Decision-making can often feel a strenuous and arduous task for one individual to take responsibility for. In small businesses in which many jobs depend on your decision-making expertise, it can be unwise to work with your gut or to make snap, hasty decisions without understanding what might affect the workings of your business negatively. If you’re concerned about not having a dictatorial approach in your small business, it might be time to consider one of these alternatives, which will help guide your decision-making while still keeping ultimate authority in your hands.
The power of committee is both lauded and mocked in the business world. Everyone’s granted a voice, and often they’re all granted a vote on the decision too, only for their vote to be potentially overruled by the manager or boss at the top of the table. Nevertheless, the committee format is one of the best in which to explore a diverse range of ideas, concerns and expectations in a safe and trusting environment, which gives the ultimate decision-maker some much-needed perspective on the decision before pulling the lever.
Many people enter business with a partner, in which case they’ll be more than used to bouncing ideas and decisions off their co-CEO. As long as you’re operating on a relatively similar wavelength, this kind of working relationship can be super-easy and extremely rewarding, with a middleman of discussion booted out in favour of frank and honest discussions with a partner. It’s never too late to find a business partner or close colleague to promote into this kind of position, either. If it sounds like an amicable way of dealing with decisions to you, then it might be time to go searching for a like-minded but unique-thinking partner.
To get a little more academic, there’s also the knowledge-based, or evidence-based approach to decision-making. The theory behind this is that you take all human error and bias out of decisions by gathering heaps of evidence to consider before making the bigger decisions that will certainly impact the success of your company. The downside is that this approach takes time and money, but it’ll always lead you to a better decision. Check out your ability to organize focus groups, for instance, to consider how to gather external data for your plans best.
The final tip for decision-making and one that very few but the most humble business leaders ever choose to go with is the experience-based option. This option is based upon the wisdom of professionals who work in the same field. Using this system can mean two things: one you could organise a roundtable at which you hear all the expert opinions on your predicament before taking a decision. The second is that you outsource the decision entirely to a third party; a consultant, specialist business strategy company, for instance, who will come up with the goods due to their experience in the sector.
Struggling to make a decision? This guide should help straighten you out and point you to new ways to make up your mind.