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6 tips for decision making in startups

By Kani Talabani
29 November 2021

Making a decision for your business can be a tough matter, and it is important to lay out a plan to help formulate something substantial enough to take your business to the top. According to Indeed, a good decision-maker chooses actions that give the best outcome for themselves as well as others while entering the process with an open mind without a prior agenda or bias. They do this by adopting a rational mindset and doing plenty of research to prepare in advance for the consequences of making that decision. The decision-making process is an essential part of your job - no matter what position you're in at a business. 

There are several things that make an individual a good decision-maker. In order to become an even better one, consider our list of effective decision making tips...

1. Identify your goal

Knowing what your goals are is a good way to eventually achieve them; your individual goals and your business goals will help direct you towards making the right decision. Make a list of what exactly you need to do and set a reminder to help you remember to make those important decisions. For example, as the head of a marketing company, you might decide to undergo rebranding. This isn’t a decision to be made lightly, and you’ll have to consider the company’s values, targets and aspirations. 

2. Weigh up your options

Considering all of your options will also help you make a better, more successful decision; once you have set out your potential choices in front of you, the answer will be clear. If not, consult someone else and let them aid you in making that decision - a second opinion is always helpful to list the pros and cons. One example is letting go of staff who aren’t achieving as well as their peers; consider the benefits of letting them go (you could replace them with someone efficient), then consider the drawbacks (would it be less costly to give them more training?). 

3. Gather relevant information 

Research is integral to the decision making process. According to the Association of Internet Research Specialists, businesses tend to perform research for a variety of purposes, including acquiring information about consumers and clients. They add that the decision-making process would be inherently ineffective without the assistance of study and analysis. 

4. Make your decision

Making that decision can be difficult, and there is no easy way out of it. On the other hand, Business News Daily provides a list of tools and techniques that will effectively organise your own list of options and thoughts during this stage of the process and eliminate some of those options. Their most popular options are the following: decision matrix, T-chart, decision tree, multivoting, Pareto analysis, cost-benefit analysis, conjoint analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and PEST analysis (political, economic, social and technological). 

5. Evaluate your decision 

This is the time to reflect on what you have decided to do; you are essentially measuring the results of the course of action and decision you have proceeded to go with. The questions you will need to ask yourself are: Has the issue been resolved? Will it have a long term impact or a short one? What are the consequences? If things have gone the way they should have, repeat the above steps and carry out some more detailed research until you make the right decision.

6. Relax

You’ve reached the final step, after all that thinking, planning and strategizing you need to take a break and relax. Trying to do a lot of tasks at the same time can be stressful and overloading; before you start to do more decision making, take ten minutes to sit down and have a coffee, walk around and stretch your legs. It’s amazing how a little bit of you-time can refresh your perspective and increase productivity.