running-the-numbers1

Every action has a cost, good or bad…plus or minus.

In business, we often think about the cost of a decision as simply the money gained versus the money not gained from a decision, but that is usually a fast track way to getting you and your organization into long term trouble because that isn’t exactly the best way to run your revenue engine.

What I am talking about is opportunity costs…

And, more specifically, what I am talking about is ways that you can understand the opportunity costs of any chosen strategy that you might pick. Because sometimes the real cost isn’t just in terms of dollars in versus no dollars…sometimes the cost is even greater.

1. Will this opportunity stop you from pursuing other opportunities?

This is one of the most important things to consider when you are deciding whether or not to do a project.

Why?

Because by saying yes to some things, you are saying no to something else.

This conundrum can really be at play in the places where you are in a very small business and you are the one doing all of the project delivery or if you have a specific skill set that can’t be replicated easily or at all.

So the first consideration you have to make when considering the opportunity cost of a decision is how much of a squeeze does this put on other areas of my business.

2. Is this work going to add to my brand perception or subtract from it?

One thing I have been conscious of in my career is never picking projects that can harm my reputation…

For me, my brand and reputation are extremely important because I have the kinds of clients that a false step means I won’t be able to come back from.

I like to think that even if I weren’t involved with some of the clients I am involved with, I would still be as cautious and here is why:

The most important thing you have is your reputation. You can’t afford to allow that to be destroyed.

So don’t take on work that will ruin your reputation.

I’m just lucky that my client list makes that easy for me to say!

3. Is this the kind of work that you are passionate about and that will allow you to grow your business and your skills?

One very good thing about business and jobs is, you get paid.

Another, equally important role, you have the opportunity to grow, learn, and do new things.

Sometimes, if we aren’t careful, we take jobs and projects as a matter of rote.

That can lead to the unintended cost of never being fully fulfilled in our jobs and our roles.

So when you are making a decision on a particular strategy…it may pay to take a deep breath and ask if you are doing this because it is the right thing to do, something you want to do, or it is just something you are doing because it is what you always do.

Let me know how these questions help your decision-making process.