Whether you are a business person, or not believe it; you make hundreds of decisions everyday. From what you are going to wear, to what you are going to eat for breakfast (unless of course your spouse/ mother has already prepared it and all you have to do is to eat it). Some business icons like Mark Zuckerberg, eliminate some of this fuss by trying sticking to one ensemble everyday (ok, old news!)
But, some decisions occur to us, to be “Actual” decisions that we have to make. Because the “perceived” impact of those decisions are more substantial than the others.
Particularly if you are running a business, you may encounter that you go through this kind of “Decision making” more often than not. Whether it is about managing your working capital, whether to take a loan or go for equity to fund your next investment or simply whether to change the layout of your shop.
Whilst the human mind is perfectly capable of making some great decisions, it will need a bit of assistance via a “process”.
1. Focus on the result you want to achieve. Look at the bigger picture
While we were first starting to build our network of potential partners, we tended to get some requests for Business Performance dashboards from bigger clients of them, who are out of the league that we play. We had a clear idea what our target market is, which is SMEs. So, the first instinct was to turn down the requests. But when we looked at what we really wanted to achieve in terms of building a partnership. It was to open up sustainable sales avenues with them. These partners had an immense potential to deliver that to us. But they wanted that ” small favor” from us, where we cater some of their big client’s requests. So, it was an “investment” we had to make in order to achieve the “bigger” objective.
2. Grab a Seat
Although, “make decisions on the go” is one of our key selling points for Zkewed, it is easier said than done. Make sure you have peace in mind before making your big decisions. Take a bit of time away from regular hustle of your business and relax.
3. Identify your Options
Make an exhaustive list of all the options available to you. If it is just a simple “Yes/ or No”, great. If not start exploring. Let’s say you are a trader and your decision to make is where to spend your working capital for next month. You have options among, categories of products that you need to weigh in, and also brands. So you will have a list which looks like
Category 1 – Brand 1
Category 1 – Brand 2
Category 2 – Brand 1
Category 2 – Brand 2
Category 3 -…
4. Gather all your data, but again look at the bigger picture
Find as much as supporting data on each of your options. On the same example as above, supporting data can be,
Demand for each option previous month
Demand for each option in the same season; previous year
Credit policy of your supplier (how many days does he allow you to pay him)
Profitability per unit for each option
Collate all these data to create one or two critical piece of information regarding all your options. It can be a weighted aggregate score of all KPIs considered, or one or two of most critical KPIs that you need to focus. That will be the bigger picture that you will have to look at.
5. Weigh your options
Based on the critical piece of information regarding each of your option, weigh them. You are almost ready to make the decision
6. Ask for Opinions
This one, however needs to be done with much of caution. Limit the number of people from whom you get an opinion to be maximum 3, unless you will again lose the clarity in mind that you have already created. And those 3 should include (not necessary to be mutually exclusive)
An expert of the subject matter
Some one who is equally impacted by the decision that you make
A genuine well wisher
Once you have established from whom you get the opinion, take them through step 3 – 5, they will be able to enlighten you on some of the aspects that you might have missed.
7. Pick the option with highest (positive) weight.
Now, this is a no brainer, but put this point just for the completion sake.
Happy Decision making people!