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Toss a coin and see if you are disappointed”. We used to say this a lot as teenagers when struggling to make decisions or work out if we had made the right one. Today I deal with business owners making decisions all day long big and smallDecision making without proper consideration can result in costly mistakes, whilst slow decision making can cripple a business with indecision and result in lost opportunities. 

Consider where you sit on the decision-making spectrum. 

Quick Decision Making 
 
 
 
Slow Decision Making 
Act now deal with any consequences later 
Quick sense check of financial impact 
Review info promptly, discuss and decide 
Canvass multiple opinions 
Canvass multiple opinions and prepare multiple scenarios 

 

Think about the impact of your approach, is it right for your business and is it right for you. Would you like to move along the spectrum in either direction or consider what you need to do that? 

Financial Impact 

You don’t need a detailed forecast every time you make a decision, but you do need to understand the financial impact. A couple of examples might be – 

Change in sales Mix – Consider if you have the key data established to enable you to understand for example the impact of a change in sales mix. It is often straight forward to pick up the external costs for any changes but think also about the impact on your time, your margins and that of your team of any change.  

 New clients – Growth requires investment so understanding how much you will need to pay out in outsource costs, product costs, system changes or new staff costs will influence your funding requirements. 

 Canvassing Opinion 

Think about who you talk to when making decisions about the business  is it too many or not enough?   

Do you currently make all decisions yourself with no additional input and does that feel right to you or conversely do you ask too many people and acknowledge this then delays your decision making?   

You need to ensure you are asking the right people the right questions…. think carefully about their experiences, one might be right for financials, one for culture, one for process changes. 

 Challenge and Support 

Consider who you have around you when making these decisions too – we can all get stuck in our ways. Think about the last time someone told you your idea wasn’t quite right, how did you react- did you listen, and did you consider your position?   

Surround yourself with good people with complementary skill sets who you trust and who you know will both challenge and support you. 

Consider other business owners with similar challenges perhaps you can create a partnership to challenge and hold each other accountable. You may have other senior team members who you can be more open with and encourage them to bring new ideas and challenge the status quo.  

What next? 

  • Be honest about where you are on the spectrum. 
  • Write three bullet points which state what level of support and challenge you feel you need. 
  • Consider your wider network and internal team and who could fulfil this role to help improve your decision-making.