Are You Making Bad Business Decisions Based on Assumptions?

A potential pitfall of using limits to as the ...

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Are you making bad business decisions based on assumptions?  Thinking you know the answer to a problem without verifying or checking your thinking?

I was a temp many years ago.  This meant I went around to different offices and companies, mostly doing word processing, sometimes page layout, or even help desk (during the great DOS to Windows transition).

I had to be able to adjust to lots of different software, working conditions, and, of course, bosses. And do it quickly.

The document from hell

One day, I was called in to work on a big document which the agency described as “the document from hell.”  It more than lived up to its name – many, many pages of information, set up in columns rather than a table – every time you added new data, the whole document had to be reformatted – by hand – a mess!).

Hard worker? Or slacker?

Anyway, at one point, my “boss du jour” saw me with a book. She came over, rather angry, and asked, “Are you finished with the document?”  No, I said.  “Then  WHY are you READING?”  I held up the book, which was called something like “WordPerfect Reference Guide,” and said, “It’s this, lots of characters, not much plot.” Then, not only appeased, but impressed, she asked if I would come back the next day.  I declined.

The danger of assuming

The point of the story is that she saw a book, and decided that I was wasting her time and her money.  The truth was, knowing the document was a nightmare, I had brought a reference book to help me work through it. I wasn’t a slacker, I was prepared. If you assume that everyone thinks what you think, or take action without investigating, your marketing is likely to fail.

Test your assumptions before you act

That’s why direct marketers test so much – to see if their assumptions are true. Does the blue call to action button work better? Or the orange one?  Which offer gets more sales – the buy one and get one for half price offer, or the buy one, get one free?

Don’t assume.  Test.