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Six steps to making good business decisions

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 | By Amanda Jesnoewski

There is nothing like the flexibility of owning your own business, having the freedom to work on your own terms and the rewarding responsibility of building a successful business from a simple idea.

 

Though often the reasons we love being in business are the hardest part of business. Knowing at the end of the day you are the one that makes the tough decisions, the one that takes all the risks and the one that is accountable for every success – and every failure.

 

As you manage and grow your business there will be many important decisions you’ll need to make that will impact the future of your business. Some will be easy, though some will be hard and be the source of much stress and worry.

 

To help you, here are some tips that will have you making wiser decisions faster and hopefully a little easier:

 

1. Be clear about the decision you need to make

 

When you know what decision you need to make and what you want to achieve as a result of it, you can see more choice alternatives and identify which option/s will suit best.

 

Ask yourself – what is the decision I need to make? Why is it important? When does it need to be made? What do I want to achieve? What are the best and worst case scenarios? How do I achieve the best and avoid the worst?

 

2. Become informed

 

Before you come to a decision, make sure you have all of the information you need. For example, if you are making a decision that impacts the financials of your business, make sure you know your current financial position by looking at your profit and loss, your assured income verses expenses, your break-even point and working budget.

 

Maybe you need to learn and develop new skills, find out about any laws or regulations, get reports or documentation, do further due diligence, read up about a particular subject or talk to an expert. Whatever the case may be, good decisions are informed decisions.

 

3. Seek counsel

 

Often it can help to get the advice of those closest to you – especially if they will be impacted by your decision.

 

Keep in mind that each person will bring their own opinion, based on their own values and beliefs, so listen carefully to what they have to say, though still make the decision you will be comfortable with.

 

If your issue is with a particular area of business then seek counsel from a trusted business associate or an expert specialising in the area you need help with.

 

4. Brainstorm and evaluate all of your options

 

Before you commit to a decision, write down all of the options and the pros and cons of each. What are the benefits of going with each option? What are the costs? Who else will be impacted? Do the benefits outweigh the cost? What is best for you? What is best for your family? Is there a decision you feel more comfortable with?

 

5. Listen to your intuition

 

Your intuition is your body’s way of talking to you, so never ignore it. Our subconscious takes in far more information than we can consciously process and can often give us little clues to help us in our decision-making.

 

While we can’t recall all of the information, we will often get a ‘feeling’ that something is not quite right. Listen to it. Find out more information to evaluate better and make the decision that gives you the most peace. You will find you will make much better decisions when you follow your intuition.

 

6. Make the decision and move on

 

When you have evaluated all of your options and come to the best conclusion, make the decision and move on. Don’t spend your time worrying about it or wondering ‘what if’, you will only cause yourself stress. If more information comes to light or a situation changes and you need to change your decision, then do so, but you won't always get it right.

 

In the words of Mark Twain: "Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions."