Way Too Many Options

If you want to keep your business sanity make sure you don’t have too many options. Yes, you may like to have options but too many can be paralyzing.

A Refresher

In my last article, Avoid Information Overload, I touched on a similar topic. In that case we were mainly looking at the difficulty of dealing with too much input information. In this article we will look at the other end of the decision chain.

A Startup Example

In the article previously referenced I used the example of starting a business and sorting through all the information available. One of the issues was selecting products to sell. Now let’s imagine you’ve managed to select a group of 100 products out of thousands. However, you know you cannot initially sell all 100 products. At this point each product represents an option for you. If you choose one of them you automatically eliminate another. This can be paralyzing to decision making if you really like all the products. So what do you do?

The Old 80/20 Rule

Using the 80/20 rule try to select 20 of the products that you believe have the strongest potential. If you intend to carry less than 20 products then apply the same 80/20 rule to those 20 products to get 4 products. If you need more products then use the 80/20 rule on the remaining 16 products not initially selected. Continue this until you have the number of products you want.

If you want more than 20 products then after the first pass gives you 20 products to sell again use the 80/20 rule on the remaining 80 products to get another 16. Continue this process on the products still available until you have the number of products you want to carry.

The 80/20 rule is one of the most powerful ways you can sort through your options. In fact, it is so powerful it can be used to make hosts of choices in both your business and personal life. As long as you have too many options you will continue to question your choices.

It’s Your Decision

Unless you have a method for sorting through possibilities you will be stuck trying to make decisions. If you look at an Ecommerce site you will see that products are arranged in a way that helps you avoid being distracted, and that helps you make a buying decision. If you take this same approach to evaluating your decisions it will simplify them and help you avoid the trap of too many options. To seize an opportunity you need to make a decision and take action.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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