Small Business Decisions

What to do?  What to do? From the time we get up until we go to bed at night, life is a series of decisions.  In fact, we make our first decision of the day, whether to get up or not, even before we get out of bed.  As the day goes by, and the week, and the month, and the years, decisions have a tendency to build on one another.

For example, if we decide not to get out of bed, that decision will have a major impact on the rest of the day.  Depending on our calendar and our level of responsibility, that one decision could have consequences that extend far into the future.  And, of course, our decisions often affect others.

Millions of words have been written and spoken about various methods of making decisions.  Whether you use the Ben Franklin line down the middle of a sheet of paper method, or if you’re a “flip a coin” kind of guy/gal, your decision methodology is very personal and may change depending on the importance of the decision or even the day of the week.

This may be one of those “do as I say, not as I do” moments, but my suggestion to you is that you use the “Nike” decision model:  Just Do It!

Sometimes we make the decision not to make a decision, and that’s usually the worst decision of all.  Don’t get me wrong.  You shouldn’t spend huge amounts of money on a whim.  You probably shouldn’t marry the first girl you ever date.   (Although there are very successful marriages that are the exception to this rule.)  You probably shouldn’t buy the first house you look at, or the first car.

But the length of time it takes to make a decision should be proportional to it’s magnitude.  Prioritization is the key.  Whether or not to take on a new line of merchandise or to add a new service is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Invest the proper amount of time in the process, but don’t agonize over it.  Weigh the facts.  What’s the best possible outcome?  What’s the worst that could happen?  Does the potential gain outweigh the potential loss?  Once you have the facts, and possibly some input from your trusted advisers, Just Do It!

If  it’s a good idea, you delay the beneficial results by waiting.  If it’s a bad idea, the sooner you go ahead, the more time you’ll have to recover.  In many cases, delaying a decision may let someone else decide for you.  That’s never good.

Then watch the results.  If it’s working, pat yourself on the back and move on.  If it’s not.  Cut your losses. Pat yourself on the back for trying something new. Then move on.  If that new line of widgets is just sitting there on the shelf, it’s time for another decision.  Find a way to move them out.  Get as much of your investment back as you can.  Then  spend it on something else!

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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