For your business to operate efficiently and succeed, it is critical to address problems actively or make the best of a new opportunity through smart business decisions.
Smart business decisions, reached through careful holistic consideration, transparency, and stakeholder buy-in, last a long time and need a revisit far less frequently. They keep your company focused and on track to reach the set goals and eliminate frustration within the team.
The decision-making process starts with business leadership and management identifying a goal, gathering the essential and relevant information, and weighing options against one another for their pros and cons.
In this article, we are sharing simple techniques that you must consider while making business decisions, regardless of their nature and the adopted decision-making processes.
- Work on Team Building
The best place to start working towards smarter business decisions is to help the decision-making team understand one another so they can get on the same page easily and quickly.
Experts recommend various team-building exercises such as ice-breakers, fostering communication, stress relief, and generating laughter.
- Rationalize the Need for a Decision
With a problem or opportunity at hand, you need to first rationalize why a decision on a certain issue is crucial to your business goals or team objectives. Unless the decision is aligned with the business needs and reflects one of the larger goals of the company, considering and deliberating over it would be a waste of time and resources.
For example, you need to decide which online platforms your company should have a presence on if your marketing goals include nurturing, developing, and increasing customer engagement.
While this sounds easy to do, business leaders and managers tend to miss this critical step. Pursuing one of the many MBA programs online will provide you with a solid foundation of specialized skills and knowledge necessary to avoid such fallacies and make sound business decisions.
- Define Goals
Building upon the above example, it is crucial for you to define in specificity what “customer engagement” means. Does it refer to the reach of your posts on Facebook, does it mean a low bounce rate on your website, or does it refer to the Twitter mentions you get in a specific period?
Once you have defined this, you will be able to consider the relevant and most suitable actions to take, such as paid promotions on Facebook to reach more of your target market, improving your website’s content and aesthetics, or participating in conversations on trending Twitter topics.
Once the decision is in action for a set amount of time, you will monitor analytics on your website and social media accounts to see if your efforts have made an impact and revise accordingly.
- Understand Your Market
For any business decision, your target market’s needs must be communicated to you clearly and in detail so you can make smarter business decisions that reap benefits.
Encourage online reviews, comments, and feedback. Conduct a market survey or focus groups to understand market needs and expectations from your business. This wealth of information will help connect the customer’s expectations with the service or product you deliver.
- Make use of Analytical Tools
Tools that can provide in-depth analyses and insights with automated reports and analytics over your company’s data can help you make decisions backed with real-time data insights and information instantly, from anywhere, without second-guessing. Many tools offer to customize the dashboard as per the specific metrics relevant to your goals.
It is important to ensure everyone in your team uses the same analytical tools so everyone is on the same page, there is no data gatekeeping, and all information is integrated on the same platform to access and analyze.
- Engage Experts
While analytical tools can give insights into what is working for your business and what is not, it is crucial for you to understand the ‘why’ behind an action’s success or failure. This is why it is important to engage with relevant experts.
Content experts can inform you why your website blog is not retaining readers long enough, or Ad Specialists can analyze why your targeted Facebook Ad is not getting the desired reach. Your metrics can be analyzed by the relevant experts to pinpoint which of your actions are failing through studying trends over time. The details can help direct you toward making better decisions in the future.
- Employ AI to Make Decisions for You
Businesses around the world are going for decision-making solutions that are empowered by AI. By Year 2026, it is predicted that 85% of enterprises will be complementing the human touch with artificial intelligence to make the decision-making process more efficient.
AI allows for processing large amounts of data in a highly time-efficient and accurate manner over cloud computing that can help make your complex decisions easier.
- Be Open to Pivot
Do not be too rigid or wedded to one decision-making process, and allow yourself to constantly learn and improve. Incorporate the gained experience in future decision-making processes and keep room to pivot if needed.
- Have a Backup Plan
You cannot humanly predict every threat or identify every weakness, which leaves room for failure of planned actions. As you hone in on the decision-making process, have a contingency plan prepared by identifying other valid options. Play out scenarios on each option based on the information gathered throughout the process. Record each step and ensure buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure a diversity of sources for a strategic backup plan.
- Review & Revise
Growth is just as essential in business as it is in life. Your business must adapt continuously to meet market expectations. To stay relevant and in business, review your decisions and strategy and adjust. Keep questioning where the business is in terms of its goals, strategy, and finances, where it was earlier, what has changed, and where the business can go now. Reorient your goals and strategies as per current expectations and ensure to have your company culture, policies, and employee onboard with the reorientation.
A business cannot run smoothly and achieve its goals without smart decision-makers at the helm. These 10 ways to make smarter business decisions make for an ideal bookmark to come back to whenever you prepare to undertake a new decision for your business.