Decisions under Pressure
Business owners need to make a lot of decisions on a daily basis. They range from small ones such as whether to do a questionable refund or not, to big ones such as how much money should they allocate for marketing. For small business owners, it might be difficult to make the right call when these decisions are tightly tied to their own personal finances. This is especially bad when the owners are faced with influential emotions like greed, stress, and pressure.
The easy way out is to maximize short-term profit in those situations. Questionable refunds? Just keep their money. Marketing budget? As little as we can afford. Hiring for talent? Just tell the current staff to do more.
When these situations are laid out on paper, most people are able to make a good decision that balances both the short-term gain and the long-term benefits. The tricky thing is to make a good call under stressful circumstances.
Here are a few tricks that might help you in those situations:
1) Stay calm. Try to detach yourself from any negative emotions so that you can make a more rational decision.
2) Get away for a while. Remove yourself from the environment, even for just 5 minutes. This can help clear your head.
3) Remind yourself of what’s important. Your beliefs in the fundamentals such as integrity, customer satisfaction, etc. can help you get over greed and pressure.
4) Set a policy. Make one good, level-headed decision so that you don’t need to think about it every time.
Do you have any stories to share where you had to make a tough business decision under pressure? How did you handle it?