Do you know what you don’t know?

We’ve all got blindspots in our business, even those of us who feel hugely confident about our abilities…

These blindspots might be simple things like expecting the market to behave as it always has or that your current supplier is the most appropriate to fulfil your needs.

They can also be much more complex and nuanced involving staff members or competitors or risks from within your business.

Think about the old example of Blockbuster video – they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They thought the market would stay the same and that consumers would become used to getting their movies piped into their homes by high speed internet.

They even had the chance to buy Netflix – again they didn’t know what they didn’t know. It’s hard as a large incumbent in a market with a business model that works to admit what you don’t know and go out and change it.

The first challenge with blindspots is admitting that you have them.

Once you’ve kept your ego in check long enough to do this you’ve then got to move to the point of diagnosing where you might have those blindspots, especially the least obvious ones.

Whilst it might not always be accurate or useful in every form, market research can be a useful tool for showing you where the blindspots for your business might be.

With the information gathered from this research you can begin to build a picture of what you don’t know.

Once you’ve got to this point you can then start to put in place the people or resources to help your business not continue to have blindspots in this particularly area.

Stepping back from your business like this is hard, time consuming and can often lead to bruised egos but all of these things are better than the alternatives of losing market share or being put out of business by a competitor.

If blockbuster had known what they don’t know and been willing to change the fortunes of their company might have turned out very differently.

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