Making decisions is the key skill of a business owner. More so than acquiring funding, than confidence and vision, than selling, decision-making is the lowest common denominator of skills: success in all areas and situations ultimately comes down to the ability to take the right decision.
If you know how to weigh up your options and see clearly the best thing to do in any given situation, you have a big advantage over rivals who are less experienced at making tough choices. Today we’re taking a look at your decision-making process: How do you make your choices and how can you improve?
The Role of Confidence
In the world of business, a lot is made of confidence, vision and the desire to succeed. This is undoubtedly important for motivation, and convincing others you have what it takes to go the distance, but it’s got a more complicated, ambiguous role to play in decision-making.
When you’re facing difficult business decisions, your vision and sense that your business should, will and must succeed needs to be put to one side. If your confidence in your brand isn’t tempered by reality, then it’ll lead you into bad choices. This isn’t something to be underestimated: it sounds easy but for many founders, the success of their business is tied up intimately with their sense of self. Considering failure can be difficult.
One of the most important things you can do is get expert help to inform your decision-making process with data. Market research intelligence can give you an evidence, statistics based context for the decisions you’re making, giving you a foundation for your choices you can really rely on.
It’s important to work with a market research firm to get this data: it’s a bigger task than you can expect your own business to achieve while also specialising in your particular niche. Trying to make do without the help of a specialist research firm is the worst kind of false economy.
It’s also vital to find someone who you trust to give you feedback on your decisions. It can be difficult to do if you’re running a business – your employees are innately compromised. It can be difficult to tell the person paying your wages you think they’re wrong!
A friend from outside the business, a lawyer or another business owner can all be vital confidantes, sounding boards and reality checks, helping you make the decisions you need to push your business forward to success.