If I go to a restaurant with an enormous menu I start to panic. Seriously. Too many options turns me indecisive, and when the server comes to take my order my decision-making skills have been hindered and a poor food choice is likelier to be made. This is, of course, is what I like to call a first-world problem.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have critical decisions to make everyday that will determine the success of their businesses. But successful decision making is actually not as easy as one might think. Check out these four golden rules to fine-tuning your decision-making skills.
1. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill
We commonly take what is suppose to be a simple or unimportant decision and blow it up into something much more complicated. Why? We connect important decisions with difficulty, and spend much more time and effort trying to make the right one. This makes things increasingly more complicated, and can cloud your judgment.
So what can you do to prevent this time-consuming decision-making fail? If you have an important decision to make, allot a certain amount of time to address it and then make your choice. This will help you to not drag it out and complicate it.
2. Value vs. costs
Sunk costs, i.e. costs and investments that you cannot recover (think new software that takes employees more time and effort to use) are often followed by more money being thrown at the previous expense. Decisions cost time, money and effort. The key is to weigh these investments against the benefits that will come of it. If the first outweighs the second, it’s time to consider changing your decision.
3. Don’t drown in data
We have access to so much data about our businesses that we can get completely overwhelmed with cost-effectiveness this and socio-demographic that. And that doesn’t mean the data is actually relevant to the decision at hand and can lead to what’s called analysis paralysis. Make sure the date your are looking at is “good” and that it reflects what will happen to your business in the future. Also, don’t overload with data, look at no more than 10 pieces at a time (or at all). This will keep your head clear for decision-making magic.
4. Decisions are temporary
We can sometimes think that each decision we make is make or break, but the reality is that decisions will constantly be tweaked or even changed completely as our business environment does. So, not putting so much emphasis on one decision and realizing that most decisions are flexible will allow you to not stress so much over making them.
So, for all you entrepreneurs with daily decisions to make, don’t sweat the small stuff, make sure investments in decisions will result in more benefits, don’t be consumed by pain-staking data analysis and know that decisions can almost always be adjusted in the future.