28/02/2014

By Raj Dhonota, businessman, entrepreneur and former Apprentice contestant

Every day we make decisions - hundreds, if not thousands, of them, such as what jacket to wear or what to have for lunch. When it comes to the big crunch decisions though - the ones that will have a major impact on our business - it's often not such a simple matter. It's easy to sweat over a decision too much to the extent you just can't see the wood for the trees any more. Here's some tips to help with those major decisions for your business:

Who is going to be affected? If it's just you - fine. But there will be others; such as your family and even friends. It's a good idea to write down who will be impacted and the affects it could have on them e.g. it may prove too nerve-wracking for a business partner, it may spell the end for a supplier etc. Doing this should help make that decision clearer for you. Consulting those who will be affected isn't a bad idea either as it'll give you other perspectives.

Be patient. Don't rush into any big decisions, tempting though it may be - especially if it's a deal that seems too good to miss. This way not only will you seem more in control, but you'll also be assured that, leaving the decision to the last moment, you have the most up to date information at your fingertips to help make your decision even easier.

Stop thinking about it. Turn your mind to something else instead such as a game of squash, family dinner, another business deal even, and let your mind process the information on an unconscious level. You might find that when you come back to it, the answer seems far clearer and the decision easier to make.

Be intuitive. You've probably experienced a 'gut feeling' about something from time to time. That's your intuition talking and it's sometimes better to go with it than rational thinking. This technique is particularly good when taking on new members for your team.

Be pessimistic. By that I mean think through the worst possible scenario, and get others close to you in the business to join in. Knowing what you'd do if the worst came to the worst can make you feel better about taking a risky decision.

It's important too to recognise that not every business-related decision you make is going to be a good one. But giving yourself techniques to lead up to the decision can certainly help mitigate any bad decisions.

Raj Dhonota first came to the public eye in 2005 during the first series of The Apprentice. Since his time on the reality programme he has gone on to become a successful serial entrepreneur and investor in start-up businesses covering a range of industries from eCommerce, property, language translation, network marketing, recruitment.