Keep a tally of how many decisions you make in a day and you’ll be surprised at the total.  From purchasing supplies to pricing a new product to choosing a color for a brochure, small business owners make a lot of them. So there’s bound to be one or two mistakes along the way.  But recognizing common mistakes can help you avoid the major errors and make better decisions for your small business.

Consider these decision-making mistakes (and how to avoid them):

  • First Impressions Can be Deceiving – You received a very competitive bid for a new security system. Calculating the money you’ll save, you ignore negative ratings on the company’s website and sign up anyway. Later, you discover their after-sale service was horrible. Don’t let initial facts prevent you from evaluating conflicting information.
  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race – You got a great deal on a yogurt maker and decide to offer it as a new dessert in your restaurant, Taste of Italy. Turns out, there’s not much demand for garlic yogurt. Your big savings is eaten away by lack of demand. Evaluate opportunities to determine if they are sustainable and fit your long-term plan.
  • Frame the Picture – You hired a new technician who graduated from the same school you did. Go Gophers! You knew the college no longer requires students to pass their licensing exam before graduating. Now your liability policy won’t cover her until she does. Don’t inflate one feature at the expense of another. Let each stand on its own.
  • Abandon Ship – Sure you’ve sunk a lot of money into that delivery van. But if you just replace that part, you’re pretty sure it will last a little longer. And besides, you have to get your money’s worth on those new tires you bought. Current choices can’t always correct past mistakes. Know when to abandon ship and chart a new course.

You started your business to be your own boss and make your own decisions.  Increase your chances of making wise ones by knowing how to avoid these common decision-making mistakes.

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