Can a Screw Up be Fixed?

Another update from the HR jungle….

mistakeBob recently bought a business that has one small retail location. He spent weeks fixing up the store to make it more visually appealing. He also researched the store’s records to identify former customers and then contacted them to introduce himself as the new owner.

While he will sell products to anyone with money, he really wants to build sales to other businesses since that will generate more revenue in the long run. So when he’s not behind the counter, he’s at a business networking event. Since he can’t afford to hire an assistant yet, a retired friend babysits the store while he’s at an event or running errands.

Two weeks ago, Bob invited another business owner that he met at one of the B2B networking groups to stop by the store so they could get better acquainted. Today, the other business owner showed up at the appointed time and was greeted by Bob’s friend. When Bob returned to the store hours later he realized he’d screwed up; he forgot the appointment.

What options are available to Bob?

  1. He can wait for the other guy to contact him, but that’s not really fair since Bob’s the one who forgot the appointment.
  2. He can ignore the screw up leaving a bad first impression on the other business owner who may think all sorts of evil thoughts about Bob’s business acumen.
  3. He can immediately call the other business owner, apologize for screwing up, and ask if it’s possible to reschedule the appointment.

What does this sort of screw up have to do with HR? Imagine how Bob’s employees (when he can afford to hire them) will feel if he blows off obligations that are important to them while holding them to a high standard of performance.

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