Facing tough decisions – actions based on firm foundations
What next? Decision making at the edge of COVID
In the first blog (look back here if you missed it link https://www.therealbusinessclub.co.uk/step-by-step-coaching-for-business-owners) on good steps to good decisions, we took a pause at Step 4 which was about exploring your options.
These next three steps get to action – putting the decisions into practice. The business owner from the first four steps gives the update on their difficult decision at the end!!
Step 5 - Select the best solution
Once you have looked at the alternatives you can decide which actions are your best solution for the business circumstances you are in. It’s decision time!
We always help business owners define their own criteria for what will make a good or even right decision. Your criteria need to be right for you. However here are some criteria examples to get you thinking:
- How my income looks in 5 years time
- I have got to have consistent cash flow
- The one that best fits my personal goals and values
- It has to work with my key relationships
- I have got to keep money coming in for University fees for the kids
- I want to move house and have a better lifestyle
If your decision is being made and the opinion or needs of other people are absolutely critical then you need to choose when and how to bring them into your thinking and planning. Leaving important people out and then springing decisions on them can be a bad move (We heard this when we were talking with family members together “How dare you think that is the best option for me!!)”
Compare apples with apples not apples with Cornish pasties!!
If you have come up with several options then maybe write them out in the same level of detail, with the same criteria and with their own timelines – so that your comparison is as clear as possible.
If there are people you cannot talk with about the decision but it affects them, then take time to think through how you will communicate well and how to get the result you think is best. Avoid blurting out your own thoughts or not having a good clear explanation to the choices – their challenges may be helpful, but they may not!
Step 6 - Evaluate your plan
We encourage business owners not to just blast ahead when they decided the top two options. Now is the time to take a step back and "sense check" your decision. Like the other steps, the main reason for reviewing is to manage/ reduce risk. Hindsight is not good enough when your wrong decision has dragged off course too far. It's far better to prevent mistakes from happening, far less stressful or time-consuming.
Take a long, dispassionate look at the options to be sure that you have been thorough, and that common errors haven't crept into the process. Is there any research or fact you still need to find or understand? Would it be useful to talk it over with someone completely outside the situation, like a business coach?
Make sure that your information is trustworthy, and that you've done your best not to "cherry-pick" what suits you but may not be really honest.
Maybe do a “worst case scenario outline” and think if “I put this option into action what would happen if it went wrong completely or just in part? What would my back up plan be”?
Step 7 - Communicate your decision, take action
Once you've made your decision, you need to communicate it to everyone affected by it in an engaging, informative and appropriate way. We help business owners use things like timelines and other visual ways of communicating. Downloading a lot of words in an incoherent order can really put people off, can’t it?
If it is relevant and appropriate, get these other people involved in implementing the solution by discussing how and why you arrived at your decision. Are there key benefits you need to help them see and understand the impact on them?
Getting objections from people out into the open is much much better done now than when the wheels are in motion and the train is leaving the station. If they see an error in the plans be open to them saying it, listen and see what you think.
Our business owner returns to the blog!
What did the owner do……………
- Stood back
- Decided what criteria really mattered
- Looked at the money side and the options – and talked it through with Dawn (see how you could get finance advice below)
- Looked at the commitment they still wanted to give to the business
- Cleared up what the timelines really needed to be
- Decided to close the business – but knew the tax implications and planned when to make the right moves.
Do your decisions have a money aspect and choices?
If your decisions involve financial decisions (that could mean uncertainty or stress for you) then getting Dawn Edwards’expertise would be very smart.
Contact Dawn on 07896 665104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Especially if you need to think through tax and longer-term planning implications of your decisions.
Dawn leads our team delivering common-sense clever finance services to businesses.
Working out your specific decisions – getting an outside impartial view – need some help?
Contact Isabel if you want to know how to put these steps into action for your decisions. She can bring a toolkit of ways to help decisions become clear.
Contact her on 01189 680813 or email email@example.com
Isabel leads our team delivering practical common-sense business coaching to businesses.
This blog comes from The Real Business Club, founded by Dawn Edwards, finance and tax expert and Isabel King, business growth expert and business coach. It is an independent provider of training and advice and support.
The opinions expressed are personal.
We often take inspiration for these blogs from the many business owners and businesses that we train, coach and work with.
If you would like to know more about our services then please go to