Making decisions in your business, especially with so much riding on that decision, is tough. Do you follow your gut? Your friend's suggestion? The latest information published at Entrepreneur.com? Although all are good resources to facilitate your decision-making, your best decisions are strategic decisions.
There are two fundamental decision choices entrepreneurs can make — strategic and tactical. Tactical decisions are like “putting out fires”. They are decisions made in the “here and now”. Unfortunately, tactical decisions easily derail your business and result in lengthy, costly detours.
Strategic decisions, on the other hand, prevent fires from occurring in the first place. They consider the direction in which your business is headed. Strategic decisions are like guideposts along the winding road of success. They ensure you avoid distractions or don't get lost down a dusty trail.
Strategic Decision Tool Kit
There are three tools every entrepreneur needs in their strategic decision-making tool kit. They create the framework for decision-making that translates into easy daily action steps. They keep you focused. Moreover, they allow you to take advantage of opportunities to grow your business.
- Mission. Your mission is the reason you're in business. It answers the question “what do we do”. Being your core values and target audience play an integral role in crafting your mission, decisions based on your mission keep you — and your business — in integrity.
- Vision. Your vision statement defines the future you want for your business.
- Strategies. Strategies establish how your business will achieve its mission and vision. They create the winning performance you want.
There are as many ways to approach your mission, vision, and strategies, as there are decisions to make in a day. However, when done right, they seldom change.
The next time a decision is staring you down, reach for your strategic decision-making tool kit and ask, “Is this in alignment with my mission, vision, and strategies?” Your answer may surprise you.