There is a natural inclination for new business owners to spend an inordinate amount of time making even simple decisions: What will I name my business? What hours should I be open? Should my logo have two or three colors? Where will I open my business account? Which supplier will I use? At what point can I quit my job? What will my product or service be? How much should I charge for my product or service?
Delaying a decision can lead to a situation where you’re forced into making a knee jerk decision. It’s important that during your start-up phase and, if possible, before you launch your business to develop a list of decisions you’ll need to make to get the business launched and grown to solvency. It’s also essential to revisit that list often to record what decisions you’ve made and what other decisions you need to make.
The Army has a wonderful method for insuring officers have the information they need to make a decision.
- Define the problem: Write a succinct statement of the issue.
- List facts relating to the problem: This is the step when you gather the intelligence that’s going to help you make a decision.
- Develop alternate solutions: Three seems to be the right number remembering that doing nothing is a decision.
- List the pros and cons of each solution.
- Review and make a decision.
Years ago I had a boss who told me, “Make a decision even if it’s wrong. I can always change a bad decision. I can’t change no decision at all.” I’ve found that, more often than not, to be the truth.