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Hidden Costs in Business – Can They Be Measured?

Written by John Kuder

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Note: This post was written almost entirely by AI as an experiment. The transcript below is also transcribed by AI but has been carefully edited by a human for greater accuracy.

Did you know that there are invisible costs lurking within your business? These hidden costs are often overlooked and can have a significant impact on your overall success. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of hidden costs and explore the importance of measuring both the measurable and immeasurable aspects of your business. Join us as we uncover the hidden costs that may be hiding in plain sight.

The Cost of Ignoring the Unmeasurable:

One of the most significant challenges in business is determining the value of things that are hard to measure. Take smoking, for example. The immediate consequences may not be apparent, making it easier to ignore. However, the long-term health implications can be far-reaching. While it’s difficult to assign a specific cost, investing in your health today can save you from hefty medical expenses in the future

Additionally, missed opportunities can also result in hidden costs. Choosing not to network or procrastinating on important tasks can hinder your business growth. The true cost of these missed opportunities is challenging to measure, as they may have led to fruitful relationships or lucrative business deals. By not taking advantage of these opportunities, you could be compromising your long-term success.

Calculating Measurable Costs:

On the other hand, some costs are easily measurable. Fixed prices, such as the cost of a car, can be determined by visiting a dealership or checking online. Similarly, the cost of an employee can be calculated by considering their hourly wage and any additional expenses such as taxes or insurance. These costs can be tracked and known with a high degree of clarity, allowing for effective budgeting and planning.

Considering the Consequences:

It is crucial to assess the consequences of both positive and negative actions in your business. Research has shown that humans are twice as motivated to avoid negative outcomes as they are to pursue positive ones. Negative thoughts can impact us seven times more than positive thoughts. Understanding these psychological aspects can help you identify potential hidden costs and make informed decisions.

The Value of Consistency and Support:

When weighing the costs of missed opportunities, consistency plays a vital role. Consistently showing up, whether it’s attending networking events or following through on tasks, can lead to significant rewards. Having a support system, such as a mentor or accountability partner, can provide the necessary motivation and guidance to overcome any discomfort or challenges.

Measuring the Intangible:

While some costs are challenging to measure, it is essential to recognize their significance. Looking back, you may realize the value of networking events you chose to skip or the opportunities you turned down. However, assigning an exact number or dollar value to these missed opportunities is nearly impossible. Instead, focus on the potential growth, relationships, and long-term benefits that may have resulted from seizing those opportunities.


Unveiling the hidden costs in your business can be a complex task. Balancing the measurable costs with the intangible ones requires a thoughtful analysis of the potential consequences. By understanding the impact of your actions, both positive and negative, you can make informed decisions that optimize your business’s success.

If you find yourself struggling with identifying and managing hidden costs, our team is here to help. We can provide valuable insights, act as a sounding board for your ideas, and help you navigate the challenges of measuring the immeasurable. Reach out to us to learn more. Don’t let hidden costs hold your business back. It’s time to uncover the unseen and unleash your full potential.

Video Transcript:

Did you know that you have invisible costs in your business? No. And in your life, really? Totally hiding in plain sight. But so, another question. They’re hiding.

Have you noticed that the things that are hardest to measure are the easiest things to ignore? Uh, yeah. That’s a big clue. Big clue. So we’re gonna dig into that.

Like the scale.

I’m thinking like the cost of a missed opportunity versus the cost of a, of a fixed price item. Okay. Okay, go with that. All right. So when something has a fixed price, like a car, okay, okay. We can go, we can go look online, we can go to a, you know, go to a dealership, but there’s a price tag on it, right?

A written price tag. It, yes, there’s negotiation. So it’s, it’s semi-fixed, but it, it’s, it’s a fixed price. We know there’s gonna be a cost. Uh, in our business, the cost. We, if we have an employee that we pay a certain number of dollars per hour, then we can easily calculate how much we’re spending per day to have that employee present.

True. Okay. And there’s probably gonna be some, well, there’s not, probably, there are additional costs like, you know, uh, taxes, um, payroll taxes, et cetera, that, that go into having an employee. But all that is. Easily measurable. True. And easily, easily, um, trackable. Right, true. So we can, we can know, uh, or have a, a high degree of, uh, clarity mm-hmm.

About what, you know, in, in a day or over a period of time what that costs. True. Okay. True. There’s, there’s another aspect to that, and that is the immediacy of the cost. Okay. So I want to, oh, both the measurability and the immediacy. Okay. Okay. Which means what? All right. The, um, if I don’t pay my water bill mm-hmm.

