As we round out the first quarter, I invite you to do a recap and review of your leadership performance over the last three months, particularly in the area of making business decisions. On a scale of 1 to 10, how did you do? Is there room for improvement?
We all want to make wise decisions for our business, but it can cause a lot of anxiety for some business owners. You may wonder if this is the best thing or if something else might work better. You may doubt yourself and lose confidence, leading to a half-hearted effort to move forward with your decision – and your business suffers in the process.
There must be a better way to make decisions for your business. Right?
Follow these 10 tips to make intelligent business decisions that you can feel good about:
1. Learn more about your company. Without knowing every aspect of your business, you could be unaware of important information that could make a difference.
- Make a point of speaking to both your customers and employees to find out crucial information.
- Avoid relying solely on business reports. Yes, keep a close eye on the finances, but remember that the morale of your employees can make a big difference in your bottom line too. Both of these will help push you in the right direction.
2. Focus on your goals. Consider both your short and long-term objectives. Sometimes, what feels good in the short-term could have a negative long-term impact, and vice versa.
- For example, in a financial crunch, you may let employees go that are critical for your company’s success. If your level of service suffers too much, you may lose too many customers to be able to recover. Short term: helps your bottom line. Long-term: the company may become crippled.
- Here’s another scenario: Should you spend money on marketing when money is tight? Short-term: you have to spend money. Long-term: You gain enough customers to add to your profits for years to come.
So, it’s essential to keep your long-term goals in mind and what can help you in the immediate future.
3. Understand what the challenges are. It’s tough to resolve challenges when you don’t clarify the issue. Recently, I was having a conversation with a client about flexing his muscle to apply “First Principles Thinking” in his role as CFO so that he can think and act more strategically. I’m working with him to bolster his self-leadership skills, so he can have more influence at the boardroom table when speaking with his Executive Team. Clarifying the real issue will help you make a smart decision.
- When you learn to separate the symptoms from the root cause, you can get to the essence of what’s going on. By doing so, you will save a ton of wasted time, money and effort pursuing solutions to address the wrong problem.
- For example, perhaps profits are down, but what’s the real cause? Is it because your widget costs too much, so few are buying? Or is it because a design flaw causes it not to work?
4. Avoid allowing your emotions to make your decision. It’s essential to remain calm and level-headed.
- If you feel very emotional, walk away temporarily and decide when you can respond wisely instead of just reacting based on how you feel at the moment.
- Take a deep breath, and tune in to your heart and your head for the most holistic and balanced way forward in any situation.
5. Set a deadline to make a decision. In most cases, any decision is better than none at all. Done is better than perfect.
- Gather pertinent information and then make your best decision based on those facts, by your deadline.
- You can always change your mind later.
6. Consider your values. Your values and principles are essential, so keep them in mind when deciding and let them be your guiding light.
- For each option, ask yourself if it supports your values.
- Will you be able to live with the consequences of choosing that option?
7. Take advice from others. Even though you may be the boss, it’s essential to consider other people’s viewpoints, particularly if the decision will affect them. Your colleagues may offer a different option or insight that you may not have thought of.
- Your local business support group may also help in your decision-making process. Other group members may have faced the same situation before and could offer some sage advice.
- Bounce around your thoughts with your business coach in a safe space. Suppose they are invested in your success and have considerable experience working with hundreds of companies that have faced similar decisions. In that case, you can leverage their seasoned perspective, and insight, to give yourself clarity – that’s one of the greatest gifts a good coach offers.
8. Relax. Sometimes a short 10-minute break is all you need to feel better and come at the issue with a fresh outlook.
9. Have other options. You don’t only have a plan A for business decisions.
- It is always good to have a plan B or even a plan C. If one strategy doesn’t work out as well as you had hoped, having multiple plans will allow you to go right into a new one without delay.
10. Learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s just part of the business.
- If you learn from these mistakes, you’ll be able to adapt wisely for the future.
Look back at whatever decision you wish to analyze. What was the outcome? How would you change things if you had to make the same decision again?
Put these tips into practice at your company and enjoy your newfound confidence in your smart business decisions.
To your success,
I work with growth-minded business owners and CEOs who seek better marketing, sales and revenue systems for more predictability, profitability, and scalability in any economy. If you are seeking more traction, and want to accelerate growth or scale and leverage your business to 6, 7, or even 8 figures with less struggle, apply for a discovery call with me today at MeetWithMichela.com
The average client who works with me gains more clarity, focus, objectivity and accountability to work smarter, not harder, so they can get noticed, get clients and get profitable – like Tammy Gillis, CEO Gillis Sales. Click to watch.