Team meetings, LinkedIn updates, phone calls and text messages, networking conversations, and the constant flow of emails brings us ideas, information, and ceaseless communication at lightning speed all day, every day. It seems we are constantly bombarded with ideas. We can no longer take the time to read everything coming our way, so we skim. It appears to take far longer to evaluate whether a new idea fits our business model, is aligned with our brand, and helps us move closer to our mission and vision.

So how can a business that’s focused on growth slow down enough to evaluate the influx of possibilities? How can we decide which ideas deserve further attention and how do we use that new knowledge to make important decisions?

Here are some tips that can help business owners make good decisions towards business development:

  1. Stay focused on your goals: this helps you avoid being distracted by attractive but irrelevant information (the “Shiny Object Syndrome”).
  2. Rely on real data to identify trends, opportunities, and potential risks and help you make objective decisions and minimize the impact of subjective biases.
  3. Seek advice from experts: Consult with advisors and mentors to avoid blind spots and gain the type of insight that can only be acquired from an outside perspective.
  4. Listen to customer feedback: Your customers’ actions (sales) and opinions (social media) are there for you to listen to and use.
  5. Keep up-to-date with developments in your industry with an open mind to identify avenues for growth. You never want to be perceived as “out of touch”.
  6. Consider the long-term impact: Focus on sustainable growth and avoid short-term gains that may harm your business in the long run.

It helps to understand that a decision is really a series of smaller ones; each decision involves a process. I shared how we can stay focused on making the best decisions; now I’d like to share the steps involved in making good decisions:

  1. Revisit your goals: long range, intermediate, and short range.
  2. Identify the question - determine symptoms and causes and put it in writing.
  3. Gather Information and share it with the others involved.
  4. Evaluate sources and the validity of the idea.
  5. Develop alternative strategies, choices (brainstorm).
  6. Test ideas in theory before putting into practice (imagination testing.)
  7. Select the best choice after evaluating and prioritizing.
  8. Secure your team’s commitment on the decision; buy-in will speed things along.
  9. Make it happen!
  10. Accept Responsibility.

Making decisions and evaluating new ideas as a company leader is never easy. As a business coach/consultant, I’ve worked with many business owners and team leaders on evaluating possible new ideas and making decisions with conviction. If this topic is one you’d like to explore further, let’s connect here.