What happens?

Double the price pretty much. Next time.

Won’t they turn off the water? They will eventually. Okay. Yeah. And there’s a penalty to pay, right?


So there’s a, there’s a penalty and there’s a known and relatively immediate penalty versus if I am a smoker. And I’m smoking Oh, this month. Right.

What is the, how immediate are the consequences of, of that to my health? Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s pretty easy to ignore. Yeah. Because it’s pretty hard to measure. I can’t say with a, a high degree of probability that, you know, one year from today or one month from today, if I, if I smoke every day, that X will happen.

Right. True. There, there will, there’s a fixed cost. I’m gonna spend this many dollars in medical costs or something like that. Right. Can’t do it. It and so, because it’s way out there in the future and it’s really hard to measure. Okay. Got it. Okay. So that’s, um, that’s what we wanna talk about, so, cool. Stop talking about the, so those are negative consequences.

And, and that’s, that’s really, you know, there’s a whole other area to that, right? So what is the consequence and is it a positive or negative consequence? Is it a pain or a pleasure or a, a benefit?

We as humans tend to, in fact, it’s been researched, we avoid or move away from something that pains us with twice as much as we move towards something that we want. So we’re much more motivated… we’re twice as motivated to avoid a negative as we are to go towards a positive.

That brings up the whole thing of, if we have a negative thought, it impacts us seven times more than what a positive thought does.

Okay. I mean, I mean, again, that’s been measured. Yeah. Um, and it’s, so,

okay. There’s a lot, a lot to unpack here, right? Yeah. Keep unpack. So let’s keep, uh, so we are. Okay. Talking about, you know, something that’s hard to measure. Mm-hmm. All right. So what, rather than getting into the negatives of what is this, um, you know, doing this thing, it, it’s hard to measure like the smoking or, or, uh, not exercising.

Right? Right. Um, but okay, let’s go with that for, for a minute cost, because I wanna get into cost of a missed opportunity. Okay. And, and by missed opportunity, I want to include, I. Uh, the, you know, something that we just didn’t do right. We just chose not to do. So I went to the gym this morning. Yes, you did.

And so we, when we don’t do something okay, consciously choose not to do it. For example, procrastinating, just putting it off. I’ll do it tomorrow. Or, or, or we say, well, I’ve got, I’m too busy. Okay. That. How do we measure the cost? The long-term cost? The long-term cost of what we’re missing, what we didn’t do?

It’s not easy. No. And I’m not here to say there’s an easy answer. Oh, this is all just gonna go away. No, no. I’m here to say it’s worth trying, it’s worth thinking about and really trying to, to, to put that into some perspective. So

would help having. A consistency support, consistency support

somebody that…

Do you check in with on a regular basis?

This is, would that help? This is very linked to consistency, I believe.

Okay. Yes. Yeah, I agree.

I mean, it is, get into that more in, in future videos. Oh, okay. Cool. But, um, I, I, I, I can talk about something very personal to me. Okay. Not like that kind of personal, but personal, my experience.

Um, networking. Okay. Networking. Ah, okay. Is something that. I, I, now I’m looking at that. That was something I avoided. Yeah, he did. I went out, uh, wouldn’t go. I’ve been told it was a good thing you went to networking meetings and networking events and I didn’t correct partly because I was working, but okay.

Yeah. That’s an excuse, but I didn’t. And, and it was because of how I thought about myself that I thought of, I was an introvert that I didn’t like making small talk, that I didn’t think I would be good at it. And then I went to a networking meeting all by myself and it was, you know, a cocktail hour kind of thing.

And I did okay, but I didn’t enjoy it.

Had a ball!

I that one night. Yeah. Um, okay.

I guess I came back excited. I just excited. That’s interesting. But it was really uncomfortable for me. Oh, thank you. That’s cool. But I, it was really uncomfortable and, uh, it was a stretch at the, at at the time. It was a stretch and, and I didn’t repeat it.

I didn’t go back cuz I didn’t find, I didn’t find the value in it. I found Oh, okay. I found the, um, I, I value, you found all the excuses, the discomfort higher than the, than ah, you know, the, the growth opportunity there. So I, I, I avoided that discomfort. Going forward. Okay. And, and, you know, so couple of years later re re-addressed the idea of networking Okay.

Business networking with you, and now we’re going together and, and we found a way to do it. That was, you know, that’s, uh, very. But has a, a social, pretty strong social aspect to it. Mm-hmm. It’s very relationship oriented, which really fits us. So we found a fit and not regimented and we, we found a strategy of, you know, basically going together, having a wingman, which is awesome.

