How to Make Your Mistakes into Business Opportunities

Mistakes happen, in life and in business. What really counts, is what you do when a mistake is made.

This business strategy separates those that are successful from those who are less so. Not only can mistakes let us rise to the top but it can offer proof of your integrity.

Why did I pick this topic? Because we recently made a mistake that could have been a set-back for our business. Instead, it turned into an opportunity to build an even stronger bond with our client. Phew! Love it when things turn out that way.

There are three vital steps to take when dealing with a mistake.

1. Admit and Apologize

We were running an auto-scrubber during our night-time cleaning at Westside Recreation Centre recently. The next morning, black marks appeared all over their floor surface. After a prompt investigation, we realized our auto-scrubber’s battery had leaked acid and burned marks into the floor. Not good. Of course, we apologized and promised the facility manager fast action to correct the issue. We took two simultaneous actions; one to find a way to fix the burn marks, the second to find out why the machine leaked.

2. Find the Cause

By tracking down the root cause of this leak, we soon discovered it was a manufacturer’s defect covered by warranty. That made our staff and client feel better, but we still had to fix the problem.

3. Make Changes

We worked closely with the manufacturer and devised a process to treat the burn marks and get the floor back to shape. With this experience, we then trained our staff to watch for leaks in the future and address any issues immediately.

It took only 24 hours between finding the burns and finding a solution. Within one day we analyzed the problem, investigated why it happened and found a fix. The client was blown away with the urgency we gave to the issue and the care we took to make it right.

As I said, mistakes will happen. But if you own up to the mistake, act quickly to uncover the problem and provide a solution, you will be a better for it. And you will have a better business because of it.


EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown, and “Honest”, Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.