The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Cost of Indecision

  by Dr Greg Chapman

Many years ago, when I was working in the corporate world, we had an operation that cost $200,000 per day. Due to the nature of this operation (exploration), unexpected results often occurred. If we decided to ‘sleep on it’ before we made a decision, this was a decision to spend $200,000.

How did we manage this?

Contingency planning. We considered possible scenarios before we commenced operations and how we would respond. So if A happened, we would do B. If C happened, we would do D, etc. And we would plan accordingly. We also identified early warning triggers that things might go awry so we could prepare our contingencies.

Inevitably, E happened! But the planning discipline meant we were able to quickly respond without losing much time.

Ultimately, I realized, almost any decision was better than no decision. This discipline has stayed with me long after I left that world.

An essential step in your sales strategy is to have a sales pipeline. That is the step by step process for a sale such as the simple example below: 

Marketing, product launches and many other entrepreneurial activities are actually a lot like exploration. You can never be certain of the results, and you need a plan. How you will respond to possible outcomes?

An understanding of the cost of doing nothing is essential as well as knowing the early warning triggers. And if, as it inevitably will on occasion, that “E” happens, be prepared to respond quickly.

And if you don’t know what to do, find someone that does!

If you can’t make a decision, your competitors will make it for you, and it’s unlikely to be in your best interest.

Planning is the First Pillar of the Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success. Learn more here.

May Your Business Be –As You Plan it!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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