only about profits. Your reputation is the most important thing. There will always be challenges to that reputation and people who will want to take advantage of your ethics. Dealing with them is minimal compared to maintaining the reputation and letting the world know they can trust you.
Do The Right Thing
“Doing the right thing is awesome when things are going well. Doing the right thing often becomes the hard thing when things don’t go well.” – Fred Cary
As a young entrepreneur, Fred got $8 million of investment dollars and promised to deliver at a certain point. All the investors were counting on it. Then, at the last moment, his engineering team found a fatal bug and told him it would take another six months. While Fred was thinking about what story to invent, a senior chief operating officer advised him to tell the truth. So he sent out an email saying what happened, how he planned to fix the problem and let investors know he would understand if they decided to pull out their funds. They called immediately, telling him they appreciated his honesty and asking if they could help. When you do the right thing, keep your eye on the road ahead; it is a mindset that helps keep you marching forward and getting to the finish line.
Keep Your Head High
At IdeaPros, we work with 300 partners, and we had a contractor doing 30% of our projects. They gave us promises that turned out to be lies. What was supposed to be happening for us and our partners wasn’t happening. Partners were aggravated with Fred and blamed him for the delay. He organized a meeting with them, told them the truth and what he planned to do about it. Fred took the responsibility that cost him a lot of money, but it got him and his partners a faster timeline and a better product. He showed the people he works with that he is not going to quit on them. They recognized it and thanked him for sticking with them.
Go out there and find what makes you tick. Try to be the best human being you can be because it will help you create the best company you can create.
“Never give up. Never sway from your belief system, no matter what is thrown at you, and you will make it through.” – Fred Cary
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey. We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.