If you have ever thought to yourself, “Hey, I’ve thought of that idea before. I could have been rich like that guy.” If you think you could have made money off an idea you had because you see someone else making money off of it, you are right. You can still likely make money off of that idea, but now you have an excuse not to do the work. The main difference between the person that does make money off an idea and those that feel they missed out, is the decisions that were made around what had to be done.
Everybody Dreams – Few Do the Work
If you want to see a significant change in your business or life, like more clients, more income, bigger target market, larger territory, a new product line, more employees, more notoriety, etc. you have to be willing to decide on the change that must take place and then do the work. Decision making is a core entrepreneurial skill and you MUST learn to be good at this so you can take action when action is required.
As an employee, you were given tasks to complete and core responsibilities to manage. Your decisions were defined by the level of leadership you held.
- New to the position? – do the work you are given.
- Manager level position? – decide on events and issues that will affect the people that work under you and how you will respond.
Now that you are a business owner you are responsible for all aspects of your business. You must be able to make decisions easily and with clarity for the benefit of the business and all the people it will affect.
Confident decision making seems to be a weakness of women business owners in particular. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a successful business owner tell me she have identified a specific need for her business and then, after speaking to her non-entrepreneurial spouse, had decided that it would not be a great idea. The spouse, out of fear for a future they cannot perceive, will always default to a safe response, as only money = security to a non-entrepreneur. Money should always be a factor in your decision making for business but not the only factor.
Perspective without a view can hamper good judgement and stop growth. If the person making decisions in your business does not have full view of the big-picture, their perspective will now benefit the growth of your business. Either give them all the details or stop asking them for their advice.
Below are three factors that will help you with decision making. If your business decisions are clear about these three factors then you will start making less risky, more confident decisions.
1. What is Your Business Goal?
You should always be working towards a goal in your business and life. If you have no set goals (and that does mean it MUST be written down) you will not have the motivation to continually do what it takes to make your business work, especially when things are tough. You should have one ambitious long-term goal, a mid-range goal (1-2 years to complete) and several short term goals that support them. For instance:
Long-term goal – To have a successful national membership program with a minimum of 500 members country-wide.
Mid-range goal – To create a national program that has monthly meetings in 5 main cities across the country, with 25 members per city, paying a yearly memberships of $200 each, by 2016.
Short-term goal – Launch the first chapter by May 2015 with a minimum of 15 members.
Ask Yourself – How does this decision affect my goals?
2. Know Your Business’s Mission
My mission is to help business owners feel empowered to successfully implement big ideas in their business so they can make a difference to others in the world. When I look at decisions that I have to make for my business I first want to make sure it is in line with what I want to do, who I want to do it for, how I will provide that service, and why I want to do it. If my decision does not support my mission then it is likely a shiny object that I have been distracted by.
Ask Yourself – will acting on this decision further the goals I have set to support my mission?
3. Know How to Calculate Your ROI
Let’s talk about the money. Sometimes it is hard to spend the money required to make more money because all we can see is the expense. I know, I have this same issue. It also does not stop me from making key decisions in my business that will help propel my business growth.
Write down your answers to these 4 questions.
- What is the Cost? – This is the obvious number to look at.
- What can you change that will make you more money if you do this?
- How much money can you generate from this change in your business?
- How else can you pay for this?
The last question is the key to making more money. Looking for opportunities to reduce or eliminate costs is the best way to create an easy path to confident decision making. I recently heard a story about Richard Branson starting Virgin Airlines and how he reduced the risk of the expense of purchasing a Boeing Commercial Airplane. He made a deal with Boeing that they would purchase the airplane back from him in a year if he could not make the new airline company work.
In 2013 I was creating my event plans for 2014 and I knew I was going to be spending a lot of money on locations. I made an arrangement with a business centre to become my sponsor for the year. My clients were their ideal target market. I got the locations for free, they got online advertising with the programs and the opportunity to speak directly to my clients at the events.
Does your decision further your goals; Is it in line with your mission and can you make enough money by investing your time, money or energy required to implement this decision so you can continue to grow your business
After passing these three check-points you can now look at your ability to fund the idea and make a less-risky, more confident decision.