Starting your own business means facing a plethora of choices every day. From the allocation of time and resources to choosing a business strategy and a lot more, as a business owner, you will have to call almost all the shots on your own.
Quick and effective decision making is the prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. But when it’s time to make some major decisions, even the most skilled businesspersons tend to feel anxiety creep in. However, getting overwhelmed only clouds your judgment. This can, in turn, have an adverse effect on your business.
Here, I have gathered the top tips for better decision making. Hopefully, they will help you navigate your way through a sea of doubt when you have trouble making the right choice.
1. Do Your Research
Making decisions in haste is bound to lead to disastrous results. Take the time you need to do your homework and gather sufficient information regarding the problem at hand.
This can include anything from a quick online search to a detailed survey of the industry, and anything else in between. If needed, consult with other small-scale business owners, or seek advice from leading entities in your line of work.
After all, gaining wise counsel is crucial for ensuring that you don’t make common mistakes and get things right in the first go.
2. Don’t Seek Perfection
It might seem counterintuitive, but if you want to take your business to great heights, you need to stop seeking perfection.
Well, because more often than not, perfection is just an illusion. You might pay attention to the finest of details, but unless you actually take some action, meticulous planning won’t help you achieve your goals.
Put simply, you need to stop overthinking if you want to be a good decision-maker.
At times, it might result in your worst fears turning into reality in the sense that you might end up with what you were trying to avoid in the first place. But then again, remember the age-old saying ‘failure is just success in disguise’?
This brings us to the next point…
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes
Many business owners get stuck in the decision-making process because they are afraid of the outcome.
What if the results are not what you initially expected?
What if things go horribly wrong?
What is the business suffers huge losses all because you made the wrong move?
What you need to understand first and foremost is that in business, there’s always some degree of risk involved. Regardless of what ‘sure-fire’ strategies you adopt for climbing the corporate ladder, you might not get what you want.
Don’t hesitate to make mistakes. Even if your decided course of action does not initially lead to the desired outcome, it will serve as a rich learning experience for you and your employees.
Also, as long as you weigh things out and take calculated risks, rest assured that things can never go ‘horribly’ wrong.
4. Learn to Be (In)dependent
One of the best tips for better decision making is to take complete ownership of your decision while empowering yourself through the thoughts and ideas of others.
You can think of business owners with good decision-making skills as people who are ‘collaboratively independent.’ Surround yourself with sharp-witted and bight-minded individuals who are confident in their abilities and the decisions they make.
When you send more time with people who don’t second guess their decisions, you will undoubtedly be more successful in developing that trait within yourself.
For example, you can hold a meeting with subject-matter experts, and ask about their point of view on a given topic. Rather than inquiring what you should do, ask what their plan of action would have been had they been in a similar situation.
Alternatively, you can create (or join) a mastermind group, or hire a business coach.
5. Take a Step Back
Insight usually comes when you least expect it. Pretty much like you suddenly remember the name of the restaurant you once had dinner with your friends long ago.
The point is that when you have been focusing on a particular problem for too long, you tend to miss out on small details that might play a pivotal role in solving it.
Therefore, if you are having trouble making the right decision even though you have been thinking about it for too long, know that it’s time to take a break.
Step back and turn your brain off for a while. Go out for a walk, switch to a different task, or do anything else that momentarily takes your mind off the dilemma.
Doing so automatically reenergizes your mind, and gives you the ability to process the given information from a fresh perspective.
6. Follow your Instincts
Usually, good decision making has more to do with listening to your intuition, and less to do with the analysis of facts and figures.
Whether it’s deciding between vendors, choosing the right platform for marketing your goods or services, or picking the best time to launch a new product, and so on – don’t neglect your gut feeling.
What ‘feels’ like the right choice?
However, this does not mean that you turn a blind eye to reality. For example, you might be looking at a very profitable niche. But if it’s dominated by a few large players, investing in the same field might not be a good idea.
In other words, avoid fantasizing about what might happen and pay attention to the facts too, rather than making a decision based solely on your gut feeling.
Managing your own business is quite literally, a marathon of facing tough decisions. In the end, what you need to remember is that instead of being habitually indecisive, it’s better to make the ‘wrong’ move and learn from it. After all, it only appears to be the wrong decision in hindsight.
Follow the tips for better decision making discussed above to ensure that you always stay on the top of your game.