Performing Due Diligence in Daily Life

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Published: 14th December 2010
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The more formal definition of due diligence is "research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction." In simpler terms, due diligence is nothing more than "doing your homework" and diligence itself means "persevering done with careful, steady work."

Due diligence in the business world refers to steps taken by venture capitalist before investing capital in a startup business. It also involves continuing investigations as to how the funds are being distributed or the precautionary steps taken by a larger company in deciding whether or not to acquire a smaller company.

So, can a consumer perform due diligence? You bet! In fact, performing due diligence should be a part of your daily life. For example:

Your home theater room is missing a satellite dish or cable TV provider. Instead of selecting the first one you find in the phone book, you should be researching and comparing several aspects of both options before committing to your entertainment choice. Don't rush the process ó take whatever time is necessary to cover all your bases.

First, compare availability. If certain favorite channels aren't available in your area or that particular provider doesn't service your neighborhood, move on to the next choice. From there, compare equipment issues (e.g., dish mounted to your roof, multiple remote controls) and bundled services (e.g., Internet + cable or telephone + cable).

And last, but not least: price. Now that you've narrowed down your choice to either satellite or cable, does your entertainment dollar still make sense?

Notice that "price" was listed last in the due diligence process. Thatís because if you have $100 a month to spend, chances you'll end up spending $100. If you perform due diligence and study what's being offered, you might find you're just as happy with the $50 package. Getting the best bang for your buck doesn't means spending all your bucks.

Just like in the business world, consumer due diligence is an excellent way to identify and subsequently manage the risks involved. The amount of time and money that can be saved is virtually immeasurable.

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