Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Sometimes it’s really hard to make one… a decision, that is. If you’re like most people, even deciding where to go for dinner, what to order once you get there, what to wear, what movie to see or even what to do over the weekend feels impossible. Sometimes it’s important to simply stop and take a moment to center your thoughts and go inside – check in with yourself. What do you really want and need in your downtime?

Then there are the bigger, more important professional and business decisions you need to make. This requires more finesse, more understanding of the professional decision making process. There are many things to keep in mind in order to successfully manage and run a business. Sales, costs, inventory, budget, target markets, marketing strategies and so much more.

Step 1

The decision making process begins when a challenge, need or opportunity presents itself. And the key here is to recognize and acknowledge this!

Step 2

Gather as much information as a you can with respect to the challenge, need or opportunity. If it’s a challenge or problem, get into the trenches and see for yourself what the problem is and what’s causing it. Ask the people involved for input and get their point of view.

No finger pointing. No blaming. Just information gathering. Stay objective and remain neutral.

Continue to research and investigate to gain clarity on your options to resolve the challenge.

Step 3

Brainstorm for solutions. If you’re a one-person-business, ask business colleagues and associates for input and insight. Ask your CPA, attorney, business consultant or another business professional on your support team.

If you have employees and managers, bring them together to generate ideas and possible solutions.

Step 4

Make a list of Pros and Cons for each solution. Study the list and weigh in on each item listed. Gather more information, if necessary. What solution will render the best result and be most cost-effective, both in the short- and long-term? If necessary, get input and a different perspective from another trusted business professional. Don’t disregard your gut instinct, either!

Step 5

This research and information gathering step will also help you start generating a plan of action steps. Be sure to take thorough notes along the way and identify the necessary actions for implementation that will come up during brainstorming and research.

Step 6

Commit to the solution. Put the action plan in place. Monitor and evaluate the results. Be flexible and open-minded. Be ready to adapt and change the plan if and when necessary. Perhaps you’ll need to switch to an entirely different solution. But you won’t know till you see the results.

These basic 6 steps will take you far when making a business decision.