There’s no question about it: if you’re starting a business, then you’re going to need to make a lot of decisions on a near-daily basis.
You’ll need to decide things such as:
- Which business model to pursue.
- Where to focus your marketing efforts.
- Which domain name to use.
- What design to create for your website.
- What kind of logo to use.
- Which JV offers you should accept.
- Which interview or publicity offers to accept.
- Which payment processor to use.
- What kind of tools to use to build your business.
- Which freelancer you should hire.
… And on and on.
The decisions you’ll need to make are nearly endless.
Now, many of the decisions you make in your business are so important that they’ll have a major impact on the success of your business.
Example: If you choose an unreliable web host, you’ll encounter plenty of headaches in terms of down time, corrupt files or even major security issues.
And that’s just one example. Clearly, you want to strive to make good decisions, which will make everything easier for you in the future.
However, one common decision-making mistake that plenty of people make is that they strive to decide between “good” and “bad” options.
Example: They might look at two webhosts. One of them has plenty of customer-service and downtime complaints floating around the web. The other one is generally well-regarded. So the person chooses the “good” webhost.
But guess what?
That’s generally the wrong approach to decision making.
If you want to upgrade your decisions and start making even better choices in your business (and your life), then what you need to do is decide between “good” versus the “best” option.
Example: Go back to the example of choosing webhosting. If you decide on the “good” webhost and don’t investigate any other options, then you probably aren’t making the best decision for your business. What you need to do is find other webhosts that are rated well (e.g., they’re all considered good hosts), and then make your decision from among these options by choosing the BEST host.
In short – don’t decide between good and bad. Instead, choose between good and the best.
Here are three tips to help you accomplish this…
- Compare Multiple Factors
Don’t make your decisions based on just one factor. Instead, compare your options across multiple factors.
Example: Let’s suppose you’re trying to find the best freelancer for your needs. Some people compare freelancers based on price alone, but that’s a poor way to decide. If you want to find the best freelancer, you’ll need to compare your options based on factors such as:
- Turnaround time
- The freelancer’s reputation
- The freelancer’s portfolio/quality of work
- The freelancer’s geographic location
And so on.
The idea is that you list all the factors that are relevant to a particular situation. Ideally, you should rank these factors in order of importance.
Go back to the above example – if you don’t intend to meet your freelancer in person, and if you don’t intend to have any live conferences, then geographic location (and time zones) are of little importance. As such, this factor will be “weighted” less when you’re comparing options.
Next, go through your options and rate each factor with a score of 1-5, with “1” being poor and “5” being excellent.
Now you can compare your options based on multiple factors, giving proper weight to the more important factors.
- Tap Into the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle is also sometimes called the 80/20 rule. That’s because the idea is that if you deal with 20% of the causes, you can often solve 80% of the problems. Or if you find something that can do 20% of the work, you’ll get 80% of the results.
When you’re comparing options to seek out the best one for you, you’ll want to ask yourself which option will generate the majority of the results or solve the majority of your problems.
Example: Let’s suppose you need to buy a few tools for your website. Instead of buying multiple tools, look for the one tool that can solve multiple problems.
For example, if you need a payment processor and an affiliate script, then you might choose an option like Clickbank which will handle both of those tasks.
- Consider the Future Consequences
Yet another way to compare options is to think about possible consequences or future problems that choosing one option might create.
Usually, any option you pick will have direct consequences (AKA first-order consequences). These direct consequences may create a ripple effect, which creates additional consequences (AKA second-order consequences, third-order consequences).
Example: Let’s suppose you sit down and brainstorm the consequences of buying a particular tool for your business. Perhaps the first-order consequences include:
- The tool is expensive, which depletes your budget. A second-order consequence means that you won’t be able to spend as much in paid advertising for the next three months. In turn, this could lower sales and income (and/or you’ll need to spend more time working on free advertising strategies).
- The tool is complex, which means you’ll either need to spend time learning how to use it or you’ll need to pay someone to install and maintain it. Either way, there will be second-order consequences (either time or financial constraints) – and these second-order consequences will likely further impact your business.
You get the idea – just look at how each of your options will impact your business in the future, which will help you choose the best option today.
Again, you need to decide if the benefits of a particular option outweigh the potential consequences or problems.
You just discovered three ways to help you make better decisions.
However, remember that your goal isn’t to choose between the good and bad options. Rather, you’re seeking to make better decisions by choosing from among the good options in order to find the very best.
It’s a simple concept and requires a slight tweak to your mindset, but it’s one that’s well worth making.