Being a business owner offers great freedom, but with that freedom comes a great deal of responsibility. This is true for business owners who employ others but also for those who work for themselves. The weight of the responsibility that rests on business owners’ shoulders means that every decision that they make is critical, and as such, should be made soberly. Here are a few suggestions for what business owners might consider in order to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to make good decisions for their business.
Staying informed is a critical part of owning a business, but it is vital that business owners educate themselves in a particular area in which they are about to make a decision. This may seem like a tedious task, but it is critical to avoid unnecessary mistakes when making business decisions. For instance, a business owner who is deciding whether a product would be best suited for channel sales would be wise to investigate the costs associated with each sales method, the benefits of one over the other in regard to the particular product and, perhaps, what other similar businesses are doing. This knowledge will allow a business owner to make a decision with a complete picture which will be better than a decision made with only part of the picture in view.
When making a business decision, it is also important that business owners do so with trusted advisors. This does not mean that the final decision is not completely the owners’. It simply means that a business owner understands that acquiring the knowledge necessary to make a wise decision should include the wisdom of others in the field. This may mean consulting a mentor, fellow business owners in the same or a similar field, or other trusted experts. Consulting others is another way business owners can make sure they are completely informed. Gaining others’ perspectives is an excellent way to find blind spots before making a decision.
Reflect on the Plan
Before making a business decision, it is a good idea for business owners to reflect on how the decision will affect and whether it is in line with the business plan created when the business was started. This is especially important for businesses that have outside investors who made their decision to invest based on the business plan. Decisions that are made must be in line with the plan for the business. This is also important because it will help business owners avoid making emotional decisions on a whim. The business plan was made deliberately and soberly and, therefore, can be used as a gauge for whether a current decision is in line with the plan for the business.
Commit to the Decision
Finally, once information has been properly weighed, input has been sought out, and the business plan reflected upon, owners must make a decision with confidence and commitment, meaning they must decide that once a decision is made, it is made. Business owners cannot be wishy-washy in their commitments to their decisions. The process to make the decision must be thorough so that once the decision is made, fully implementing the decision need not be second-guessed. This is not to say that a decision made with great consideration may not need to be abandoned after some time. But, ultimately, that should be after the evidence shows that it is in the best interest of the business to change course, not because owners are fickle once a decision is made. If a decision is important enough to make, it is important enough to see through for a reasonable amount of time.
Decision-making is not easy, but business owners must make them for the health and growth of their business. This is why a methodical and deliberate process is helpful. Making important business decisions are not the types of decisions that can be made off-handedly or carelessly, so it is crucial to have a plan for how to execute good decision-making.