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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 7
Issue 2

Danger: Not Knowing What You Don't Know

"You generally hear that what a man doesn't know doesn't hurt him, but in business, what a man doesn't know does hurt".
Gerald Brenan

It's often been said – "ignorance is bliss". Being uninformed is frequently more comfortable than becoming aware, but ignorant bliss can be short lived. One can be blind-sighted by the unknown. In business, it can cost an owner dearly. If there are details that are missing, it's unlikely they will be addressed until it's too late. Over-focused, working in your business, you're not always aware of the danger signs. The "I didn't know" excuse won't impress the legal system, IRS or your customers and employees.

Typical issues neglected due to lack of attention or awareness:

  • Employees who could be stealing you blind
  • Simple legal agreements and contracts that protect you against future harmful situations
  • HR requirements; privacy, sexual harassment and other policies necessary to maintain a healthy work environment
  • Tax issues-including whether you claim a worker as a contractor vs. employee
  • Opportunities you are letting slip through your fingers

Think where your blind spots are. Learn from others and don't make costly mistakes.

Ways to avoid expensive/catastrophic breaches:

  • Use advisors. Your accountant, attorney, financial advisor, business consultant, or coach can all serve as an additional pair of eyes. Having advisors work collaboratively on behalf of your business produces optimal results.
  • Join a peer or CEO group. These groups offer lessons from mistakes and successes of other members. Professionally facilitated groups bring up important issues you should know about.
  • Take assessments in different disciplines. They can uncover areas that are vulnerable or neglected. Experts can help you implement remedies.
  • Attend courses. Several seminars and workshops are available that can enlighten you in areas where you are weak or uninformed and many are free or low cost.
  • Stay informed through reading. Books, journals, e-mail newsletters, and blogs can keep you current. Authors, if honest, share theirs or their clients' personal mistakes and failures. Don't repeat somebody else's darkest hours.
Avoidance may seem comfortable but knowledge is power. Make sure you have the facts to make the right business decisions to protect yourself legally and financially. Provide you and your business the safety and fulfillment of all opportunities available. Operate your company with your eyes wide open and you are bound to be successful!

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