The art of successful business ownership is decision making. Every day is a series of choices, a series of problems you need to decide how to approach. If you can cultivate the skill of good decision making, especially for the key decisions that decide the future of your business, then you can feel more confident about your success, day to day and in the long term.
Today we’re taking a look at some of these key decisions to help you prepare and feel confident when the time comes to make a choice about the path your business goes down.
The people you pitch to for investment in your business can have a huge effect on its future. You have plenty of options open to you, but not all of them are suitable for all businesses. A traditional solution is to present your business plan to banks, looking for a loan that allows you to found or grow your business. This gives you a stable source of funding, but banks are conservative lenders and may not be willing to back a business that’s innovating.
Angel investors could be the answer here: wealthy individuals, professional investors who are more willing to back an outsider that could create a huge stir. The downside of working with so-called ‘angels’ is that they’ll often expect to be involved in your decision-making process. If you can’t build a healthy working relationship with an investor you may be better off doing without their money. Try to look at how your business might be affected by how it gets its funding, and choose something that doesn’t compromise your vision.
Choosing when and how your business will grow constitutes some of trickiest and most important decisions of your career. A mistimed effort at expansion can leave you out of pocket, and risking your whole business, while taking a stab at new product development without the research to inform your efforts could result in a new offering that your consumers reject, not just wasting the cost of development but doing real harm to your brand.
To avoid a costly public failure, you need to make sure your decisions are backed by data: data that allows you to budget accurately, to forecast the results of your efforts at growth, and to predict the demand that your new ventures will find.
If you get into the habit of backing your decision making with data early on in your business career you’ll find it repays you down the line, when the stakes get higher!