Having the confidence to make decisions

Mistakes are proof you're tryingThere are so many decisions to be made when running your own business. Sometimes it can be a really scary place to be but at the same time it can be very liberating. After all many of the reasons that you started your own company were so that you were the boss and that you only had to answer to yourself.

Do you remember that moment when you decided to work for yourself? That was a big decision to make and not one that you would have taken lightly but it was probably the toughest decision you have made so far. In comparison you would think that all other decisions would pale in significance compared to that hugely important leap of faith. How is it then that even the small decisions can make us deliberate and waiver?

If you were a corporate person before you became your own boss you probably found yourself making decisions on a regular basis. For some of you that could have been easy but for some you may have found it a very pressurised situation. Imagine making the wrong decision with someone else’s business? In a way it is easier when you only have to answer to yourself but if your decisions are financial ones then the impact on you personally could be huge.
What tips can we give you when having to make decisions and how do you find the confidence in those decisions? Let’s imagine you are trying to decide on a new piece of machinery.

  • Start with weighing up the benefits and outcomes. What positive impact could this have on your business? Will it save time and make your business more efficient?
  • What if you decide not to purchase this particular piece of machinery – what is the cost?
  • How much does it cost vs what it will yield?
  • How long will it take to make the money back?
  • Do you have the cash to make the purchase or will you lease or hire it?
  • Do you know anyone else who has this machinery, what do they say, have you done your research and got feedback from others?

If you are unsure about a decision it is usually good to do a mini SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By putting all of the information in a format before you it may make the decision making process easier and at least make you feel like you have made a more informed choice.

We are not recommending that every decision you make warrants a SWOT analysis but for those where there are money or people involved it is good to do your research and take your time until you are more confident about the choices you are making for your business. Don’t get complacent though – always exercise caution when making big decisions. Confidence and caution will come with experience and the lessons you learn from the decisions you make, both good and bad.