How can you better organize your thoughts, by considering all the steps that will make it easier for you to deal with the decision-making process, with less stress, but also to be able to make the best possible choice?
Every day we are all forced to make decisions or even solve problems.
Especially today, living in a constant state of uncertainty, making the right decisions for entrepreneurs has become a daily stress.
To begin with, decision making is all about "choosing between two or more options of action". In any case, we must keep in mind that the "right" answer may not be among the options available to us.
Many techniques have been developed to make decisions, starting with simple intuitive decisions and ending with decisions made after many analyses and procedures.
Whichever method you adopt, it is necessary to follow some steps to better weigh your options.
8 steps to make decisions
1. Concentrate and record all options / solutions
In order to be able to evaluate as many options as possible, you need to look for solutions, either from various sources of information (e.g. Sites, forums, etc.), or from colleagues or consultants, or from other "places".
Also, don't forget to ask your immediate associates (employees) when the decision is about your pharmacy.
Finally, be careful, if you feel trapped between two sentences, it is better to make a small postponement and come back after you have relaxed and reconsidered.
2. Defining the final date of the decision
Unless a specific decision is made from the beginning, it will never be made.
You all have experiences, either from decisions that were never made due to constant procrastination, or from decisions that were "burned" in the process of finding the "right" one.
In order to be able to set a time limit for making a decision, you can consider the following:
- How much time do you have available for the final decision and what will be the consequences of a delay?
- What is the advantage for making the decision faster?
- On the contrary, if you will have a greater benefit, if you devote more time to decide
Finally, consider the importance to come to any decision and even more, how much it will benefit you if that decision is the right one.
3. Concentration in necessary information
This is the most important step. Gathering the right information can lead you to make the best possible choice.
Elements of economic nature, legality and availability of resources are considered to be of high importance and should be as accurate as possible.
Always use the help of experts to analyze the above information, such as your accountant or your legal or financial advisor, if your decisions are relevant to these areas.
Finally, I would like to point out the need for accurate sales statistics of your pharmacy, in order to be used either as historical data or as evaluation data for each decision.
4. Supervision of potential risks
From the beginning, you need to realize that every choice you make always carries risk, low or high.
"Safe"/”risk-free” options are very rare, especially if related to your job.
Before making any decision, it is advisable to consider the "worst case scenario".
That is, the effect a wrong choice will have on your business, if it is acceptable and to what degree, and finally, how likely it is that this will happen.
5. Evaluation of our choice with personal criteria
A simple everyday example: you are called daily to decide whether or not to accept a new brand.
Once you have evaluated the market and the brand, you always end up with the following questions:
"Does the brand fit in my clientele?", "Can I support it?", "Does it fit in the philosophy of my pharmacy?"
So, in any decision making, what counts is what is important to you, what you consider a priority and what motivates you the most.
Those answers will lead you to your final choice and will make you support it in the future.
6. Recording and evaluating pros and cons of each option
Creating a list of the pros and cons of each option is something you've all done from time to time
However, this list can help you more if you add a “weight”, based on a scale of importance (e.g. 10 high - very important to 1 low, not important)
7. Making a decision
A common way to make a decision is based on the pros i.e. the highest sum of “weights”.
Other commonly used decision-making methods, especially in simpler matters, are:
fetting opinions from others, voting, and group decisions, especially on issues that require consent.
For decisions that have to do with issues of development and sustainability of the pharmacy, there must be a more professional approach and analysis of possible solutions.
Sentimental decisions should be avoided.
If you are not sure about your decision and how it will be accepted by your partners, it is best to spend some time in your mind or testing it, before announcing it.
8. Definition of schedule and implementation plan
Any decision made will need to be properly implemented and accepted overall.
Therefore, it is necessary to be accompanied by a schedule of actions, shared with all those involved.
The timetable you will design should allow time for review and evaluation of the decision.
Always remember, that a decision can affect many people, lead to hiring or layoffs, lead to financing of your business and, beyond some point in time, it is irreversible.
Closing, I would like to dwell on some of the key mistakes we all make before making a decision.
Most of them have to do with ourselves.
We believe that we "know everything".
We avoid asking for the opinion of the experts, or even our associates, while many times we do not evaluate all the data.
We are afraid of making a mistake and we avoid taking any risk.
The only sure thing is that we will never be 100% sure of any of our decisions. But there is no success without risk.
Once you make a decision, what really counts is execution and reevaluation, by always keeping in mind what led you to making the decision.