Throughout your business’s lifetime, countless decisions will need to be made. And these decisions, to varying degrees, can determine the success or failure of your operations.
To make the best possible decisions, you need to implement the top decision-making process that you possibly can.
Often, having as much information and time as possible will put you in a position to make an informed and appropriate decision.
However, small business owners don’t always have much of both information and time.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should follow the guide to informed decision-making outlined below to help make the best possible choices for their businesses.
Identify Issue and Objective
The first step in making an informed decision is determining the issue and establishing the objective of the decision.
While a problem and desired outcome may seem straightforward, it is vitally important that you clearly define the issue and expressly state what your objective is. These steps provide clear direction for your team and help determine how it will achieve the desired result.
Form the Right Team
Forming the right team means tasking the appropriate people to work on the project and defining their roles. In this instance, the “team” may include a group of people, a partnership, or even just you as the business operator.
The most essential part of building this team is to put people in place who will help you best collect and analyze data and who you trust if they are part of the decision-making act. Specifically, you want to put subject matter experts in place that align with the issue.
Collect and Analyze Data
Once the right people are in place, you can begin collecting and analyzing the data and information that will guide your decision-making. This investigative research phase is crucial as it will determine the amount and quality of information you have on hand to make your decision.
Typically, the more data you have, the better, though the quality of the information is also essential. Once collected, your team also needs to analyze the data to determine precisely what it is telling you and how it should steer your decision-making.
Use Findings to Make a Decision
Once your team has collected and analyzed the data, you will be ready to make a decision. While you should be considering several possible choices, your data will point you in the direction of the path that you should follow.
The great part of informed decision-making is that the data leads the way. When you first identified the problem, you likely had a gut feeling about what decision you should make. The data analysis guiding your ultimate decision will either reassure you that your gut was right or clarify and quantify why it was wrong.
Plan and Implement the Decision
A decision needs to be put into action once it has been made. While not always enjoying the luxury of time, you should develop an implementation plan and then execute it.
At this point, you are putting the decision to the test, but you can rest assured knowing that you made the best one for the situation given the information you had at the time. But only time will tell if the decision truly was a good one or not.
Evaluate the Decision
Unfortunately, even with a good decision-making process in place, you won’t know the results of that decision until after it is implemented. So while it is comforting to know your decision-making was informed, you still need to evaluate it after the fact to determine if it was successful or not.
Hopefully, your evaluation will support the decision you made. However, if your assessment reveals that the wrong decision was made, you can backtrack in an attempt to determine what went wrong. For example, did you incorrectly identify the problem, pick the wrong team, or use faulty data?
This reflection will help you improve your decision-making process in the future.
Here at Visa Business Plans, our experienced business professionals are ready to share their knowledge and experiences with entrepreneurs to help their businesses make the best decisions to support their growth.
Call us today to see how our business and executive coaching service, which adds someone with extensive business decision-making experience to your team, can help you reach your goals!
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.