Making quick decisions for your business is a sign of strong leadership. However, many business leaders struggle with making a business decision quickly enough. There are a few key components to making quick decisions that are also right decisions for your business.
First, you must have an overarching business plan in place. If you know where you are going with your business, making quick decisions is a lot easier. When it is time to make a decision, you run it past your plan first. Will a yes decision help you meet your goal or will it be a distraction? If a decision doesn't fit into your plan, then you can quickly say no to it and move on.
Once you know that your decision fits into your plan, lay a brief list of pros and cons on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. You aren't just looking for quantity of pros versus cons when making a business decision. You also want to pay attention to quality. For instance, if one of the pros is that the decision will result in a higher profit margin, that has great value. If the pro is that you will get one employee to stop begging for the change, maybe that has a lesser value. Your pros have to outweigh your cons in the impact they will have on your business.
Now consider the feasibility of implementing your decision. What is it going to take to turn this into a reality? A quick decision can sometimes result in a lot of extra, unnecessary work. So you must ask yourself, what is the footprint that will be left behind by making this decision? If the decision will help you toward your plan, but at the same time will divert other resources away from the plan, maybe it’s not the right time to make the decision. Also, consider whether you have the people and tools in place right now to be successful with your decision. If you don't, just say no.
Many day to day business decisions are not of the large, business changing variety. In fact, you are probably faced with daily decisions about minor things. Instead of focusing on how to make those decisions more quickly, you should focus on building systems and empowering employees to make those decisions themselves. If you are constantly asked to make a decision on the same topic, you should take the time to sort it out and create a final decision, so that your employees don't have to keep asking. This will save a lot of decision-making time.
When it comes to making quick business decisions, know what your business goals are, think about consequences clearly, and say yes quickly to those things that will help your business succeed without major overhaul.