Starting a business can be a very scary task. It’s tough to make the many decisions that lead up to the actual start of a business. Will your company be an LLC, a C-Corp, a non-profit or something else entirely? Where will you work? Who will you hire? All of these decisions are very important, but the questions seem to become even more difficult (and the decisions even more important) as your business continues to grow. At what point should you step aside and hire a CEO? Should you attempt the difficult task of re-branding our organization? Should you hire Joe Schmo or Jane Doe? Should I Wait for the iPhone 5? ;]
When you come across a difficult crossroads, take some time to consider these four steps to ensure that you are making the best and most informed decision that you possibly can.
1. Read up on your options.
Make sure that you spend some time researching your decision and reading up on the different paths that you could take. There probably won’t be a specific article or book that talks all about your exact specific situation – there are so many things to take into account for each circumstance – but you may be able to at least gain a better understanding of the implications of your choice. You might also come across an option that you hadn’t thought of before; maybe the answer to your problem isn’t necessarily a “one or the other” but more a combination of the two.
2. Talk to people that you trust.
There’s no reason for anyone to have to go through an important decision on his or her own. Whether you speak with a business partner, trusted employee, spouse, business coach or just a good friend – just be sure that you fully trust the person you receive advice from to help steer you in the right direction. This does not mean that you beg for them to make the decision for you. Simply put, ask for them to give you the best advice they can. This advice should not, however, be the only thing that sways your verdict (after all, their perspective could be just as skewed as yours). Whoever you chose to confide in just might have a different viewpoint all together and bring up some great arguments that you might have missed before.
3. Think about how you feel.
Take time away from your everyday tasks to think about how this decision feels to you. Emotions should not fully sway your conclusion, but feelings are definitely something that you should take into account. Plus, listening to your gut might just save you from making a horrible wrong turn.
4. Take a step with confidence.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in business is avoiding an important decision altogether. If you know that the decision needs to be made but you still aren’t quite sure what to do, try creating a list of pro’s and con’s for each side of the spectrum. Take one last look at all of your evidence and your list and make a decision and stick to it long enough to see what happens. The absence of a decision is not a decision in and of itself. Take action and be confident in the path that you have chosen.
All difficult decisions should be made only after putting a considerable amount of thought and time into them. You don’t want to rush your decision, but you also don’t want to be paralyzed of indecision. Do you think that there are other steps to making good business decisions (or really life decisions in general) that I have left out?