Do you make decisions quickly, or do you waffle between options? It’s important to make good decisions, but you also want to arrive at those decisions quickly to preserve as much of your time as possible. Being decisive serves you well as a small-business owner because you face so many decisions on a regular basis, from hiring decisions to expansion timing.
Importance of Decisiveness
Some people spend lots of time weighing all of the options in order to make the perfect decision. In reality, there’s no such thing as a perfect decision. Sure, you want to make your choice based on solid information. But you also want to make a choice quickly, so you can start rolling in the new direction. Waiting too long could cause a missed opportunity or set you behind on a new project. If you make an informed hiring decision quickly, for example, your top candidate is more likely to still be available. If you decide to launch a new product or service, being decisive lets you begin work faster, so you can launch and perhaps beat the competition to market.
When you become more decisive, you give your employees more confidence in your leadership. Decisive action helps build your credibility. Your employees know you can make quick, effective decisions that keep the company moving.
How to Make Decisions
Being an effective decision maker takes more than choosing an options. Using a strategy to break down the situation can help you not only decide quickly but also make a good decision. These four steps can help:
- Identify the problem.
- Gather information.
- Filter and organize the information.
- Arrive at a conclusion.
Understanding the problem and the possible choices is your first step. Instead of choosing one of the options randomly, it’s important to gather supporting evidence for the different options. This helps you make an informed decision, but gathering too much information can overwhelm you and make the decision even more difficult. Instead of gathering all possible information, stick to a certain number of facts, studies, or other information.
Organizing that information into easy-to-digest chunks makes your analysis faster and easier. You might use diagrams, visuals, or other ways to display the information to make it easier to compare. For example, a Venn diagram can help you see how two options differ as well as the similarities between them. Another common option is a SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and helps you break down the options.
Tips for Being Decisive
The more you practice being decisive, the more natural it feels and the more decision-making skills you gain. As you become more experienced, you receive enough feedback to get a sense about the outcome of your decisions. Not all decisions turn out the way you hope. Those situations become learning experiences for future decision making.
Trusting your instincts can help you with business decisions. Have you ever ignored that feeling in your gut only to regret it later? Listening to your instincts can often lead you in the right direction. It’s also a good idea to widen your view instead of looking at a single decision in a vacuum. Each decision you make impacts your overall business, so looking at the options as part of a whole may help you come to a decision.
You may also find it easier to make a decision if you look at the situation as an outsider. This can help you separate some of your emotions from the decision. Try acting as if you’re giving advice to a friend or fellow entrepreneur. What decision would you advise them to make?
Decision making takes practice, but taking an analytical approach makes it easier. Having data at your fingertips also helps. QuickBooks gives you easy access to all of your financial data, from monthly expenses to sales numbers. 4.3 million customers use QuickBooks. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.