Making Wise Business Decisions – Part I


9 Steps to Help You Choose Wisely

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. – William JamesChoices are the hinges of destiny. – Edwin Markham

A businessman scratches his head.You can be the best tax professional in your area and still have a failing business. Why? Because a successful tax practice depends upon its owner making wise business decisions. If you struggle when making prudent and profitable decisions regarding your business, this article can help. This is the first of a two-part series on making wise business decisions. The following are the first five of 9 tips in choosing wisely:

1. Define the decisionIf you have an important decision to make, it helps tremendously to first define the decision. When you do so you’ll be better equipped to determine who is responsible for this decision, when it has to be made, and what your potential options are.2. Articulate your optionsIt doesn’t matter whether or not some of them are unappealing to you; it’s important that you look at countless possibilities before making your choice. Brainstorm to find as many as possible.3. Research your optionsYou shouldn’t just rely on your own experience and understanding to find potential options; you should research to find more. And while you’re at it, look into those options you found on your own. Have other business owners made similar decisions? What was the impact on their businesses? Could you talk with professional peers and business associates to see how they might respond to this particular choice? Don’t be too anxious to make your decision without doing a little footwork first.4. Anticipate possible outcomes for all optionsNow that you’ve developed a solid list of options, anticipate potential outcomes for each option. Relying on both the research you’ve done and your own experience, imagine what would most likely happen if you implemented each option. Visualize those outcomes, paying particular attention to how they make you feel.5. Eliminate unlikely outcomesNow for the reality check. It can be fun to imagine grand success upon choosing various options, but how realistic is that? Be honest with yourself and eliminate unlikely outcomes. This will help narrow your list, leaving you with a short list of potential options and their outcomes.

Of course we don’t expect that every decision you make will require this much time and attention. However, when it comes to making significant business decisions, the worst thing you can do is randomly select one of the first options you consider. Choosing wisely depends upon your ability to define the decision and examine all potential options. Once you do so you are better equipped to choose wisely and enjoy a more profitable business as a result.Return next week when we’ll discuss the final four steps in making wise business decisions:

6. Note most appealing options and potential outcomes7. Pick the option that’s a good match for you and your business8. Get started!9. Evaluate your progress

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