Trouble deciding?

Some of the biggest, business-shaping decisions are made too lightly. Often, not enough time and effort are invested. There are some decisions that are going to affect you and your business day in and day out. It's too easy to make quick decisions without the benefit of adequate analysis. Great decisions require great analysis.

Timing is everything but with many important decisions it isn't strictly a question of when to pull the trigger of implementing them, it's if you should.

Hiring a store manager or promoting someone within your organization to this key position is an example of one of these potentially business-changing decisions. Do you have a real system to choose the right person? If not, you should. And, if you do have a system, can your system be improved? Who does the interviewing, what questions are asked, how is the interview conducted, how is the compensation package structured, etc.?

Some decisions create problems that grow and fester for years. You can spare yourself future headaches and enhance the likelihood of success by avoiding the trap of skipping important steps in the decision-making process.

Another example of a huge decision with business-shaping ramifications is whether or not to add another location. There are many variables to consider. Research and analysis of the information gathered is vital for the "go" or "no go" decision as well as all of the other decisions needed if it's a "go." It's important to be thorough and methodical for the big, business-changing decisions.

It's important to weigh all options carefully. Making a rash decision can wash away the opportunity. This is true no matter how positive and resilient the business has been in the past.

On the other hand, don't put off making your important decisions too long. Some decisions are fun and easy to make while others are so important or so equal in "pros and cons" that they can be agonizing. So, it's natural to put off making the decision.

You might find it difficult to make certain new big decisions because there are so many other day-to-day operational decisions you're already making. You might be so busy running the operation that you can't stop "spinning the plates" already on the sticks to make new opportunity decisions. Since you have the drive and the skill to really make things happen, it can be very frustrating.

It's one thing to be a risk taker using good decision-making techniques and another to just gamble by placing a sizeable bet on a number on the roulette wheel because of a strong hunch.

The wise decision maker gathers information from a variety of sources before the decision to proceed in one direction or another. History is indeed a wonderful teacher and always learning from one's own mistakes is one of the costliest and most painful ways to learn. A professional rental business consultant can help you to analyze and prioritize.

Finally, be sure to develop reasonable, well thought out time tables for making big decisions. Don't let huge, money-making opportunities stay in decision-making limbo too long.

Dick Detmer is a nationally recognized consultant, lecturer and writer and has 35 years of experience in the equipment rental industry. For consulting, on-site employee training or to order books, visit Dick can be contacted at or (309) 781-3451.