As a small business owner, you're faced each day with a constant stream of decisions. Most are small enough that they don't require any special consideration. Answering big questions that will shape the fate of your business, however, can pose a challenge for even the savviest entrepreneur. There’s no magic formula to help you make great decisions every time you’re faced with a choice, but there are a few mistakes you can avoid when deliberating. Here are 5 don’ts when it comes to decision making.
1. Don’t Ignore Your Gut
It’s important to consider the logical outcome of each option and its impact on finances, resources, staffing, morale, etc. However, ignoring your gut to pursue a decision that may seem like the best option on paper can be a mistake. There’s a lot to be said for intuition—after all, our brains process a lot of information subconsciously that we access in unusual ways. If a decision doesn’t sit right with you, even though it seems the most logical option, you may want to keep looking for an alternative solution.
2. Don’t Let Personal Bias Blind Your Judgment
Everyone has blind spots that distort the way they view the world, and business owners are no exception. Work with close business colleagues, friends, or family to figure out what these blind spots are, and keep them in mind when making a decision. Otherwise, you may not see the whole picture clearly enough to make the best choice.
3. Don’t Ignore Advice from Others
When the decision falls on your shoulders, you may think that it's your responsibility to weigh the pros and cons alone. This attitude can cause you to miss out on valuable advice from trusted mentors and business associates who can serve as a sounding board for your ideas. If you’re struggling to come to a decision, asking for a second or third opinion can help you settle on a choice.
4. Don’t Let Others Decide for You
On the flip side, if you’re faced with a difficult decision, you may be tempted to ask others for advice to avoid having to make a tough call yourself. While it can be helpful to hear someone else’s reasoning, the ultimate decision should be yours. After all, you know what’s best for your business better than anyone else.
5. Don’t Second-Guess Yourself
Once you’ve made a decision, commit to it. Don’t second-guess yourself or keep rehashing your options endlessly. You won’t know for certain what the outcome of your decision will be until you’ve committed to a course. Whatever happens, you’ll either be able to celebrate success or learn from your mistakes. Both are valuable experiences you need in order to help your business grow.
The Bottom Line
The decisions you make will shape both you and your business. While you won’t make the best choice 100% of the time, you can use these 5 tips to make wiser choices going forward.