Come on . . . do you really expect me to waste my time reading all the fine print?
How often have you taken the time lately to read all the detailed information that is thrown in your face as you sign up for a product, web site, service, or even a simple newsletter?
Now, I’m lucky if I skim through the narrative looking for anything unusual!
The solo business owner will be confronted with many detail-oriented tasks, especially in the beginning, as the company is planned, organized, and “hatched” from an idea into a full-fledged living business.
There will be registrations to fill out, licenses to obtain, Internet services to subscribe to, many resource-oriented web sites to join, and a host of other tasks that will be thrown at you with a whole lot of “fine print” for you to read, absorb, understand, and commit to.
Really . . . who has the time for such things?
It’s been my experience that all these instructions, conventions, disclaimers and the proverbial “fine print” are most often just nuisances that devour a business owner’s time.
Should I “just say no?”
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the fine print is there to cover the remote eventuality that an action or circumstance might come up for which there is no written solution or historical precedent.
Most of us generally think of disclaimers as a bored lawyer’s “weasel words.”
However, once in a great while these annoyances can save your bacon.
Or they can get you into boiling hot water if you choose to disregard them and break the posted rules.
Often seasoned entrepreneurs give the tiny print a “power skim” then move on to important matters that directly affect the bottom line.
Speed at this task becomes a real art form!
I remember when I first went online almost a two decades ago.
I poured over the “user agreements” of every software program I purchased.
I didn’t want to take a chance on messing up and getting into trouble.
Nowadays, I’ve not quite fallen into the “could care less” mode, but I often skip over the preliminaries so I can just get right to the good stuff.
A word of caution to you if you run a small business: your carelessness in reading fine print is your choice, but if things go sour, you have no one to blame but the guy in the mirror!
You see, when you become a solo business owner, there is no one hovering over you to protect and keep you out of trouble.
There are no corporate angels or company guardians.
You will not be covered by a blanket insurance policy of errors and omissions that protects the corporation from the stupidity or carelessness of the individual employee.
Most likely, there will not be a corporate attorney that you can call on a moment’s notice to advise you on legal matters.
I would suggest that you read everything that even resembles fine print.
You’ll get good at speed reading and skimming through this type of document so that you don’t spend any more time at it than necessary.
Print out the information in hard copy and read it on your lunch hour, on the bus commute to your day job, or after hours when you’re having trouble sleeping.
I find I can read the written word on paper faster and more comfortably than I can read on a computer screen.
You’ll hate every minute of this activity at first, but every now and then your diligence will be rewarded because you will have protected your business.
You can’t afford to be without this type of “passive insurance.”
The difference between wild small business success and utter failure is often a matter of paying attention to and executing, the little, seemingly insignificant details.
Never put yourself at risk.
Avoid the tenuous position of “hoping” that a small business oversight will not come back to haunt and torment you.
Be safe rather than sorry!
To your online business success,