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Choose Wisely

October 31, 2011
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Good businesspeople make good decisions, while poor businesspeople make poor decisions. That may seem like a rather simplistic statement, but it is true and the reality behind it is monumental.



When you are in business, you have to make a multitude of decisions. Good businesspeople make good decisions, while poor businesspeople make poor decisions. That may seem like a rather simplistic statement but it is true and the reality behind it is monumental.

Obviously, the gigantic question arises, namely, how does one make good decisions? The right decisions can make you rich, so let’s take a look at how to be on the right side of most decisions.

First of all, if you are in business today, you are probably staring at a bunch of choices today. Should I hire another technician? Should I advertise in the newspaper or TV or yellow pages? Should I buy that new piece of equipment I’ve heard others talking about? Maybe it’s time for a new truckmount.

I’ve been thinking about getting into natural stone restoration or water damage restoration. Should I? When is the right time to hire a sales person? Can I afford to hire one and how will I know he or she is the right person. Oh yes, how much should I pay him or her? Are my prices high enough or should I raise them? I have one technician that the customers really like but he cannot up-sell. Should I fire him? Right now we answer the phone using an answering service. Should I hire someone to answer the phone and can I count on that person to answer it correctly and bring in the jobs I so desperately need?

I am working out of my house and wandering if it would be better if I could have an offsite office somewhere? Can I afford to take some time off and go on a vacation? If I take time off would my employees be able to run the business in my absence?

Lots of questions, aren’t there! I could fill up this entire article with questions that we carpet cleaning/ restoration owners face every day, year in and year out. So how do you answer these situations in a prudent and wise fashion? Permit me to make a few suggestions that may help but obviously I am not going to say that I have all the answers. I have enabled to take my business to the level of nearly $900,000 in sales with a very healthy profit margin and have a fantastic staff that runs it, allowing me plenty of vacation time. That is the credibility I bring to this issue, so allow me to make my best attempt to answer this all important question.

“Failure is an event, not a person.”
Zig Ziglar. Don’t let past failures paralyze you or prevent you from thinking big. The most successful people make the most mistakes. Thomas Edison was an amazing example of this. If you are not trying, you are not failing. In my latest book, Forty Words, I asked very successful people to describe to me in one word what it takes to be a success. An amazing man who used to work for the Israeli Intelligence, the Mossad, gave me the word “Failure.” Make your decisions and move on. Trust your decision and if it doesn’t work out, learn from your mistake. When you act that way, you will never be defeated.

Always consider the downside risk.
 I wish I would have known about this piece of wisdom years ago. I would have a lot more money in my account had I heard of this thought a few years back. Before you make a decision determine what it might cost you if the idea goes bad and is unsuccessful. Is the risk of the opportunity greater than the opportunity of the risk? Don’t make a major decision without going over this thought process.

Choose your pain, is it long term or short term.
So many business owners are held hostage by bad employees but they don’t take the action necessary to remedy the situation. I bet that at least fifty percent or more of business owners reading this right now would have to acknowledge that they are presently experiencing this horrible dilemma. This problem is rampant in our industry and it is a crying shame. Owners decide to live with the long term pain of keeping that employee on the payroll rather than the very unpleasant but short term pain of replacing that person. Owners don’t want to go through the hassle of firing and then training a new employee. So they suffer on and on and on. Long-term pain or short-term pain. Your decision.  Another example is choosing to remain the same rather than getting out of your comfort zone and finding new customers. Cold calling or going to network events can be intimidating, especially in the beginning. It is short term pain. In my book it beats the long term pain of not having the phone ring and finding out that you have more month than money.

In making big decisions, write down the pros and cons and then look for answers.
Certainly not all answers come along automatically. Take your time and write down the benefits and the problems that could arise in making your choice. Then as you go about your business be on the lookout for the correct answer. It is amazing how, when you are actively searching for clues, they just seem to come along. Have a positive attitude and sincerely believe that you’ll make the right decision and that it will come to you.

Seek good counsel and maybe even hire a coach.
Build a decision making team that you can go to for help. It may include your spouse or key employee or someone in the business world that you admire. In a multitude of counselors there is safety. Business coaches that have good credentials and a business background can be a great advantage to you. Reading books on business can also sharpen your mind and increase your bottom line. Remember that no decision is also a decision. Proper preparation prevents poor performance, so get prepared when having to make important choices.

Confidence comes from victories and being prepared.

Finally, have fun in your business and don’t get all tangled up in knots. Chances are you will make some really dumb decisions throughout your business career. I know that I have. Do the best you can, take heed to some of the items I just mentioned, work hard, don’t worry and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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