How To Make Better Business Decisions
Are you guilty of putting off actions because you can’t make a decision?
You are not alone, procrastination is very common amongst business owners but these time delays are hurting your business and waiting for more information to come along won’t help you. Anything you fail to act on today is likely to be carried over tomorrow and this will be added to the myriad of other choices that you’ll be confronted with and will need to decide upon.
It’s no surprise that we appear to have lost our ability for effective decision-making when faced with the paradox of choice in our modern day world. Barry Schwartz tackles this subject matter well in his book with the same title.
Decision -making is what separates leaders from followers and all leaders know that procrastination is an enemy and an energy vampire.
Indecision costs far more than a wrong decision.
When we put off making those important decisions such as whether to execute our business ideas, leave the job we’ve outgrown and finally set-up our business, launch the product we’ve spent months developing or invest in a new marketing campaign, we actually miss out on the opportunity to capitalise on what we know. It’s far worse than just making a wrong call because when we commit and finally begin the whole universe actually conspires to support us.
Decision-making not only clears your mind it frees up your mental faculties to get more done, see things more clearly and is a major morale-booster to boot. So if you want to develop your creativity muscle then you’ve got to be prepared to make decisions.
When we fail to make our own business decisions our destiny is in the hands of others, our customers, partners, the markets yet when we engage them in our decision-making strategies we empower ourselves and get a better outcome entirely.
Difficult decisions typically involve;
- Uncertain conditions because we don’t have all the facts.
- Complexity because there are many interrelated factors.
- High-risk consequences where the impact is significant and alternatives present various options each with their very own pro’s and cons.
- Interpersonal issues where sometimes it’s tricky to predict how someone will react.
Better Business Decision Making Strategies involve;
- A clear perspective of what you are wanting to achieve over the longer term. When we have a clear vision of where we are headed its much easier to navigate the obstacles on our path.
- Don’t over-think it instead always listen to your gut instinct. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the value of intuition in his bestseller Blink in thin-slicing data and information utilising the powers of your intuitive intelligence.
- Ask yourself what you can do easily right now with what you’ve got that’s good enough.
- Examine your biases if it involves others by asking yourself what’s important to you about the situation and then look for any assumptions you might be making about their thoughts and behaviours.
- Imagine yourself having made the decision and have let go of the fear.
- Reflect on times in the past when you made difficult decisions. How did they turn out?
- Meditate on your situation and let the answer flow.
- For more complex decision-making regarding your business ask other’s opinions.
- Consider whether you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel proud of your decision after the event.
Remember all self limiting decisions are based on fear and are a result of a belief system based on past results. The more you are able to unravel beliefs that don’t serve you the faster you’ll accelerate as a self employed business owner and the greater your productivity will be.
Breakdown the decisions;
Operational-these are everyday matters that require limited attention, thought or energy. These decisions can be made quickly in the knowledge that they don’t carry major risk or cost and are effectively short-term such as how you intend to spend your week to maximise your productivity and grow your business.
Tactical-These types of decisions support the more important ones so they have a greater significance in the hierarchy and do carry moderate consequences. They might involve who you’re going to align with in business to support your growth strategy or how you can exploit a current trend.
Strategic-These types of decisions require a decent amount of thought and reflection time because they determine your longer term goals, align your values and philosophy of business. By definition they are future oriented and thus risky because the future is unknown. Making the right call involves self knowledge and character because when we know ourselves and what’s important to us our business decisions get a whole lot easier.
Now it’s your turn, what business decision-making techniques have served you well when growing your own business?