Choices; This is what it means to be a director. It starts with the choice to operate a business, from there other choices arise. Premises or location, what to stock or provide as service, how to promote your business, ever more choices as time goes on. It’s reasonable to understand that not everyone is wired to be a director, and some will make bad choices while others prosper due to well timed choices or just a hint of luck.
But, no matter if you’re selling chrysanthemums on a market stall each Wednesday or leading a team of educated, dedicated engineers on a construction project, each director has the obligation of making those choices and overseeing the outcome.
“Fortunately we’re not a public company,
we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.”
– Sir Richard Branson
The ability to balance entrepreneurial skill with the demands of a business especially when faced with an uncertain future is just part of the role. Commonly as a director, there is no clear or obvious option for the correct course to follow, sometimes just smaller decisions, each making up a path of the path forward and all of those choices under the guise that they are the lesser of two evils to choose.
There are of course some hard and fast rules which come in the handily distributable and reference-able Companies Act 2006. As long as a director is acting in accordance with this at least the business is operating legally. Among those legal obligations is the following:
A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to—
(a) the likely consequences of any decision in the long term,
– Companies Act, Chapter 2, Sect. 172
Some of the more successful directors are people which naturally have solid and distinct ethics and ideas, and its not uncommon that the strength of such leadership echoes to those that work with them. This kind of core can lead a business forward or change the fate of a struggling business.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions, as many highly successful business owners will attest, even bad choices give something back – the ability to learn from them and move onward avoiding the same errors. Everyone can make a mistake, but often notable people use their mistakes.
Here’s a list of people that failed, you might even know one or two of them… Business Insider – 23 Failures
The crux of this is that as a director, the ‘head’ of a business, the decision maker, the one responsible to the choices that determined the livelihood of themselves and possibly others. The director should always be ready to make choices, being informed enough that those choices are meaningful and with some luck, help a business become successful.
Here’s a few pointers on how to make better choices for business –
- Forward thinking – By being correctly informed about a business, it’s directorship can, with practice, make decisions about what the business will be doing in 5 years or more.
- Thinking beyond the financial wall – It’s easy to make choice based on a businesses current financial capability or scope, but coupled with forward thinking taking a step outside of the financial constraints can open up great opportunity.
- Listen to external input, or even input from inside the business – This again comes under being informed, but also opens the idea that no one person might have the right answer, Input from others can be inspirational.
- Think ‘differently’ – It’s cliché, but as a director you must surely be aware there is competition to your business, and their respective directors will also be ‘thinking’ take a small amount of time to try to think ahead of the curve.
- Think beyond your brand – Don’t become blinkered to real opportunity because of sticking too adherently within your set business scope. If the business were a metaphorical box, it’s time to think outside of it!
- If deciding on something is laborious or simply too hard to come to final decision… Choose instead what is worse and discard it until you have a more defined path forward.
- Don’t let decision making become a problem!
Business choices matter, they matter in all scale of business and should be approached with the time and effort appropriate to the choice at hand.
If there is anything you’d like to discuss about business decisions feel free to contact us, not only do we have a wealth of experience in matters of struggling business but we have a good resource of business partners and their respective experience.