Decisiveness: Three Steps To Making a Decision

Steve Wilkinghoff

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Making a decision can be tough, especially when it’s a business decision. You face an almost infinite range of things that you could be doing in your business at any particular moment.

You could choose to deal with a staff issue, a bank issue or a cash flow issue. You can decide to focus on a new customer acquisition tactic or strategy, a new ad campaign or an issue that has come up with a customer. You can choose to deal with administrative details or you can choose to deal with personal and family issues that so often seem to be intertwined with the business. Or you can choose to do any of the other infinite possibilities that face you as a business owner.

For many business owners, this massive number of options can cause them to put off making a decision.  They fall into believing that if they can just gather more data and consider more options, they may be struck with a flash of brilliance that will guide them.

In most cases, the hoped-for flash of brilliance doesn’t materialize and you are eventually forced into making a decision (i.e. payroll needs to get paid; the lease is expiring this month; you need more sales, etc.).

When faced with the sudden pressure of making a decision, the decision that is made is often a poor one.  It ends up being based on a default position that is based on ease rather than what is optimal for creating the results you want. There is a better way.

Three Steps To Making a Decision

Avoid this situation by applying a proven three-step process:

  1. Realize the staggering range of possible options facing you is usually perceived rather than real.
  2. Create a CVM (could versus must) chart.
  3. Don’t look for a sports car when a minivan will do.

1.) Perceived Rather Than Actual Complexity

A lot of what masquerades as complexity is really only a natural reaction to a lack of clarity.  When you get right down to it, there are only four things you need to focus on:

  1. How many customers you have.
  2. How often your customers buy from you.
  3. How much you make each time they buy.
  4. What activities you do to combine these other three things.

Everything else you think you need to deal with (all the other sources of perceived complexity) are simply variations of the four things listed above.

2.) Create Your CVM (Could Versus Must) Chart

To focus your mind and effort even further when making a decision, you should do your best to only focus on the thing(s) you must deal with at any particular point in time.

An excellent way to do this is to create a CVM Chart.  This a powerful way to examine any current situation and identify the high impact things you really should be focusing on.

To create a CVM Chart, take a blank sheet of paper and on the left hand side of the page, list everything you can think about that you could do at this very moment in your business.  This is where you will generate a laundry list of things that play around in the back of your mind.  List them down and acknowledge them. It will get them in front of you where you can deal with them.

Next, on the right hand side of the page, distill from your list of all the things you could do into three things that you must do right now. Keep the four things from step one above in mind as you identify these three things.

3.) Don’t Look For A Sports Car When A Minivan Will Do

I must admit that my heart races whenever I think about owning a sexy sports car.  The reality, however, is that as a father of four children, as sexy as that sports car might be, it really wouldn’t be a good or useful solution for me.

You need to apply the same type of realistic mental discipline when you consider the things you must do.

For example, don’t get caught up thinking you need to create an entirely new product or service offering if you can get a sufficient boost in your financial results by simply asking your existing customers to buy more from you.

Adopt this three-step process in your business any time you start feeling overwhelmed by making a decision.  You will feel more in control and you will make better decisions.

Courtesy: Small Biz Trends

About Steve Wilkinghoff

Steve is a leading small business expert and author of the book, Found Money: Simple Strategies to Uncover the Hidden Profit and Cash Flow in Your Business. His experience with hundreds of small business owners around the world has allowed him to create the Found Money Roadmap System, a proven process that gives any small business owner the power, tools, and knowledge to create the financial results they truly want from their business.