How to Make Better Business Decisions

|| For Freelancers & Entrepreneurs |

Managing a business, project, or a team often involves making decisions. From selecting the best staff to work on a project to planning the best approach in engaging a potential investor, decisions are often one-shot deals that cannot be reversed once you get the ball rolling. Some decisions are easier to make than others. Some are quite complex and involves finding alternatives and weighing all variables--including those that are yet to be discovered.

Because making decisions can be complicated, business management gurus formulate step- by-step processes that cover most aspects of decision-making. These processes are designed to deliver high quality outcomes. 

Commonly, decisions are made via one of four possible methods: command, consultation, vote and consensus. Of the four, "vote" and "consensus" involves more stakeholders in the decision process while "command" involves just a single person or a very small team to make the decision.

By far, the simplest decision making formula is broken down into five basic steps: 

  1. Establish a constructive environment that inspires productive collaboration among stake holders and decision makers
  2. Formulate and explore alternative solutions 
  3. Select the best solution 
  4. Conduct a final review of the chosen solution
  5. Articulate and implement the decision.

Consistently following these steps will help you make better business decisions. Remember that thinking about all the available options and approaches to an issue will help everyone arrive at the best solution. For critical issues, consulting with a subject matter expert (SME) helps deliver the best results.