If we go back to a time prior to the internet, and for younger readers, that time did exist; there were limits on where we could access business information. Of course, there were books and seminars, however, the information that passed our way wasn’t as rapid, and we could easily control the flow with which we accepted and implemented new information.
Fast forward to 2019, and there is no shortage of business information we can access online. And just to prove my point, I searched for ‘business advice' online, and approximately 1.6 billion search results returned. Don’t get me wrong, having easy access to information is great, however information that can affect our business, and ultimately our livelihood, has to be used wisely, and there has to be a deeper understanding of what the information means to your specific situation, and how it can and should be applied to your business.
Enter, ‘context’. As a business consultant, I have heard hundreds of stories from business owners who decided to investigate a business area by doing their own research on the net, and then instantly applied this to their businesses.
Sometimes this will work, however, more often than not it doesn’t. “Why?” you might ask. Because, although the principles of business are extremely simple from the standpoint that we trade money for goods and services of perceived equal value, there are extreme complexities related to the strategy and processes that underpin all successful businesses. Therefore, applying something you research on the net, thinking that it will solve your problem, could actually be doing your business more harm than good.
I am certainly not suggesting that you shouldn’t do your own research. In fact, it would pay all business owners well to have a decent level of knowledge of all business areas. However, the benefit of learning business principles from someone with a high level of business knowledge, experience and qualifications, is all about context. What worked for the real estate company you researched in Minneapolis may not work for your plumbing company in Brisbane. The reason is, there are too many business variables that are specific to your business. This means that we can take the same strategy used in company (A), and apply it to company (B), and the results will vary, sometimes greatly. Knowing the context of your research will help you to understand how a theory will apply in practice based on your own unique business elements.
Words by Rudi Tartaglia, tmarketing