I read an article the other day about a teapot that J. C. Penny is selling. Apparently someone thought it looked like Hitler. J. C. Penny dealt with the matter immediately. They apologized and said that any resemblance is completely unintentional.

The article went on to discuss other marketing mistakes. ChapStick apparently posted a picture on social media that showed a woman’s backside as she searched behind a couch for her ChapStick. When the public reacted negatively they simply deleted the comments… they apologized days later.

I’ve made big marketing mistakes. About a year ago I sponsored a big event filled with my ideal clients. I met about 300 people and created an email communication campaign geared specifically for them based on the content we had all learned. It was a well thought out campaign until… One of the emails that I wrote was worded poorly. The sentiment I shared was valid; however, the way I put it successfully insulted everyone I just met.

It certainly was not intentional but what I did next had to be. There were several options including: I could ignore it and hope that it would blow over. I could chastise myself and stop marketing completely because obviously I had no idea what I was doing. I could respond to those that emailed me and say I’m sorry to them. I could publicly own up to my mistake, explain what happened and apologize. I chose to own up to my mistake publicly. The result was forgiveness and not only did it blow over but people also gained a new level of respect for me.

Another mistake I made was in my book. After Chaos to Cash went to print, and after copies were being sold and shipped out, I found several mistakes in it. The worst was in the “About the Author” section. One of the sentences was repeated. For this mistake I simply chose to have the errors fixed, and a new file created, so that future copies of the book would be correct. I did not apologize or send new copies to those that received the incorrect one; however, I use this as an example when I teach “done is better than perfect”.

I know other people make mistakes in their business. An entrepreneur I know did a phone call blast (robocalls). I don't know what his plan was but the calls were made at one o’clock in the morning. Fortunately my phone number was not on the list because I tend to hit the ceiling when the phone rings when I’m sound asleep. I can’t imagine that he meant for that call to go out in the middle of the night. He certainly made a mistake. The question is, what did he do next?

If you haven’t already made a mistake in your business I can pretty much guarantee that you will. Maybe it will be a mistake that nobody notices, maybe it will be a mistake that only one or two people notice or maybe it will be something bigger, like the mistake that J. C. Penny, ChapStick or I made, that has the potential to truly anger all of your current clients and prospects.

We all make mistakes. The question for you to consider is, what will you do next?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash. She helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, stop spinning and procrastinating and make more money. Free resources at http://www.CarrieThru.com and http://carriethru.com/programs/chaostocashbook/excerpt/