A single decision can be responsible for the success or downfall of your business.
That may sound a bit extreme, but the agony of knowing whether or not you made the right choice in any given situation is unavoidable, and something that business owners have to face on a continual basis.
Such decisions have the potential to affect you, the future of your business, your employees and even your customers.
Although finding out what effect your decisions will have on the business takes time, you can, in the process, improve your decision-making abilities to minimize any further consequences that could arise in future.
Tim Berry, a business planning expert, has come up with 5 simple rules for better business decisions. Although these tips don’t guarantee that you’ll achieve the best outcome every single time, they’ll certainly help to improve your critical thinking skills, which you can apply to all aspects of life.
1. The quickest judgment isn’t necessarily the best one.
When facing uncertainty, going with your instinct and making a split-second decision may seem like the simplest course to take. The safest route, though, is to take as much time as you need/have, and gather all the information that you can, before going for something.
Don’t let others pressure you into doing anything—and don’t put pressure on yourself either. As Tim says, “Decisiveness is not just deciding fast; it’s deciding well.”
2. Get used to uncertainty.
As I said earlier, not knowing whether you made the right choice is something business owners have to live with (until the result occurs and the next period of uncertainty comes around).
Usually, people make decisions with some sort of expectation of what the outcome will be. However, avoid relying on gut feelings alone; don’t let them interfere with rationality, which sometimes comes through years of experience or through expert advice.
There will always be some doubt about what you did or didn’t do, but preparing for the worst can help to temper any unreasonable hope that you might have.
3. Don’t always stick to what you know.
“Never assume that what has always been true is still true. Never assume that what has never worked in the past won’t work now.”
When it comes come to business, stubbornness isn’t the best trait. It’s okay to change your mind; adopt a different way of thinking; and consult smarter, wiser people to gain new perspectives.
This can help your business to grow, solve problems that you didn’t know how to tackle before, and even lead to opportunities that weren’t available to you in the past.
4. Logic isn’t everything.
One could understandably assume that business decisions need to be founded on cold, hard reason. But ignoring intuition doesn’t necessarily lead to the best outcome.
Tim says there’s no need to exclude any of these in the process: use data, research and experience; consult with others whom you trust and respect; and allow your emotions to give their input.
Of course, you could simply sleep on it, dream about it, and perhaps you’ll wake up with the right decision in mind!
5. You have the final say.
“Consensus is comfortable in the beginning, but doesn’t work on the long term.”
If you have a close team behind your small business or startup, it’s tempting to consult them on all decisions, whether small or major.
Communication and collaboration is certainly key to harmony, but as the business owner, you’ll need to take control and steer the business in the direction that you want it to go.
So, ultimately, decision-making is up to you. And you’ll either reap the benefits or be left to deal with the consequences.