It’s no secret that people are stubborn. We all make assumptions about our own skills, abilities, and futures, often rejecting anything that goes against these narratives. The problem is that assumptions can be dangerous, especially for business owners and leaders. Assumptions can lead to the downfall of your business, as they can blind you to new opportunities, threats, and experiences.

The only way to overcome this and lead your business to more success is to challenge your own assumptions. Have your own assumptions about your business been holding you back? Challenging yourself can lead to incredible new opportunities and rejuvenate the way you do business.

Learn from those who haven’t challenged their assumptions

Letting dangerous assumptions go unchecked has had disastrous consequences for countless businesses. After all, nobody wants to be responsible for a “New Coke”-level failure. This is perhaps the most infamous example of unchecked assumptions gone wrong – an extremely successful company wrongly assuming that customers would eat up anything they released. The result of their assumptions was a financial and reputational disaster that took years to recover from, and something that will continue to be referenced in case studies for decades to come.

Other examples include the recording industry’s dangerous assumption that bringing down Napster would bring an end to piracy, and Blockbuster’s decision not to purchase Netflix for a bargain basement price simply because the company assumed it was a joke. Learn from where these businesses went wrong, and think about the ramifications that dangerous assumptions can have on your business and its stakeholders. You can’t afford to ignore a potential threat, major opportunity, or incoming trend – failure to challenge your assumptions will lead to your business becoming yet another case study.

Challenging assumptions will grow your business and break bad habits

The ability to identify when you’re making an assumption and being able to challenge these assumptions can do wonders for your business and secure its future. For example, you might assume that you can’t sell your products online, or that a video marketing campaign won’t work for your business. You might even assume that quickly rising trends aren’t here to stay and that your business would be better off if you ignored it, or that emerging technologies are just a fad and that your team can do without. The problem is that in many cases, assumptions like these are just plain wrong.

The only way for you to find out for sure is to test your theories – launch a trial run for online sales, create a small video marketing campaign, and become an early adopter for an emerging solution that could increase your team’s productivity and make their jobs easier. Once you start to challenge your assumptions and take chances, you’ll quickly find out that more often than not, your assumptions were incorrect and were holding your business back. 

Only by doing this can you adjust your mindset and become more open to taking chances and challenging assumptions. There will always be some failures, but being completely unwilling to act because of preconceived notions could put your business’s future in jeopardy.

Seek advice from those who don’t share your perspective, and don’t be afraid to ask for help

Your employees have a major stake in your business’s success, and it’s very likely that they have ideas that could propel your business forward. Ask them for advice and consider their perspectives. These ideas can take you out of your comfort zone, but could also present exciting new ideas and concepts that you never otherwise would have considered due to your assumptions. 

This will allow you to determine how your business could be operating differently, how to set yourselves apart, what you could be doing to get ahead of the competition, and what exciting new opportunities lay ahead. You can also get new perspectives by asking other (preferably non-competing) business owners about what they’re doing differently and how they think you could serve to change things up.

Hire different people to get different takes on your business

A major mistake we see far too often is that many business owners wrongly assume that they can do everything. The truth is that they can’t. Even if you have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a variety of areas, it can quickly become time consuming and ultimately distracts you from more important things. Instead of assuming that you can handle everything, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Bringing on new team members to handle things like marketing, strategy, project management, and bookkeeping can bring fresh eyes and ideas to your business and free you up to take care of more important things.

Challenging your assumptions and knowing when you’re out of your depth can lead your business to experiencing more success. Remember to take chances, consult employees and outside perspectives, consider the failures of other businesses and how you can learn from them, and most importantly, specialize in what you do and leave the rest to the experts.

ion8 is an all-in-one business consultancy with a full team of experienced business technology experts, digital marketers, designers, developers, and more. Our team is here for you when you encounter something you don’t specialize in, working closely with you to achieve your goals in a timely manner. When you enlist the services of our talented team, you free yourself up to take care of more important things without worries about quality or efficiency. To find out more about how ion8 can help your business reach new heights, contact us today.