The key to success in business is making smart decisions. Every day there are big and small decisions that need to be made that could have a huge bearing on the success of the company. There are always issues that arise, challenges and situations that require a course of action. So how can you make sure that you are making the right decision?
You won’t always get it right and this is ok (more on this to come), but there are a number of ways that you can improve your decision-making to take your company forward. Keep reading to find out more about making smarter business decisions.
List Your Options
A good starting point is to list your options. It is easy to go with the first solution that pops into your mind, but this is not always the best option and you need to consider the deeper impact that any solution could have.
You should draw up a list of your options and spend some time working through each one to determine if it will solve the solution, what deeper impact it could have and what resources it would require.
Ask For Help
One of the greatest abilities that a business leader can have is the ability to admit when they do not know something. There are sure to be situations that arise where your knowledge is limited, which is why it is important to be able to ask for help. You should liaise with employees that have expertise in this area or look to external help if there is no one within the company that can help.
This can allow you to find the best solutions, plus asking staff for help will always help them to feel valued and form a stronger connection within the team.
Give Yourself Time But Do Not Dwell
For important decisions, you need to give yourself enough time to arrive at the best solution. Too many decisions are made without properly considering the impact, so you always need to give yourself enough time to think over a decision.
However, you do not want to dwell as inaction can cause more damage than good. This is why it is a smart idea to set yourself a deadline for the decision and use this time to explore your options.
Remove Emotion From Decision-Making
You also need to try and remove emotion from the decision-making process. Emotion can cloud judgement and lead to rash decisions, so you need to try and take a step back and approach the problem from a logistical standpoint. This is another reason why you need to give yourself time to make a decision, especially if it is one that has an emotional impact.
Plan For Different Outcomes
Decisions do not always play out as you plan, which is why it is important to plan for different outcomes. This is a smart strategy that will allow you to take action if the decision does not deliver the result that you hoped for and will help to reduce stress about the decision-making process.
It is easy to worry about decisions and how they will play out, but when you have contingency plans in place, it will help you to feel prepared and have confidence in your decision making.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Following on from this, you will make mistakes when it comes to decision making and this is ok. Mistakes are an important part of growth and an opportunity for you to learn so that you can make the right decision the next time. When you are able to frame mistakes as a chance to learn, it can make it much easier to make decisions.
Obviously, you should try to avoid mistakes by taking calculated risks, but when they don’t pay off, you need to go back and try to see what went wrong and what you should do next time. Every successful business owner will have made a series of mistakes over their career, but they will not let these hold them back and turn them into positives.
Use Applied Statistics
These days, decision-making can be made a lot easier with data science and applied statistics. Being able to gather, analyze and interpret large sets of data and using statical models to find real-world solutions can be a game changer when it comes to decision making.
This is why a masters in applied statistics is such a valuable degree for any organization as it will help you to explore your options, make smarter decisions and reduce risk.
Stay The Course
Once you have made a decision, it is important to stay the course and be persistent. You will often find that there are bumps in the road and setbacks when making strategic decisions, but if you have explored your options, used statistics and taken your time with the decision, you need to stay the course and have confidence that the desired outcome will be achieved.
U-turns often create more damage and can be seen as a sign of weaknesses, so have patience with your decisions. Though it is best to have markers for failure too, so that you do not spend more money or time necessary before realizing the decision was wrong.
Once a decision has been made and the results have come, you should always take some time to go back and evaluate the decision. Even with a successful decision, there is a lot that you can learn, so it is important to use any decision as a chance to learn and improve for the next decision that arrives.
Making decisions in business is tough and even small, daily choices can have a big impact. Business owners should always be trying to make better, smarter decisions that will help to take the company forward.
This is not always easy and mistakes will happen, but the above strategies are all highly effective and will hopefully help you to start making better decisions and achieving higher levels of success with your business.