How to make sound business decisions is a question many coaches get asked by their coaching clients regularly. Making sound business decisions sometimes stops entrepreneurs in their tracks. They worry they will do something wrong. They fear they will make a “bad” decision and the entire business will implode.
I feel that not making a decision is the worst decision an entrepreneur can make.
How To Make Sound Business Decisions
The difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who doesn’t succeed could be as simple as making decisions and following through. To do this, you will want to have a mission and a vision and even checklists to keep you moving forward.
To learn how to, and why you’re not making decisions, you need to identify those areas in which you struggle to confidently choose A or B.
Here are ways in which to make decisions with confidence.
- Ask for help. If you’re not making a decision because you don’t have all the facts or are simply perplexed, ask a colleague or work with a coach.
- Gather the data necessary to make an informed decision.
- What value is the decision bringing to your business? What could be lost if you don’t make a decision?
- Will the situation you’re in be made better or worse by your lack of decision making? What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen?
- Do you pay attention to your gut instincts? They can sometimes be your best guide.
Do you sometimes get frozen in place? Is procrastinating making a decision holding you back from higher business success? When you have those times when you simply can’t or don’t make a decision, do you know why? Take time to determine why you’re not making a decision and you may be on the right path toward becoming a decision-making pro!
When you meet someone do you form a first impression? Of course you do. We all do. When someone meets you, what do you think they see? What is your personal brand? Do they find you shy and introverted? Outgoing and boisterous?
When you attend a networking event or even meet someone in line at the grocery store, what impression do they form of you and how could that impact — negatively or positively — on your business brand?
What is your personal brand?
Your personal brand is tied closely with your business brand. Imagine this scenario. You’re a CPA who works in a high end accounting firm BUT you attend networking events in tie-dyed t-shirts and sneakers. What first impression will a person make of you? What first impression do you want to make? Appearances do matter and in some businesses you’re able to wear tie-dyed t-shirts and sneakers and the potential clients with whom you’re interacting won’t bat an eye. In other instances, though you do need to “look the part.”
When you’re at a networking event, what is the personal and business brand you’re putting forth? Have you ever stopped to think how closely tied they truly are?
What can you do to position yourself and your business and your entire “brand package”? Here are our tips and advice:
- What makes you “you” unique. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?
- Have your colleagues said to you, “We come to you because of the XYZ you offer. We can’t find that anywhere else.” That’s branding.
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Your origin story? Not just super heroes get to have origin stories. The way in which and the reason for which you started your business is your origin story and should be shared because it sets you apart. Do you set yourself apart with price, service, speed with which you deliver? Hone in on your differentiator and promote it.
First impressions do count, but ongoing interactions matter just as much in the business world. Don’t you agree? What can you do today, or the next time you meet with a potential client or a current client to keep your USP front and center while still having relevant and meaningful discussions?
Amazon is being blamed for the demise of many brick and mortar stores, but still there are many brick and mortars that are opening their doors and others that are thriving. How to set yourself apart from Amazon is something that business owners need to consider when opening a store front — whether physical or virtual.
You may not be able to compete head-to-head with Amazon, but you can certainly still thrive in this marketplace.
How To Set Yourself Apart From Amazon
- Offer a wide variety of items. No longer can a business rely on selling one item and one item only. Amazon thrives because of its diverse mix of items. What can you do to expand your offerings?
- Embrace a niche. You can’t be everything to everyone — like Amazon is — unless you have the budget to do so. Do you? It not, you need to embrace a niche and market the heck out of that unique niche in the marketplace.
- If you’re a brick and mortar, become a destination. Give people a reason to come other than to buy a product. Host events. Make shopping an adventure. If you’re in a tourist town, truly make your store a destination. Offer lessons, host parties, bring in speakers.
- Reduce your expenses by leveraging technology. Look at how you connect with customers and find ways to leverage technology to make it more cost effective and keep yourself in front of your ideal client.
- Be on social media.
- Have a social mission. What does that mean? Partner with a charity or group whose mission you and your business embrace and make sure your customers know that when they shop with you they are also supporting XYZ.
- Tell your story. People don’t have a connection with Amazon — they shop there because it’s easy. Build a connection with your customers by sharing your unique story. What sets you apart from Amazon? It’s your personality! Share that!
What are you doing to set your business apart?
It’s hard to believe that the first quarter of 2018 has just wrapped up. Did you meet the goals you’d set? Are you ready for goal setting for the second quarter? Goals should be revisited, looked at, massaged and re-worked to keep up with the trends in your business as it continually evolves.
Goal Setting For The Second Quarter
Take some time before this week ends to look at the goals you’d set for the first quarter, measure their successes and failures then set goals for the second quarter. If you’re new to goal setting here are some tips to set goals that make sense and will help you be more successful this year.
Keep in mind there is no one size fits all for goal setting, but here are some tips to consider:
- Do you have a mission, vision and purpose for your business? Keeping that front of mind will help you keep your eye on the prize when it comes to achieving your goals.
- How do your business goals align with your personal goals and with any personal growth you want to achieve. Remember to set “stretch goals” — those that will help you step outside of your comfort zone. Continue learning to stay fresh and current.
- Will achieving the goals you’ve set help you with your personal satisfaction? At the end of the day, if you don’t love what you’re doing and if you don’t feel you’re making a difference, you will be working for an empty goal. Set goals that not only enhance your business but your self of self worth.
- Do your goals need to change the world? Will the goal you’re setting move the needle in your business? Do you set goals that get your business known and seen and does it make changes in your corner of the world? Set a goal to enrich the lives of those with whom you interact.
- Did you meet your financial goals for the first quarter? What financial goals — income and expenses — will you set for the second quarter? Are you falling short? Why? Have you exceeded them? Congratulations!
Keep your goals in plain sight. Visit them often. They are living, breathing entities that will help your business continue to grow.