[This article was written by Emma Sturgis.]
Owning a business is no simple matter. If you’ve never done it before, the experience will be one of learning until you can understand what works and what doesn’t. Even the most experienced business owners are not immune to poor decisions that might lead to a temporary drop.
While it’s tempting to become discouraged when your businesses experience lapses, there are valuable lessons to be learned when you need to take a step back. Negative reviews can wound our pride, but they can also help us grow as business owners. Here are three ways in which they do this.
You might have found a pattern for your business that worked for a long time and decided to stick with it, not stepping beyond your comfort zone to sort out your weaknesses. Owning a business is so unpredictable that the pattern you’ve been using can fail you at any moment; then, you are forced to see areas in which you could have improved. Instead of resenting that your habits let you down, see these instances as opportunities to gain experience and create new plans.
If your business hires employees and relies on their know-how to keep going, a sudden burst of negative reviews gives you a reason to take a look at who you have hired. Some of your employees might have gotten too comfortable with their roles, or perhaps you need to hire someone with a different skill that’s essential to the market, as it constantly changes. Your business is built of the people offering their time and service, so be sure you have the skills you need.
Create New Ideas
Your negative reviews could simply be indicative that you’ve got to come up with something new. In this fast-paced world, competing businesses “borrow” ideas from each other very quickly, and it’s tough to be original. When you find that your reviews are suddenly bad or neutral, start thinking about how you can be different from your competition. How can you stand out in your business niche?
No one likes receiving negative reviews; they often feel personal, and you don’t know where to begin with improvement. There are all sorts of things you can do, from heart-to-heart talks with employees to sentiment analysis software, to clear the path for you and bring in good reviews again.