Every day as a business owner, you’re faced with new decisions. The decisions are endless between your team, offer suite, relationships, and finances. Your daily choices affect profitability, your employees, and your reputation. This post explores why decision-making as a business owner is an essential skill in business and how to be a better decision-maker.
Balancing emotions with reason may be the most challenging part of decision-making as a business owner. When you let your emotions cloud your judgment, it impedes your ability to make sound decisions. When you’re able to quickly find a solution to a problem and communicate your choices to others, you will be viewed as a better leader.
Decision-making skills show your employees you are thoughtful and trustworthy. When employees approach you with a concern or a problem, and you can evaluate solutions and make a decision quickly, you show them that they can trust you with their concerns.
It’s crucial to communicate your choices well and show thoughtful reason, significantly when the result of the decision impacts employees.
Imagine approaching a boss with a concern–they listen, ponder, and say let me think about it. Then you don’t hear back from them. This would make you feel like they don’t care, don’t listen, and don’t prioritize your needs. You probably wouldn’t go to them again with your concerns!
Contrary, imagine your boss actually following up with you and proposing a solution to your concerns, and then they followed up with you after a few weeks to check in. You’d feel seen, heard, valued, and appreciated–and you’d trust them way more!
As a business owner, decision-making requires you to act swiftly and often in the face of uncertainty. Great decision-makers (and great leaders) know how to move forward with the available information. While data and research can lead to more sound decisions, gathering data sometimes requires too much time (depending on the situation at hand). Too much information can also create “analysis-paralysis,” and you can get stuck analyzing data instead of making a decision. While making hasty decisions isn’t the goal, it’s important to not over-analyze your options and to make timely decisions.
When faced with tough decisions in business, we recommend leveraging data and past experiences. Poll your audience, send out a survey to your email list, or send feedback forms to clients. These data-collection methods are great ways to support decision-making with your offer suite and client experience! If you’re wondering if you should hire another team member, you can evaluate your profit and loss statements from the past quarter or speak with your accountant while also defining what that team member would be responsible for and assessing if there’s enough work to be done to warrant a new hire. These are just two examples of data collection for decision-making in business.
Your personal experiences may be the best tool to leverage in decision-making. How can you relate your situation to past work experiences, past relationship experiences, or past experiences as a client or customer yourself? Rather than spending hours agonizing over what the best decision is, just make the choice that’s best with the information you have available. Sometimes your decisions may even be based on gut feelings or intuition!
Decision-making takes practice! So many business owners are afraid to make the wrong decision, so they just make no decision instead. This over-analysis reduces progress, growth, and profitability of all businesses. Next time you’re faced with a tough decision, consider these steps:
Making tough decisions as a business owner is no easy task! Mentors and consultants are great resources when you’re struggling with decision-making. Sometimes an outside perspective (without emotional attachment to the problem), can be just what you need to see a situation clearly. Our consulting services offer you customized strategy, insight, and support based on your needs and your goals.