Business Leadership

Making Good Business Decisions

Making good business decisions is something that can be taught and learned. Here are five ways to ensure that you are making the best possible business decisions.

Good decisions don't just happen. They come from leaders who have acquired the necessary skills to make the right decisions every time.

That's the kind of leader your business deserves and that's the kind of leader you can be. All you need are a few common-sense decision-making tips, and you'll be on your way in no in time.

The key to good decision-making is self-discipline. Most small business owners are forced to make so many decisions that the temptation to shoot from the hip can sometimes be overwhelming. But sloppy decision-making almost always backfires, creating more problems than solutions. Instead of winging it, the best decision-makers adhere to self-imposed decision-making guidelines that are designed to make every decision count. Here are five of the best that you may want to consider.

Don't make other people's decisions for them.

The first question you need to ask yourself when facing an important decision is whether or not the decision is even yours to make. Sometimes the most difficult decisions arise because someone else has passed the buck to you in an effort to avoid making the decision themselves. Rather than wrestling with someone else's tough decision, take a moment to consider whether the decision really falls on your shoulders or someone else's. If it's not yours, you will free up more time for the decisions you actually need to make.

Identify your choices.

Ultimately, the decision-making process is a choice. However, it's impossible to make a choice unless you have identified all of your options. Resist the urge to make a decision until you have done your research and are sure that you are aware of all the alternatives.

Take your time.

The worst decisions are usually the ones that are made quickly. Good decision-making takes time and so you should take all the time you need to make sure the decision you make is the right one. If the decision is reversible, you have a little more leeway to make a decision fast. But if the decision isn't reversible, it's foolish to make a decision until you have had the time you need to think it through.

Be sensitive to timing.

Although snap decisions can have dire consequences, you also need to be sensitive to the fact that a failure to make a decision in a timely manner can be equally devastating. Some decisions are time-sensitive by nature, so you need to be aware of the deadlines and be prepared to make a decision accordingly. If you wait until the deadline has passed, your decision will likely be made for you and the opportunity will disappear.

Write it down.

To help maintain clarity throughout the decision-making process, it's important to document your thoughts and other information that will eventually help you reach a decision. If the decision-making process is a long one, chances are you will forget important details unless you have taken the time to record them in a file or notebook that can be accessed later. But even if the turnaround time for your decision is short, your documentation of the process will be a great resource to refer to when the next decision rolls around.

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  • MT Owens posted on 9/8/2007
    MT Owens
    In business, we are faced with problems everyday. The true test of our leadership as top management is how we work not only with our employees but also with our clients. What every happened to customer service in this country? Mind you, this is a much bigger problem than just our clients. We should focus on everyone we work with and have dealings with. That is the way to make our companies a success. "The tough choices in life are made by the people who had to make them and then lived through the results."

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