Quick business decisions can be important, whether it is buying a piece of equipment at an auction sale or selling commodities. If you spend too much time over-thinking the situation or trying to analyze all the possibilities, you might miss the whole opportunity all together. These missed opportunities can cost you money, and no one likes the idea of losing money by doing nothing.
This lack of being able to make a decision is called “analysis paralysis,” or according to Wikipedia, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. Common forms of this include becoming overwhelmed with the amount of options available, over-complicating simple decisions, feeling compelled to make the “perfect” decision, or a fear of making the wrong decision.
Does this sound like something that has happened to you? If so, here are a few tips to allow you to overcome your “state of paralysis” on your next business decision.
1. How big is this decision? — Look at the impact the decision will have on your business. The larger effect the decision has on your business, the more time needs to be spent on it, or vice versa. If you won’t be able to see the impact of your decision in your business a year from now, don’t spend too much time.
2. Set a Time Limit – Constantly researching options takes up valuable time that can spent doing more productive things. Pick a reasonable time frame based upon your answer to question #1 and stick to it. No extensions allowed.
3. Get Another Opinion (One that is…) – Know someone that is knowledgeable on the decision that you are making? Get their opinion. People with actual experience and have seen the effect of your decision are great resource to help you make a quick decision.
4. Pick one and Don’t Look Back – Once you make a selection, don’t re-analyze it. You more than likely already put the time in to making decision the first time. Also, don’t look at the benefits that would have come from making “the other choice.” Make the best of the decision you already made.
Next time you find yourself over-analyzing, take a step back and look at the decision at hand. Don’t let analysis paralysis cost you money.