4 Ways to Make Tough Decisions Easier
If you're like most small business owners right now, you're having to make some tough decisions. You may be deciding whether you should break a showroom lease. You're probably navigating all of the loans, grants, and programs available to small businesses right now. And... you may even have to contemplate laying off employees - one of the hardest things to do. None of those things is something we want to do as business owners. So how can we make it a little easier on ourselves? I have some ideas for you.
1. Set Aside Time to Think
The most important thing you can do to help you make those tough decisions is to set aside time when you won't be distracted or interrupted. I know that can be tough right now when the kids are home and your spouse is working in the next room. But ask for an hour or two of uninterrupted time. Then, you can write down the decisions you have to make, the pros and cons of each one, and you can do some calculations and research to be sure you've got all the info you need to make your move.
2. Talk to Someone
One of the hardest things about being a small business owner is that you usually don't have anyone else you can talk to about big decisions. But this is key, especially for people who need to work things through verbally (hello all you extraverts!). So, go ahead. Call a friend in the same business that you trust, reach out to a coach, put your questions out in a Facebook forum. I'll guarantee you that there are a LOT of other people trying to make the very same decisions you are!
3. Take Emotion Out of the Equation
This is the hardest one. I know your employees can feel like family, but thinking of them that way when you're having to make decisions about furloughs or layoffs is not going to make it easier. As much as you can, you need to step back and think about your business as any other CEO would. You need to think of your decisions as what is best for the company, not each individual person involved in the company. The key right now - and this is what ALL businesses are going through - is to try to keep your company afloat in the short term. And that leads right to my next point...
4. Think Long Term
Those hard decisions you're making today are designed to keep you in business so you can be ready for when the economy heats back up. Think about layoffs, for example, as a short-term decision that will keep the company solvent so you can hire everyone back one day! The alternative would be that you run out of money trying to pay everyone today, and you have nothing left for your company to even have a future! Plan ahead as much as you can.
Bonus: Remember You're Not Alone
Everyone - and I mean everyone - is having to make tough decisions right now. Both personal and professional. It isn't easy at all!!! But knowing that you aren't alone, that there are thousands of businesses having to make the same choices you are, helps in a way. It keeps you from thinking this is your fault, or that you're a failure. We're all in the same economic boat, so keep that in mind!
And while you're working through your strategic plan for the future, download my FREE Pros & Cons worksheet to help you visualize the hard decisions you need to make! It can help you get your business in shape for whatever the next few years have in store!