What’s the biggest business mistake you’ve ever made?
I was just reading an article from the Money section of Time magazine which explored what to tell your boss when you make a big mistake. Should you try to fix it covertly or fess up immediately and face the music?
The expert in this cases advises the reader to own up to the mess with a structured guideline of pretty much what to say.
• Pressing it home how mortified you are by the mistake which shows you understand the seriousness.
• What happened leading up to the mistake and that you understand how it happened.
• The steps you’re taking to fix the problem.
Great advice without a doubt and definitely something you should bookmark in case you accidentally set fire to the office.
But for me, what is more interesting is how a company blogger can use this advice as inspiration for their business blog posts.
So I did a brainstorm and a little research into the matter.
Blogging about Mistakes
Here are the resulting blog post ideas and suggestions for any type of business to use, large or small:
1. What’s the biggest mistake your company has made? Write about it in an open and honest way. The trick with this type of revelation is to pick something you not only successfully fixed but which led to eventual growth and success. Detail how your customers or clients can also follow the steps you took and achieve similar benefits.
2. How damaging can mistakes be in your industry? Tell a few horror stories about what can happen if an untrained or careless worker neglects the safety aspects of his or her work. Then counter this with evidence and insight into how properly your staff are trained to avoid such major problems.
3. When well-known names and faces in the business world or even in celebrity culture make a mistake, the press falls upon them like a ton of bricks. Everything is squished and squashed for all to see. Take advantage of this. Briefly touch on the news story then write about how your company would have avoided such errors and the safeguards you have in place.
4. What common mistakes do your target market make which they need help fixing? Ones that you can help with. Select one mistake per blog post. Detail the pain points, frustrations and anxieties your customers will have over the problem and then provide examples of how you can solve it. You can interweave client testimonials, photographs, stats and case studies into the post.
5. Think about the mistakes you see being made by leaders in your industry. What are the errors in judgement they are making which can have a negative impact on businesses and customers? You needn’t name names but you can highlight their mistakes and then write about how your company is avoiding such practices to the benefit of all concerned.
6. What makes an employee or business unfit for their role? Create a blog post advising customers and clients on how to spot unsavoury, unprofessional and error-prone businesses before they fall into their clutches. What are the warning signs which might appear positive to the untrained eye? How are you different?
7. Clients and customers are worried about making mistakes just as much as you are during meetings and projects. What do you do to sooth the worries of clients who might think they are on the wrong track? How can you help them know exactly what’s going on? Provide some examples.
8. You know those safety hooks climbers use every few metres to ensure if they fall they will be secured? Compare the skill of climbing to your company. What safety hooks does your business have for when things go terribly wrong? Write about how these benefit both your company and most importantly, your customers.
9. If you’re feeling brave, be a little controversial and write about how voting for a particular political party or politician could be a big mistake for your customers. Relate the reason back to your business and the problems your target market faces. Is there an economic policy they espouse which in your eyes is total bullshit?
10. Finally, why would it be a mistake for people to overlook your business? This might sound like an overt sales pitch which is usually frowned upon (and doesn’t really work) in business blogging. But if you do it with humour, for example, perhaps with cartoons, you can more than get away with it.
And there you have it, 10 blog post ideas for your company blog on the subject of making mistakes.
Some of these posts will go well with current affairs, news stories and industry developments whilst others will be more evergreen and can face the test of time.
Mistakes are ubiquitous in business and everyone makes them so this topic offers a lot of blogging mileage.
Creative Commons image attribution: Worried man talking on cellular phone from Alon