Business Mentoring Tip #57 – How to make a tough decision without losing sleep

April 27, 2012Post by Laura Humphreys

There is no doubt.  As a business owner you will have tough decisions to make.  Sometimes it might feel this is almost on a daily basis. Should you invest in that overseas training right now?  Should you bring on that next staff member?  Should you re-brand now or wait until next year?

There is a regular onslaught of decisions to be made when running a business.  And sometimes the decision will be made tougher by not knowing how to approach the decision making process itself.

Over the years I have worked out a formula to help with these tough decisions:

1.  Get a big piece of paper (yes, that’s pretty much my step one for most problems in life!)

2. Write the question at the top

3. Explore the options.  If you don’t do this thing, what else could you do?  Why are you thinking about it and what other options are there that could get you the same outcome?  List and articulate each option.

4. When you’ve exhausted the options, write a list of pros and cons for each option.

5.  Work out the cost/ROI scenario for each option.  What will it cost in money/time/effort?  What will it return to the business and how quickly? What are the opportunity costs if you don’t follow this option versus one of the others.

6. Compare each option.  Which one has the most pros and the least cons, which one has the most potential ROI in the shortest time?

7. Select the option that stacks up the best.

I am confident that just by following this process the right decision will become apparent.  And not only that you will also feel confident in the decision you have made and not lose sleep over it that night.  This alone is worth the hour or so it will take you to do this exercise.  Happy decision making!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.