Making Smart Business Decisions When It Seems Like the World Is Going Crazy
Making important decisions regarding your business and career can be a bit stressful. The number of options regarding pricing, marketing, product development, suppliers, and distribution channels is enough to add on a few more unwanted gray hairs to any head. Combine that with the fact that the world seems to be in a bit of turmoil today more than ever, and it can sometimes all feel like a bit too much.
You likely can’t do too much about the state of the Union and definitely not the globe. But making smart business decisions isn’t out of your control. And it definitely doesn’t have to be a source of even greater stress.
With the strategies and tactics below, making wise business choices can actually become rather simple.
- Be Constantly Gathering Knowledge and Information
As a business owner, decisions are going to be a fact of your daily life. To help you make the best decisions possible (output), you need to have the best data (input). Get all the facts and necessary information regarding the areas that have the greatest impact on the success of your business. You don’t have to necessarily become an expert on everything, but knowledge in business is definitely power. Armed with information, you have the best chance to take advantage of opportunities and avoid mistakes.
- Focus on the Results
You would never set out on a journey to an unfamiliar place without a map. Likewise, you shouldn’t make decisions about your business without considering desired – and potential – outcomes first. Not only do you need to focus on short-term goals, but also long-term goals, regarding every aspect of the company. Then, always be on the lookout for ways to improve your business. Even small tweaks or changes can go a long way in accomplishing your business goals and mission statements.
- Be a Copycat and Ask for Help
In life, it is always important to consider viewpoints other than just your own. Furthermore, the best way to create success is to find another who’s achieved it and do what they did. Mentors and coaches in business can be invaluable. They’ve already made the mistakes and achieved the triumphs. Don’t be afraid to ask others to share the lessons they’ve learned. It can save you time and money and shorten the road to your goals.
- Surround Yourself with More Experienced People
There are smarter people out there we can all learn from. You may have heard before, that who you are and what you will achieve, is the average of your five closest friends. The same rules apply in the business setting. If you’re the smartest person of the group, how are you improving? Smart managers hire well. If you don’t have the knowledge to make certain decisions, hire or contract out to those who do. Surround yourself with experts and you come out looking like the smart one.
- Learn to Relax
It may seem contrary to your business goals, but you also need to know when it’s time – or even learn – to relax. If you get burnt out, your business will likely crash too. One person can only do so much at one time. So, don’t try to do everything at once. Remember that your business is an endurance run… not a sprint race. When things get chaotic, take a short break. Take some deep breaths and talk a walk or listen to the radio to relax. You will come back better, and your business will respond accordingly.
- Identify a Single Source of Accountability
It is easy to point fingers when there is more than one source of accountability. To identify the difference between accountability, responsibility, and authority, consider this…
- Authority entails overall decision-making power
- Being accountable means overseeing and managing that decision
- Responsibility means reporting the progress of tasks associated with that decision.
Very rarely can – or even should – all those roles fall to one person. There needs to be a checks-and-balances in place in your business, even if you have to hire or contract that out, for maximum efficiency.
- Learn from Your Mistakes
Mistakes happen. But it’s usually not the mistakes that hurt long-term, it’s what happens after the mistakes. Don’t get down on yourself. Instead, pick yourself up and see what lessons can be learned. Then, keep moving forward and do what it takes to avoid making that same mistake in the future. Learn from what went wrong and apply it to future business decisions.
- Stay on Course
Managing your own business means making a series of ongoing business decisions. If you’re doing all of the above, then you’re well prepared. Thus, as Nike says, “Just do it.” Ultimately, you have to move forward to keep moving. And a business that is not moving is not growing and if not growing, is most likely dying. Don’t keep putting off any important decisions. Prepare for them as best you can then take action.
If you are focused on what is best for your company, even if you “fall back” here and there, you will still be making forward progress. Along the way, watch how your customers are responding. That will ultimately tell you if your decisions are on the right track or need adjustment. Soon, the ebb and flow will become natural. And you will start to see that those small steps forward are becoming larger.