We all make hundreds of decisions every day, all day. Most of them are easy. like what to eat for lunch, what to wear, whether to click on an email, or to call a friend
How do you go about deciding on the big, important things?
Important things like:
- Is your new business successful enough to leave your job?
- Have you picked the right professional to handle your marketing?
- Are you offering the right product or service for your market?
- What is the right price to charge?
These decisions are much more important and need a structured method to help make the right choice.
There are several techniques that can be used.
We’ll describe four of them below.
- Create a pros and cons list
- Open up the possibilities and look at other options
- Get input from trusted advisors and peers
- Use a weighted average matrix
Create a pros and cons list
Make two columns and label one pro and one con.
Think about each factor that is important to you in selecting one option.
Start listing what you view as a pro or a con. Make sure you include everything.
Put a value next to each one, on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the lowest.
Add us each side and see which one wins.
The winner would be the right decision.
However, if the winner leaves you hesitant or disappointed, you have to evaluate deeper. You may already have a choice in mind.
There are clearly some emotions and sub-conscious preferences that you need to address.
Open up the possibilities and look at other options
Ask yourself if there are other choices beside the ones you’re considering. If neither of your current possibilities seem right to you, expand your thinking. Maybe there’s a third option or a combination of the first and second choice that seems to be better..
For instance, you’re looking for someone who can help you build your brand and do your marketing.
At first, you found a designer who also did marketing. But it didn’t feel right and you couldn’t make the decision to hire them.
First, you created a pro and con list, but the results came in mixed.
Next, you expanded your thinking. You asked “what is holding me back? Why can’t I make this commitment?
You realized that you don’t feel this person is strong in both areas. You love their design work, but your not convinced about marketing. You decide that the best option is to separate the two and look for another firm do the marketing.
Get input from trusted advisors and peers
When you are too close to a situation you second guess everything. It’s impossible to see clearly.
You need an outside perspective.
That’s where a mentor or your mastermind group can help.
You can explain the problem you have making a decision. Describe the pros and cons. Discuss other possible options.
Like-minded people who understand the decision you’re trying to make can offer valuable insights, and experience.
Many may have had a similar problem, or know how certain things can impact your business.
Their input can guide you to think about details or specifics you were missing, and make a better choice.
Use a weighted average matrix
A weighted average matrix is a great way to make a decision when you have several options to choose, and several factors to consider.
Let’s suppose you want to sell a new knowledge product. You want to decide whether it will be a written course, a blog series, or several videos.
A matrix uses a table with the product content strategy listed down the left column, and the factors you want to consider across the top row.
Factors you decide to include are:
- Ease of creating a video vs a written product
- Audience preference-watching or reading
- Method of distribution-sending an email, website course. or post videos
- Expected revenue
Next apply a weight to each factor based on how important it is to you. The weights are listed on the second row, they go from 0 to 5, poor to very good.
Now score how each potential product satisfies the factors you deemed important, again with a 1 to 5 rating.
Multiply the score times the importance weight from row two. Add the rows across and see which one wins.
See the following example:
The results of this matrix shows that creating a written course is the best option. The totals are a function of the factors you selected and the importance you gave to each one. If you have concerns about the results, you may need to re-evaluate the weights you assigned.
Next time you have an important decision to make, but can’t make sense out of all the options, factors, and choices, try one or more of these strategies.
If you need help deciding on an idea to start your business, check out the Idea Finder Course and Brainstorming Session.
Want to get input from trusted advisors and peers, The Business Start-up Mastermind Group offers the help of a small group of like-minded people, who can offer you valuable insights, brainstorming, and support.
I’d Love to Hear Your Feedback.
Published by CII © 2018