Listening is one of the things you can't overdo when setting up and running a business. When setting up, you will get lots of advice, solicited and unsolicited, on how to set up, what to do, and what not to do. Everyone will tell you what the most important business rule is with experiences to back up their point. Now, if you are paying enough attention, you will realise that these 'most important rule' are all different from one another. This leads to the question of which of the important rules is more important.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should trash every piece of advice you get. And that is why I began by highlighting the art of listening. The reality is there are so many rules when it comes to running a business. There are the management rules, the financial rules, the partnership rules, the expansion rules, basically every aspect has its own rules. And honestly, you can't always keep up with all of these rules. Sometimes, the case is that your business has not grown big enough to need that rule or has outgrown a particular rule.
However, there is one rule that is relevant for all decisions, and at every stage of your business. It is the rule you are unlikely to hear in the abundance of the solicited and unsolicited advice you will get. The rule is If you don't understand it, don't do it. That is pretty simple and obvious, isn't it?
Well, that is the reason why it is always overlooked. Opportunities abound in the world of business, and each one comes with its temptations. These temptations feed on our desire to grow and expand, which is a legitimate desire to begin with. But the consequences they hold can be very grievous for the business. And we have many stories of business failure for this. The deception of risks being an essential part of running a business is that it allows you to excuse certain things because not doing it is also a risk. While this is true, the golden rule remains that you must know enough about it.
And this golden rule is not the escape or easy way out that you might think it. Actually, it is a call for you to put in more effort. It is not that you should abandon everything you don't know. If you do that, you will miss out on many good things for your business. It is that you are to seek to understand what you don't understand. Do your research, take a course, read a book, or get an expert.
It is a call for you to continuously educate yourself and broaden your scope. It is then that you can effectively put to use the management, financial, partnership, and expansion advice you have received. It is then you can tell which is important for your business. It is then can filter which is applicable for your business. It is then that you can organize your needs and available resources to achieve set goals. It is a call to be a competent decision-maker.
It also guides your expectations, prepares you for your role, and helps you deal with a negative outcome. In learning about it, you are already aware of a possible unfavourable outcome that you can prepare for and proactively shield your business from.
The crux of the matter is this, if you don't understand it, seek to understand it, then make your decision to do it or not based on your acquired knowledge.