Beware false and inaccurate information

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A lot of information hits us daily. Information from family, friends, news and social media. How much of this information is accurate, misleading and even false?

People use information to achieve their objectives or goals. They want something and they will use information selectively to obtain it. Think of all the sales messages you receive daily with promises about quality and service.

Then there is propaganda, which attacks, is insulting and deliberately hides the truth or even fabricates it. With no little being done and so much being taken away it’s no wonder the progandists spew out hate to cover themselves and claim progress.

Views are expressed by so-called exspurts, market commentators, economists, company representatives, self promoters and sympathy seekers.

How do you sift through all this information overload and decide what is accurate, what is objective and what is solid to base your decisions on? For small business owners and entrepreneurs it’s pretty crucial to have accurate, up-to-date information. Your survival can depend on it.

Just think how difficult it is to estimate customer demand. What about people pushing hyped up technology trends, deliberately trying to say that you are falling behind.

The best information to obtain is first-hand either through observation or making your own enquiries. Some people make jokes about information you are obtain from Internet but there is good information out there if you are careful to identify the source and perform a basic believability test.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs require information about customers, market trends, technology, new methods of operating, new strategies, laws and regulations, ways to save costs, and marketing strategies.

Do your own homework. Cross reference information. Look for trends. Talk directly to exspurts, preferably people with experience and where possible businesses similar to yours.

It’s hard to prevent yourself from being sucked in by others peddling half-backed truths, misleading and inaccurate facts and slanted, biased information. But if you start from the premise that all information is suspect, you can minimise risk to yourself.

Always begin with the question to yourself, “what’s in it for them?”. View facts and figures in context. A little bit of accurate thinking and caution will help you to avoid being taken for a sucker and making wrong decisions based on inaccurate and false information.

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