Setting up for Failure – Information Overload

Every entrepreneur would like his/her financials to be well planned; however there is little that is done to get there. Most entrepreneurs know too much and do very little or know too little and do things mindlessly. This article discusses why one must strike a balance between knowledge and doing, and also discusses the importance of taking action in business. The main purpose of this post is to highlight why taking the right action is as important as gathering the right information; it also highlights how information overload often kills a business.

What is information overload?

Overflowing emails in the inbox, an overdose of graph sheets providing trends, hundreds of text messages and updates, unending statistics regarding the financial patterns in your business — these are just the beginning of information overload. Unless a business manages these aspects effectively, it is setting itself up for failure – information overload most often kills a business silently. It is critical to identify the symptoms of information overload and nip them out of the way.

Most people assume that they know their business well and do not take time out to read and carry out sufficient research regarding their niche. On the other hand, there are some others who keep gathering information but do not get into action. Information overload can be defined as a phenomenon where one has gathered so much information that one is unable to manage, process, and comprehend that information to the benefit of business. It also includes information that is not validated.

What information overload and subsequent inaction does?

Oftentimes overload of information causes businesses to suffer from lack of clarity. Unless businesses take action, progress cannot be achieved. Businesses must have a set goal and well defined financial plans to further the information that is available. Information overload tends to distract people from their focus and causes confusion and chaos.

Reasons for information overload:

There are many factors that lead to overload of information; discussed below are a few of these factors:

• Different types of information made available at the same time and a subsequent inability to process it in a meaningful manner
• A marked increase in the number of channels of information available
• Inaccurate and contradicting information from various channels especially in matters of finance
• Excessive duplication of information on the internet
• Unstructured pieces of information accessed from different sources and so on

How to avoid information overload in financial planning:

When it comes to financial planning, one definitely needs to know and understand certain nuances such as investments, returns, marketing costs and so on and this requires information from various sources. However, care should be taken to avoid an overload in this area as it can confuse a person and distract him/her from the set financial goal. This should work both ways, information that is gathered and dispersed should be limited yet of high quality. Here are a few ways to avoid information overload in the area of financial planning:

• Always write down your financial goals in a structured manner. It is advised to have a written record of your short term and long term goals in a lucid manner as they help one focus better
• Once the goal is set, it is important to sort out information that is useful and in line with the set goals and use only that much information. Choosing a reliable source such as an auditing firm’s records or a blog or website that is trustworthy for carrying out research is a good idea
• Trying new methods and implementing fresh ideas can prove a savior at times. A good action plan based on information and calculated risk prediction is the way to go for entrepreneurs
• Choosing sources of information carefully is very critical to avoid information overload
• While planning for the future is good, care must be taken to accumulate relevant information and put it to right use towards the goal at hand
• Taking action to set up effective management systems for communication channels and internal processes is inevitable if one wants to avoid information overload. Everything from emails, advertisements, correspondence material and consultation schedules must be effectively managed to avoid information overload
• If you have subscribed to blogs and have regular RSS feeds coming your way, organize them in such a manner that you are able to read what you need to read rather than have piles of unread posts

How taking action can help save your business from information overload:

You may often ask yourself “am I not taking enough action already for my business.” While the answer may be a firm yes, there is a possibility that your action is not directed towards your financial goal. Taking the right action can be very exciting and rewarding. The result of the right action at the right time will undoubtedly lead to the right results. Here are a few advantages of taking action in business in general and against information overload in particular:

• Less clutter means more clarity and focus towards financial goals
• Business becomes more dynamic and engaging
• Effective action translates to increased profits
• Action leads you to take meaningful risks and this in turn opens up new opportunities
• Expansion of business becomes possible once information overload is eliminated
• Visibility of your business increases

In conclusion:

In this age of information it is very easy to digress from a financial goal owing to factors such as information overload. Taking the right action at the right time will eliminate the risks associated with information overload. In fact, by applying the suggestions quoted above, one can hope to achieve the set financial goals faster and more effectively. It is true that only effective action against information overload in the direction of the set financial goal will help a business thrive. Once a person moves from seeking information to taking action, one will realize that not only is business profitable but also, in fact, pleasurable.