Friday, May 26, 2017
Start a Business The Xentrum Advantage

Making Decisions

It seems like every time we turn around, we have to make decisions. The question is, "Are you a good decision maker?" If you aren't (or don't think you are), there is no need to worry. Decision-making is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Although some people may find this particular skill easier than others, everyone applies a similar process.

There are two basic kinds of decisions: those that are arrived at using a specific process and those that just happen. Although both kinds of decisions contain opportunities and learning experiences, there are definite advantages to using a specific process to make a decision. The most obvious advantage is the reduced level of stress you will experience.

Wise decisions are made using a definite process. They are based on the values and perceptions of the decision-maker and include carefully-considered alternatives and options along with periodic reassessments of the decision and its effects.

Steps to Wise Decision-Making

Define, as specifically as possible, what the decision is that needs to be made. Is this really your decision or someone else's? Do you really need to make a decision? (If you do not have at least two options, there is no decision to be made.) When does the decision need to be made? Why is this decision important to you? Who will be affected by this decision? What values does this decision involve for you?

Write down as many alternatives as you can think of. Brainstorm as many different alternatives as you can imagine.

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Common Decision-Making Mistakes

Here are some of the most common decision-making mistakes. By learning about these pitfalls now, you will be able to avoid them in the future.

• Rely too much on expert information

Oftentimes, people have a tendency to place too much emphasis on what experts say. Remember, experts are only human and have their own set of biases and prejudices just like the rest of us. By seeking information from a lot of different sources, you will get much better information than if you focused all of your energy on only one source.

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Managing Your Employees

• Employee Handbooks

The company employee handbook is one of the most important communication tools between your company and your employees. Not only does it set forth your expectations for your employees, but it also describes what they can expect from the company. It is essential that your company has one and that it be as clear and unambiguous as possible. Make certain that it is written in an understandable language which makes the company's policies accessible.

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Marketing

• Marketing Basics

To succeed, entrepreneurs must attract and retain a growing base of satisfied customers. Marketing programs, though widely varied, are all aimed at convincing people to try out or keep using particular products or services. Business owners should carefully plan their marketing strategies and performance to keep their market presence strong.

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Paying Taxes

Most businesses start out small. As a new business owner, you need to know your federal tax responsibilities. This page provides basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business. It also provides information to assist in making basic business decisions.

The form of business you operate determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them.

Each taxpayer (business or individual) must figure taxable income on an annual accounting period called a tax year. The calendar year is the most common tax year. Other tax years are a fiscal year and a short tax year.

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