I recommend that. And, It’s been life changing.

Yeah. Well, and you went again to another networking not too long ago

and by yourself. No, I went with someone as a

Well, you went with someone, but it was not me.

It wasn’t you. Yeah. So I, I grew, uh, you know, expanded that, that strategy mm-hmm. In a different direction, which is a good thing.

Yes. So what I’m getting back to our theme in for this of the, uh, you know, hard to measure. Okay. It’s, it’s very hard to measure looking, even looking backward now. Oh yeah. Very hard to measure the cost of what? Of what I haven’t done something right. Of not networking has been, but. Uh, in terms of getting it really, you know, really down to either num, you know, exact numbers or dollars and cents.

Right. But I know that it’s a big cost. Yeah. It’s, it’s far, far more now that I see the benefits. Ah, of, of the many benefits that I’ve gotten from networking, both in increased self-confidence in relationships that we’ve begun to build and in the, um, just the experience, the, the, what I’ve learned about how to do it and about myself that I’m, I’m really not the introvert I thought I was.

No, he’s not. And so there’s so much benefit now that I can sort of take that and extrapolate it back now for several years or. Maybe even, you know, 30 or 40 years because I, there’s possibility I could have done more networking earlier in my career. Okay. But so do you use this feature yourself up? No. No.

It’s just, okay. It’s the, it’s how do I value what I’m doing now to continue doing it? I, I, and I can weigh that against the, you know, the lost, I can look at what is the lost opportunity, what might have happened in terms of additional business and in terms of additional, Relationships. True. That didn’t happen because I didn’t go and take that opportunity.

Okay. But as long as you’re not beating yourself up because of have in the past, but, but not, no. That, that’s a habit that, um, that, you know, again, another video and another actually a workshop. Right. Um, yeah. Stop beating yourself up workshops. Yeah. But, um, yeah, so the.

The point I wanted to try to wrap this up with right, is even though it’s, it’s hard for us to measure those things that are either the, the consequence is, is vague and, and seems to be far away in time.

Mm-hmm. Like my example of, of, you know, some unhealthy habit, let’s call it. Right. Cuz it could be not exercising, it could be smoking, it could be how we eat, you know, many things. Yeah. Um, the, either because of the, the, it’s something that’s cumulative over time. Mm-hmm. Or because it’s just really hard to, to, you know, we have, there’s some guesswork involved to Yeah.

Like the missed opportunity. So I didn’t go to a particular meeting with someone, or they invited me somewhere and I didn’t go, what, who might I have met there? Right. Or what might have happened there that led to something else because the, the, the big opportunities. They just come out of nowhere and they’re, they’re, they’re always as surprised you, smallest.

You always think they’re the smallest. Yes. And, and there’s a surprise, surprise. And, and I’ve, there’s been so many times I’ve found where, where I didn’t feel like going somewhere. I didn’t feel like doing something or go. Mm-hmm. And I did it anyway. And there was a huge reward. Right. Huge reward. You know, something wonderful happened there.

Right. Thank you for joining us live and the, uh, so we can never totally reign that in or, or, or, you know, put a box around that like we can, the price of. You know what it’s gonna cost me to, to buy a gym membership or what it’s gonna cost me to buy a car or a new piece of equipment or hire an employee.

But in terms of our business, you know, looking at, for example, turnover, um, it’s very. Useful to look at, not just the, you know, what it costs to have an employee, but what it costs us in terms of, uh, the reduced growth in our business, the slower growth of our business. Okay. By not having an employee. Right.

Right. We can, it’s easy to say, oh, that’s gonna cost me this much, but, but it’s important to look at the other side of that. Right.

What, what’s my time worth? And, and what can I do with that to, to grow the business or to right, to manage the business better by offloading some of those things that I’m doing myself to, to an employee, you know, that you know, is that can do, that I can train and to do that, right?

So this exercise of measuring. The hard things, at least trying, I mean, even the thought process of, of Right, how do I measure this is really valuable, right? And, and it will lead to revelations that we can’t predict because you’re, you know, you’re, um, gonna be individual.

But thanks for watching and if you need help with this, that’s what a, that’s part of what we do.

We do. Yeah. Exactly. And um, and, and we are a really great, great sounding board for Yeah. Exploring ideas like that mm-hmm. And asking questions that will provoke thoughts rather than just getting stuck in your own head. Right. Because we all get stuck. So leave us comment, um, reach out to us, uh, visit our website.

Yeah. And we’ll see you in another video. Thanks so much. Bye.

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