As business owners, your number one responsibility is to make decisions and lead the team. That said, in all my years as a business advisor, it is surprising that the one area that I see many business owners struggle with is decision-making.
As the leader of a company, people are relying on you to make prompt, clear-cut decisions – whether you delay or run away from the decision-making all together will directly impact the success of your business and team. Having a good process in place for making decisions is the best way to ensure you are making the right decision, and keeping all matters consistent.
I’ve outlined below a simple three-step process that will help you make better decisions
Step 1: Clearly Identify the Issue
The first step in solving any problem for good is making sure that you’re addressing the cause, and not the symptom. Too often I see business owners or leaders get stuck looking at the symptoms and mulling them over and over, yet never addressing the root cause of the issue that needs to be addressed. When you identify the issue, it sets the groundwork for making a decision.
Step 2: Solicit Input
Depending on what the issue is, invite staff or senior management to share their input and partake in a group discussion with you. Hold a meeting in which you clearly state that you value their opinions and want to have a frank and honest discussion. Listen to their opinions. This should be a one-time meeting on the topic and once you have heard from all the parties, you can tell them when you’ll be making a final decision on this issue and thank them for their participation. The point of the meeting is NOT to have the team make a decision for you, but rather to weigh in on the topic so you can make a more educated decision.
Step 3: Make a Decision
The final step in the process is the most basic, but sometimes the hardest. Make a decision and move on. You are the boss and making decisions is your top job responsibility. So after you’ve heard from your key people, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do, assign responsibilities for getting it done, and move on. Remember there is no perfect decision!
A successful company needs a leader with clarity; one who can make decisions and communicate the rationale behind them. Wouldn’t you want to follow a good leader?
Do you find it hard to make decisions? How has good or bad decision-making affected your business? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
It takes more than a great sales person to ensure a successful business. As a business owner, you cannot rely on the efforts of one individual person to keep your company afloat. A sales person will not succeed without the necessary infrastructure, which is what I will be discussing in today’s post.
I often hear the line, “If only I had a good sales person…”, and in all my years of dealing with business owners, I have come to realize that the answer to your sales problems starts with evaluating everything BUT your sales people.
If you are wondering where to begin, look internally. Below are a few questions to ask yourself to determine why sales are not where you think they should be:
Do we have a sales process?
Does everyone in the company understand the sales process?
How long is our sales cycle?
Do we have a cohesive understanding of all sales elements to train new sales people?
Before you start your search for the “right” sales person, follow these simple steps and you will save yourself from always thinking “if only I had a good sales person..”
- Define your sales cycle and process.
- Define your target market – exactly WHO are you looking to sell to?
- Determine what the marketing message is for your target market.
- Decide what tools and materials your team needs to effectively communicate your message to existing and new customers.
- Communicate steps 1 to 4 with your team through cohesive training.
One last note: It is important to understand that a sales person with years of experience and a book full of contacts will not perform the way you expect them to without proper training, the necessary tools, and a defined process in place. When you can provide those, you can focus your hiring on a sales person with the right skills, desire and motivation.
Have you taken the time to truly understand why you are not happy with your sales? I’d love to hear your own experiences, so please share them with me in the comments!