The Lonely Truth of Making Decisions as a Business Owner

Give me feedback………

Likes, views, comments, shares, customer surveys, buyer reviews. Even feedback when using a public toilet!

But what about receiving feedback when you’re the business owner? Especially if you are sole business owner or director – you’re on your own.

If you are a business owner how often do you ask members of your team for feedback? Feedback on how the business is going, whether you should take up a new idea or opportunity, or even how you are doing as the leader.

I suspect your answer is ‘not very often, if at all’.

Don’t stress, we’re all the same in business. As leaders in our business, we think we are expected to know everything that’s going on in the business. All the big decisions need to come to us and we have to make those decisions usually on our own.

Making decisions on our own isn’t the best way to work. It might feel straight forward. Nobody to argue with. Yet when we decide on our own, we have only our experience to rely on. We have our biases and prejudices to influence us. Not the recipe for the best decision.

Your team won’t tell you the truth all the time

If you were to ask an employee for unfiltered feedback, you should realise that you will get feedback that goes through several filters, including not wanting to risk an argument or upset you; not wanting to negatively influence a pay award, etc.

The downside of making all the decisions yourself and not seeking unfiltered feedback is that you at a higher risk of making poor decisions for your business and you.

A Mastermind might be your answer

Contrast that to a business mastermind group. That’s a group of independent business owners who meet confidentially to give and receive advice and offer support to make their businesses work better. Not to mention to give them a better work life.

The members are not dependent on one another beyond the membership of the group. When a member asks for unfiltered feedback, they get it. Here are several real-life examples of how our mastermind groups helped a member stuck with a decision:

Mastermind Example – My DIY Flyer

Recently a member asked for feedback on a flyer they had produced. The flyer was dull, had poor lighting – it didn’t stand out. He had used his phone to get the pictures because that was cheap and easy.  The members were unanimous in advising that member to get professional images instead. Their feedback was that potential customers would not be impressed by the flyer and would perceive his business as cheap. The truth can be a hard thing to swallow. Yet he did take the advice and used a photographer to get much better pictures.

Mastermind Example – Sack or keep?

A member had been having problems with a newly recruited employee. There was a compete difference in attitudes and values but the employee was very experienced and pretty good at their job. Also, our member needed extra capacity to take on new business. They were stuck in a dilemma. Yet, when they took up our ‘hot seat’ at a recent meeting the other members were able to draw out the real issues with keeping the new employee. Their feedback to the member was unanimous – get rid of that employee and find a better one.

The member took the action and fed back to the group that the stress they had been living with for months had gone and they could work though the short-term capacity pressure. Also, they were optimistic about finding a replacement. Often indecision can be crippling and energy sapping. It can get in the way of day-to-day decision making.

Experience your own Mastermind

It is good for bosses to have their ideas challenged. This does not happen enough inside small owner-managed businesses where the boss is so integral to the running of the business.

A business mastermind group can be one solution to making better decisions for your business, learning from people just like you and also doing some good in helping those same people with your knowledge.

Whilst these words might read well, my recommendation is that you try out a taster mastermind meeting. The honest support, advice and enthusiasm to help will impress you. Yet is hard to put in words.

Watch this video of members talking unscripted about their experiences.

Then if you are curious than contact me to book onto a taster when you are ready.

Want More?

Have you found this helpful? Read our latest blog about Finding Help As A Business Owner.

Got another 5 minutes? Read about the The Importance of Cash Flow.

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