Do you find it hard to make quick decisions? Some business owners and entrepreneurs take a good amount of time to make decisions because they’re afraid of making the wrong one. They become very anxious because what seems like a small decision could have major consequences down the line. However, being frozen in indecision is just as bad, if not worse, than making a bad decision. Fortunately, there are some things you can start doing that will help you become a better decision maker. While you may still feel anxiety when making decisions, by practicing these different things, you’ll no longer continue to second-guess yourself days after you made a decision.
Know Your Company
You created your company, so you probably believe that you understand everything about it. Unfortunately, as your business grows, you’ll actually know less and less of the nuts-and-bolts operations of your business. You won’t be directly involved in as many decisions, so while you understand everything on a high level, you may not understand what’s happening in each department. It’s important that you do have channels of information so that you’re informed of everything relevant. Knowing your business means you have all of the information you need on hand to make decisions. One way of doing this is to have your team of department heads, vice-presidents, and others regularly bring you up to speed on projects.
Focus on Achieving Your Goals
Look at your short-term and long-term goals. How will the decision you’re faced with affect them? Will deciding one way or the other get you closer to those goals? Remember that not all goals involve money. Sometimes, you need to look at things like employee morale or business reputation. Making a decision that may lose money in the short-term but improve employee morale can often lead to much larger financial gains down the line because your team is happy and appreciated. Knowing your company will help you make these types of decisions.
There are many people inside and outside of your business who can give you advice on making decisions. Don’t hesitate to go to these people. By getting these other points of view, you can often see how your decision will impact your business in ways you may not have realized before. Your colleagues, mentors, former bosses, friends, loved ones, and employees may be able to see something about a decision that you didn’t even think about.
You can even get some help from those who don’t know you. Conference speakers related to your industry, news articles, and even information about your competitors may provide you with advice you didn’t realize you needed. Don’t pass up the chance to attend conferences, presentations, and classes related to your business. You may learn things there you didn’t expect that can help you make decisions you’re facing now or in the future.
Don’t Put Off Decisions
It’s tempting to put off making decisions for as long as you can, but if you do that, your business is going to come to a halt. Running a business means you’re going to have to make a number of decisions on a regular basis. While it’s okay to delay a decision if you know you need additional information or want to discuss it with someone, it’s not okay to procrastinate. If you know you need to decide on something, do it. Look at what’s best for your business, look at your employee and customer needs, and consider your financial situation. Then make a decision.
Remember to Learn
Did a decision you make turn out to be the wrong one? That’s okay—recognize that it will happen. While it may put your business in a precarious situation, it’s not the end of the world. You can always recover from a single bad decision or two.
What you can’t do is continue to make bad decisions because you failed to learn from the ones you’ve made in the past. If something goes wrong, take a moment and look at why it went wrong. Why was the decision you made the wrong one? If you see what was wrong, you’ll be better able to make similar decisions in the future.
Have the Right Tools
There are many different computer programs and apps out there for business owners. Are you using the ones that most make sense for you to use? If not, why not? Don’t assume that a specific program is the one you need just because it’s the most well-known brand or the most expensive. Look at all of your options, and if you’re looking for something for a specific task, ask an expert. For example, talk to a CPA or bookkeeper about financial software. You might discover that what you thought was the best name in the business isn’t the right tool for you.
If you have the right tools, you’ll be able to gather the information you need quickly, and you’ll know it’s accurate. With this information, you’ll then be able to make informed decisions that don’t leave a lot to guesswork.
Know How to Measure Success
What is success to you? Many would say it’s running a successful business, but how do you know that your business is doing well? Is success simply making a profit? If so, how much profit? If you don’t know how to measure your success and don’t have measurable goals in mind, you won’t really be able to tell if the decisions you’ve made were the right decisions or not.
Finally, don’t stress about every decision all the time. If you do, you’ll find that it’s actually much harder to make decisions because you immediately tense up when you need to decide something. While it can be difficult, do your best to clear your mind and relax before you make a major decision. Approach each decision by looking at the facts you have, getting counsel from others, and then deciding. Once you’ve made a decision, accept that it’s done and move on to the next one. Dwelling on past decisions beyond what’s reasonable to learn lessons won’t help.