Be honest. You hate getting criticized.
Of course you do. It’s human nature. None of us like to be critiqued, and we definitely don’t like to admit we are wrong (just ask my husband ).
But as an entrepreneur, accepting criticism is one of the best things you can do for your business. Because the truth is, you won’t get your business right the first time you launch it. You’ll think you got it right. You’ll launch it and you’ll feel a burst of pride in your new baby. All your time, stress and hard work will have grown something that you are truly proud of, so its inconceivable that other people just might not like it as much as you.
But then you hear the murmurs. You get the questions.
Do you sell xyz? (Of course I don’t sell that. How could they even think that?)
Have you thought about doing this instead? (Why? What’s wrong with the way I’m already doing it?!)
I couldn’t find xyz on your website (doh! It’s easy. You just click this button. And this button. And this button. And then click there. And…..oh, wait….)
As an entrepreneur, you really have two ways you can deal with criticism. You can ignore it, and silently tut at your critics for the fact they just don’t get it. Or you can listen to them. You can adapt, morph, change, grow, and thrive. Guess which option is going to be better for you business in the long run?
I was faced with that choice recently on my Giftizzi business. I’ve had fantastic feedback off customers and they love the concept. But I did find one or two niggles cropping up again and again. The search was confusing. The mouse-over action on the products was confusing. So I swallowed my pride and changed things. It’s taken months of work but we’ve got there, and it’ll be going live in the next few weeks. But I’m glad I did it. I didn’t love the criticism, but I did listen to my customers. And if you want your business to succeed, you do need to learn to listen to customers.
Before I sign off, let me give you a recommendation if you are currently struggling with criticism about your website. It’s a free service called Peek, and it will allow you to get a video of a real user critiquing your website. It can be painful to hear what they say, but it is incredibly useful. I’m not affiliated with this company at all, I just love what they do.