Think hard before making a decision, because it may have the power to sink or boost your brand
Have you ever made a bad decision? The truth is who hasn’t? However, while bad decisions are a regrettable part of everyone’s lives at one point or another, a few simple tactics can help you reduce the possibility of making mistakes and prepare yourself to make the right choices.
One thing that everyone has in common is the undeniable fact that we have all made our share of disappointing decisions. Making good decisions is a skillset that has to be developed like any other skillset. It’s quite obvious that all businessmen are not created equal, especially when it comes to their decision-making skills. Nothing can test your management mettle more than your ability to make sound decisions for your startups.
For every business, the main thing that can adversely affect your brand is a bad decision. A decision has the power to make or break your brand!
One of the supreme skills a leader can possess is the ability to make effective business decisions. Business owners have to make plenty of decisions daily that influence the overall success of the organization, apart from clients, employees or the market. The development of this skill requires a balanced combination of experience, education, and intuition.
If you’re a startup, there are several things that influence the way an individual makes a decision. It’s crucial to mollify the irrational and support the rational. Reflecting on this, it is obvious that making the right calls, small and large, need some specific nuts and bolts and a thoughtful decision-making process. These considerations are especially crucial in a startup, where you’ll never have enough information when making a decision.
The series of small, medium and big decisions you make determines the success or failure of your startup. Making the right decisions rather than the wrong ones will take your startup to the next level. The best startup decisions result in outcomes of a sensitively planned process.
1. Know What Decisions you’re actually making
Have a clear understanding of the decision you need to make and avoid anything that could potentially fog it up!
Ask yourself a few questions: “What decision do I have to make?”, “Why do I need to make that decision?”, “How will that decision affect your startup?”, and “What are the best and worst-case scenarios?”
When you’re clear as to what decision you have to make and what you want to achieve as a result of that decision, you will get the best option choices and will easily identify which option/s will suit you best.
Seth Godin rightly said, “It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.”
2. Think and evaluate all of your options
Before committing to a decision, think of all the options you have and the pros and cons associated with each of them. When reviewing the different options, consider the values that are crucial to your startup. Think of your target audience – who do you want to reach and what type of customer may help you generate revenue for your startup.
In this step, you must consider which types of customers are not feasible for you to reach or who doesn’t belong to your target market and eliminate them in order to narrow down your focus to your key target market/audience.
Two people will never think the same because they have different thinking capacities. It’s human tendency to look at the possibility of failure more powerfully than the prospect of success. Success and failure are treated differently. Put a frame around the problem and focus on the possibilities that can be fruitful for your startup.
3. Execute Your Decision
Now execute immediately. Here’s the fun part— once you’ve made a decision, you get to finally act on it! The decision you take for your startup must feature the information you have collected, your sense of intuition and your vision for your startup. Set your mind on which user-segment you want to target and start marketing accordingly.
4. Evaluate your decision and tweak, if necessary
Once you execute your decision, it’s time to evaluate and confirm whether you have made the right decision. Question yourself – “Is my startup reaching its target audience?”, “Is my startup meeting customer and market demands and needs?”, “How much revenue is my startup generating?”, “Am I targeting the right customer segment or do I need to tweak my focus?”
Think of all the possible questions and evaluate whether you have balance in your consideration of these questions. Then you can make a proper determination. If the answers are not in your favor, you’ve probably made a wrong decision. Ensure that all of the basics are met and then start over from the initial set again. Confirm the metrics that will help you make a wise decision for your startup.
A bonus tip – always have a backup plan ready!
The actual test of a startup or entrepreneur comes in the moments following the realization that you’ve made a wrong decision!
Startups must understand that all plans and strategies are made up of constants as well as variables and that sometimes the variables may work against you.
Smart entrepreneurs always have an emergency plan because they understand that situations may not always work in their favor or can easily get out of control, for which a backup plan can be a savior.
In a startup, as in life, you rarely have sufficient or correct-enough information in order to make the right decision. To a certain degree, you have to rely upon and trust your instincts, especially since most decisions are inter-reliant.
There is no precise rule for what makes up a sufficient amount of information and if you attempt to follow a specific set of rules, you’re more than likely to fail since you’ll not be properly evaluating each decision.
In his book The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, Oren Harari writes about how Powell’s leadership principles can be applied by modern-day leaders to improve their proficiency.
One of these principles states that the quantity of information obtained in most decisions is between 40 per cent to 70 per cent, and the remaining improbability should be left to your gut feelings.
Although this is not a principle to rely upon in making every decision, it does show that the best decision-making normally takes place when a considerable amount of information remains unidentified. On the other hand, it also clearly reveals that a certain amount of information will be needed in order to efficiently evaluate the outcome of a given choice.
No matter whether it’s a small or a big decision, when the time comes to make it for your startup, ensure you’re zealous for the correct reasons. Think practically and with a proper balance and then follow a reflective, decision-making process. Remember – poor decisions are a reality in everyone’s life and they occur from time-to-time. Don’t let your ego get so close to your position that if your position fails, your ego fails with it.
Follow these 4 steps to make the right decision. You’ll make the right call more often than not and your startup will perform better for it. It has been correctly said – good decisions come from experience and experience comes from making bad decisions!
Sawaram Suthar is Head of Marketing at Tagove Live Chat. He helps SME to increase their ROI and overall business. He also runs a digital marketing agency called Jagat Media. Reach him @sawarams or his blog thenextscoop.com.
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