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Some businesses seem to go from strength to strength while others can struggle a bit. As a business owner it’s hard not to feel disheartened when things aren’t going well.

Before we get stuck in, try to remember that no matter how good you are at running a business, you can’t actually predict the future; a product which passed its market test with flying colours might not sell so remarkably when launched; unexpected policy changes can render your services suddenly obsolete. Sometimes things just happen.

The fact is you can’t account for every little eventuality. But with some sensible planning (and a bit of luck) you’ll give your business the best chance of success.

Be clear on what your objectives are

Before making any decisions, you need to know what it is you’re actually trying to achieve. Understanding where you’re going can then give you a framework for looking at all the options and seeing how they match your business goals (and your budget!).

Whether it’s improving cash flow, making efficiencies, or boosting customer satisfaction, having clear objectives guides your decision-making towards better results.

Gather relevant information

Informed decisions are often the best ones. Take the time to gather relevant data and information to help you make your decision. This may involve market research, analysing your financial reports, or speaking to experts in your field. By having a strong understanding of the situation, you can mitigate risks and better see any new opportunities that come your way.

Analyse the risks and benefits

As with everything in life, business decisions come with an element of risk. Looking at the potential risks and benefits associated with each option is therefore really important.

Think about the short-term and long-term implications, as well as the probability of success or failure. Put in place risk management strategies to mitigate problems in case anything goes wrong too.

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Get stakeholders involved

Stakeholders are anyone who has an interest in your business. This could be shareholders, suppliers, customers or staff for example. By asking for feedback from relevant stakeholders, you’re more likely to get better insights and support than you would have done otherwise. It can also help build a sense of inclusivity amongst your team.

Use data to drive your decisions

Having access to real facts and figures is another important way to help you come to the right business decisions. Analytics, customer feedback, looking at metrics and scrutinising market trends can minimise bias and enable you to make more logical decisions rather than just what you think is right.

Trust your intuition (with caution!)

While data and analysis are so important, intuition also plays a role in decision-making. Gut feelings and instincts can sometimes give valuable signals, especially if you’re trying to solve a problem that’s complex and uncertain.

However, make sure you balance intuition with rational reasoning – and the data evidence we’ve just mentioned. Trust your intuition, but back it up with data and logic so you can be sure.

Build powerful daily habits

Success is all about building powerful habits every day. Successful people chip away at their long-term goals by breaking them down into tiny steps. They will wake up early each morning to work on a side project, or schedule a few minutes per day to interact via social media to grow their online presence.

Building these habits can be difficult for anyone to stick with but they’re key to consistent success in all areas of your life. Try to set a regular schedule in order to cover all the things you need to do in the day. Once you follow a schedule for long enough, these actions will become habits rather than chores.

Embrace flexibility

The business environment is constantly evolving, so your decision-making should involve some level of agility and adaptability. Embrace flexibility and be open to shifting direction as new information comes to light or circumstances change.

Try to avoid being rigid or overly attached to a particular decision, as this may lead to missed opportunities or expensive mistakes. It’s about continuous learning and improvement!

Learn from past decisions

Reflect on past decisions, both successes and failures, to see what you can learn from them. What worked well? What could have been done differently? By analysing past experiences, you can identify patterns, refine your decision-making process, and avoid repeating past mistakes.

Take decisive action

Ultimately, effective decision-making means taking action. When you’re not sure which road to go down, it’s easy to procrastinate and become indecisive. The problem is, this can be really detrimental to progress and growth.

Once you’ve done your homework and weighed it all up, trust in your abilities. Make the decision and take the decisive steps needed to push your business on.

Get all the support you need to run your business

It’s natural that being responsible for more people (customers, staff, suppliers) can increase the pressure that decision makers put themselves under. As the boss of the operation, you might feel the absence of a higher power to refer to for answers when difficult situations crop up.

It’s at this point where you really need to reach out for support.

The most successful entrepreneurs build their empires by seeking help with the stuff they don’t know. Have you created a desirable new product? Get help with the marketing, logistics and customer service.

You can still craft these to fit your vision for the brand (and if you don’t have a brand, you can get help with that, too). And yes, asking your accountant can be pretty useful as well!

Don’t forget to track your progress too

Once you’ve made a decision about something and kicked off a plan of action, track the progress of it and review it regularly. It’s also worth checking in with team members and making sure goals continue to be met. After all, tracking the outcome of your decisions is the only way you’ll know if something actually worked!

We offer a range of online accountancy services to help get your business where you want it to be. Call our team on 020 3355 4047, or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Stephanie Whalley

Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.

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