Although there are a large number of specific business decisions we could spend days and days discussing, I wanted to use this blog post to talk about the process of making business decisions, more specifically, the part about the understanding of outcomes. I hear way too often, “I didn’t expect that” or “why did that happen” and in most cases the outcome, although maybe not preferred, should be something that was factored into the decision-making process, and thus, not a surprise.
A simple example – I recently had a couple cancel my services. Per the contract, they owed me the final payment anyway, but I wasn’t sure, based on the initial cancellation e-mail, if they were going to actually pay it. So, I began to think about what I was going to do if they didn’t. Would I send them “pay or die” e-mails, would I take them to court, or would I just let it go? All are viable courses of action and all have different costs and different sets of potential outcomes. For example, if I sent them “pay or die” type e-mails, it would cost me the time of writing and sending the e-mails, with no guarantee I would get paid. Also, it could have led to a bad review and/or them talking badly about me to others, including other wedding vendors. All are negative potential outcomes to my business, even though technically, based on the contract they signed, it is pretty cut and dry, and they owe me the money. However, as we know, it is not always so simple, especially when emotions around weddings are factored in. I had to think about if I was willing to accept the negative potential outcomes or would it be better for my business to just let it go?
Turns out that after a couple more e-mails in regards to the contract, they did pay me on the payment due date. But it could have gone all sorts of ways, and I had to be ready for them all. I am often reminded that even though our blood, sweat, and tears go into our businesses, we need to make decisions not on emotion alone or even what is technically right. We need to evaluate each decision and make the choice that is right for the long-term health of our business and ourselves.