5 Top Tips For Making Tough Business Decisions By Emma Thackray

Running a business involves making tough decisions, which can be a stressful process. There are a variety of things to consider, such as finances, staffing, risk and the desire to do what is best for your business and yourself as an entrepreneur. 

Often, entrepreneurs find themselves getting so wrapped up in the importance of the decision they face and the desire to make the right choice that it can lead to over-analysis of the situation, which inevitably draws out the process even longer. With this in mind, here are 5 top tips to help to make those tough business decisions easier, faster and less stressful by Insightful Brands co-founder Emma Thackray.

Organise your thought process

When making a tough decision, it often helps to create a list of the pros and cons. Organising your thoughts like this makes things clearer and provides a great way to see the upsides and downsides of each side of the coin. 

Remember, you could risk making a poor business decision if you do not have all the relevant information available, where insight into past and current trends, business growth and staffing generally prove useful during the decision-making process. 

Listen to your gut instinct

It is good to listen to your initial gut instinct, but make sure you don’t let your emotions complicate things. Deep down, you will know what the right answer is for the business, even if it doesn’t feel like the right decision on an emotional level.

A common example is deciding what to do with a staff member who is terrible at their job, but who you like as a person. By letting them go, you are doing the right thing for the business, even if emotionally you were reluctant to do so. In this situation, your gut would’ve told you that they aren’t right for the company and instead of thinking about their feelings, you need to proceed in firing them. 

Think about the advice you would offer someone else

In order to try and take and outside perspective on things, try imagining helping someone else make the decision. Ask yourself, what advice would you give someone else who found themselves in this situation? 

From taking this outside position, you may be able to shed light on what course of action appears most reasonable from the outside. It may lead you to realise that from an outside perspective, one option is clearly the best one. 

Don’t focus too much on the ‘wrong’ decision 

One main reason that people find it hard to make a tough decision is they are scared of making the wrong one. When there is a lot at stake, such as money and time, it can be daunting that the wrong decision could have a huge impact on your business. It is likely that no outcome is as terrible as you see it and you will likely be able to recover from any setback caused. 

You should also see a ‘wrong’ decision as an opportunity to learn and grow further, as you will learn from this mistake, which will ultimately help in making other decisions in the future. Making the ‘wrong’ decision is bound to happen at some point and is an important part of your growth and development as a successful entrepreneur and business owner. 

Seek help from employees and colleagues 

When faced with a hard decision, it can be beneficial to gain the perspective of others to help see it from an alternative viewpoint. Not only will this help inform the decision, but it will allow you to see how it may influence other members of the business. Sometimes, you just need someone to validate your decision to help you prove to yourself that you are making the right choice. Also, involving the team in the important decision-making process can help build a positive work culture and make employees feel involved in the growth and future direction of the business. 

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