Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to Make Those Tough Decisions

Making a decision that has the potential to change how you operate your modular home business is never easy. Occasionally the change seems obvious yet it still requires a lot of thought. Make the wrong decision and your business my tank. Making the right decision doesn’t mean that it will be successful.

Making that tough decision
There are personnel decisions, procedure decisions and bookkeeping procedures that require very little thought but what about those big decisions that will effect the entire company.

This is one of those times that you might feel that not making a decision is best but we all know that not making changes in your business is just a road to slow death.

You could be the owner of a modular home factory or a modular home builder with only a couple of employees but when those tough decisions have to be made, you know who has to make them. So how do you make a decision that could impact your business financially? One step at a time.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to use to make those big financial decisions:
  1. Define the decision: What are you trying to accomplish? State it clearly. The health and welfare of your company is at stake. Be specific.
  2. What is the ‘need’ or ‘want’ behind the decision? Making a major change to your business just because you ‘want’ more sales is not enough. Why do you think your decision will specifically address the situation?
  3. What is “non-negotiable?” What things are you not willing to compromise on if you decide to take action on this decision? For a modular home factory owner, changing from single family to exclusively building projects will forever alienate the builder base. What happens if the decision is the wrong one? 
  4. Identify alternatives: Have you carefully considered all the options? If you’re a builder, maybe your decision to spend twice as much time in the field will force you to lose track of your sales efforts and soon your new prospect appointments will begin to dry up. Look for alternatives.
  5. Assess the various alternatives: Once you’ve identified them, examine each one carefully. Don’t’ rule anything out. Often bad decisions are made because you settle on a particular solution before considering your options.
  6. What’s the cost and can you afford it: Calculate what each alternative would cost. Consider everything. The same process should be used whether you are trying to deciding to close an old factory or open a new factory. There are costs involved and you must know them.
  7. Take a step back: Now give yourself time to think about your decision. Be patient! If it’s the right decision today, it will be the right decision tomorrow.
  8. Make a decision: If you can say with certainty that you followed these steps to make your decision, then proceed with confidence knowing you did all you could. Don’t look back with regret.

These steps may seem tedious to some people but what you have to realize is that your past experience in the modular home business gives you a head start to knowing the answers to many of the questions you should be asking.

For many factories, the decision to bring in new management that has no background in the modular industry and expecting them to turn things around for the company is usually a road to slow or no growth until the new people acquire the knowledge or fall flat on their faces and more experienced people take over.

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