Archive for the ‘decision making’ Category

3 Tips for Making Better Start-Up Business Decisions

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

ambiguity

It’s great to “believe in yourself,” and all that jazz, but what are some more concrete, actionable tips you can start using today to be a better decision maker for your start-up business?

1) Trust your judgment over that of others. I emphasize this especially if the advice you’re given is unsolicited. Every entrepreneur has a vision for his or her start-up. If you follow someone else’s advice you are less likely to be passionate about the execution of that vision. So trust your own judgement, even if you fail miserably. At least you’ll learn from it and you won’t be second guessing how it played out, thinking: “If only I had stuck to my guns and done what I thought was best.”

2) Learn to NOT be reactionary. I wrote an earlier post about the metaphor of the Spinning Top, which is related to this. The basic principle here is this: you’re going to be deluged with lots of ideas and suggestions from other people, inside and outside of the company. Be cautious and appropriately paced in turning your attention and resources towards implementing any of those new ideas.

3) When in doubt, defer to the numbers. The biggest reason more people don’t start businesses is because they are afraid of the “risk” that comes with the persistent, high levels of ambiguity. This is the context under which you will make decisions everyday as an entrepreneur (e.g. Why should I make this phone call rather than finish this research survey? Which is a higher priority for the company?). When you are uncomfortable with your ability to make a decision, try to evaluate the facts of the situation. Even better, check to see if there is data to counter or support your choice. This can be one of the most effective tactics for minimizing ambiguity and making better business decisions.

To review, you’re on the ground floor everyday so rate your judgement above that of others; deftly pace the reallocation of resources with regard to implmenting new ideas that come up; and finally focus on that which can be measured.

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