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How to make the tough business decisions - and stick by them

How to make the tough business decisions - and stick by them

The best decisions are often the hardest to make.

With the economy on the recover, many business owners are faced with the task of reshaping the future of their business and having to look from the outside looking in - while taking into account that the economy may take more time than anticipated to get to a point where businesses are flourishing in the way it did pre-GFC.

When making a personal decision that is tough, I always write it down. Its something that I do and I find is helpful when looking at the pros and cons. I also don't think too much about it. In fact, it is usually my gut instinct that comes into play and while it is important to consider factors that impact the direction of your life or your values, it is always your gut instinct that will ensure your decision making results in the best outcomes. It is tougher when it comes to how you feel, but if you can put that all aside, then quite often if you reflect in the future, you will realise that it is in fact that best decision you could have made at the time.

Business is not too indifferent from that.

“You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ― Michelle Obama

Top 5 Tips for Making a Tough Business Decision

1. If you are considering firing an employee make sure you consider all the factors first, then make a decision. Remember that firing may be easy, and of course, you should hire slowly and fire fast, however, one thing that many small business owners fail to remember is the time it takes to get a new employee up to speed, trained and empowered by your company culture. Make sure you consider the pros and cons of this person working for your brand and whether or not you can invest more in training them to get them to the level they need to be to succeed. Often small business owners expect their employees to know it all and don't invest enough time and money in resources to upskill and improve an employees capabilities. Also, ensure that they had a job description that clearly identified the expectations that the company has of them.

2. Consider your business model and how the tough decision you are about to make will impact the future direction of the company and how it is modelled. 

“The greatest accomplishment began as a decision once made and often a difficult one.” ― 
Michael Rawls

3.  Set a deadline on when the business decision needs to be made and don't make it until the last hour. This will ensure that you have deliberated over it enough to consider all factors that may influence your overall business decision.

4.  Consider your customers and what impact your business decision will have on them. Don't be afraid to consult with them and ask their opinions based on what experiences they expect to have with your company in the future.

“Don`t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can`t cross a chasm in two small steps.” ― David Lloyd George

5. Understand that ultimately your business decision will bring about change and ensure that you understand what that change means to your business, your balance sheet and your company culture. Navigate how your business can leverage 'change' to create better outcomes and more positivity amongst your workforce and the interactions that your customers have with your brand.

How to stick to your tough business decision

1.  Write it down in your diary and remind yourself why you made it.

2.  Only enter into conversations that are about the future execution of your business decision - not the past.

3.  Carefully communicate your business decision with clear reasons why it was made and how it will assist in moving the company forward.

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comments ( 8 )
  • Maddison Reidy
    Maddison Reidy
    25 Jul 2013

    The decisions we make today always influence what comes tomorrow. When faced with two options and we find ourselves indecisive, I think we should look at it like the toss of a coin. Once the coin is in the air, we know exactly what we are hoping for it to land on.

    “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” – Jim Collins

  • Omair Khalid
    Omair Khalid
    23 Jul 2013

    This is a great article. I learned much. Keep up the good work. I would also like to share my opinion with everybody. I honestly don't think that banks are going to help us out. I think that it is better if the borrowers communicate their needs through loan brokers like Biz4Loans at instead of actual lenders

  • PEREZJo21
    18 Jul 2013

    Academic success can be not just a myth nowadays, just because students have a possibility to buy an essay to be satisfied.

  • Ashile
    16 Jul 2013

    When it comes to decision making, I am the first to put my hand up to say I consider myself very indecisive. However, as Mellissah stated I find I make my best decisions when it comes to crunch time. The more time I have to deliberate over something, I find myself lost tossing up the possibilities and what if's, so when it comes time to have that decision made I have more things I continue to ponder.

    I have worked out that going with my gut instinct often works best for me, and when I am not sure I wait until the final moments the decision is due and make it! This tends to lead me to work under enormous pressure however I don't consider it poor time management - it's the way I produce my best results. I have tried and tested alternative ways of operating, but making last minute decisions are my best and often spontaneous, lending to an exciting outcome.

  • Jessie Singh
    Jessie Singh
    16 Jul 2013

    I understand that we shouldn't let fear of what might happen influence our decision, but that doesn't mean we should ignore it completely. Sometimes our instincts can be correct.

  • Deepthi
    12 Jul 2013

    Sometimes the toughest decisions we make are the best ones. Life is all about making the right choices and standing by it. Like Plato said 'A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.'

  • G
    09 Jul 2013

    When we need to make a important decision, we will feel confused to make it because we afraid that it will bring out a negative influence. It is quite right that we need to think twice before making the decision. We not only need to think the pros of making the decision, but also need to think the cons after adopting the decision.

  • Clinton
    09 Jul 2013

    It is normally hard for us to take the first step because of fear or anxiety.However it won't be successful if you don't take this step.I think success is based on lots of little or small steps but the first step is the most important.It is already been successful if you tried the first step eventhough the result maybe not what you expected at least you have tried before and you won't be regret.Great article and you give me a big lesson.