Making business decisions in these uncertain times can be tough; especially if you have to make a choice between bad and worse. The world of business is changing at such an exponential rate with too many parts constantly moving, yet entrepreneurs are expected to make tough decisions quickly and sometimes without enough information.
In fact, just when you think you have an answer to a situation, you suddenly realize that the information just changed. Making business decisions can be very difficult, especially when they impact employees, customers and the community in which you operate. Tough economic conditions may force you to downsize, sell some of your assets, or even lay off some employees.
“Remember not every decision is good or bad; sometimes all you can do is make the best possible decision based on the available information at that particular point in time.”
Do you dismiss or retain a highly qualified and competent employee who brings in major business but has a very bad attitude that is likely to impact your team and business negatively?
How do you choose to allocate resources during an economic down-turn when finances are tight? Do you allocate budget for product innovation, marketing or sales?
Theodore Roosevelt once said: “In any moment of decisions the best you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”.
When confronted with tough business decisions that require you to navigate through ambiguity, consider the following 8 steps:
- Analyse the data and invite perspectives from different stakeholders (employees, suppliers, shareholders, associates, customers, and so forth)
- Synthesize input from others
- Challenge your own perspective
- Pay attention to details without losing sight of the big picture
- Consider various options to weigh up the rewards and consequences of your decision
- Balance the short term pressure for results with long term business goals
- Challenge the facts as information may have changed; note – your decision is as sound as the data it is based on
- Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation