How to avoid making bad decisions

Photo: Michael Karshis

If you want to know why some business owners make such poor quality choices, you simply need to look at the lack of professional care they apply to the development of ideas.  I call this lazy thinking.

Lazy thinking?

Lazy thinking is a term I use, to describe the process of applying very little real thought to the solution of problems, leading to; low value decisions, ineffective actions and poor results.

I saw a great example of lazy thinking recently, at a late night pub in my local town.  There’s a small sign on the door, which asks people to respect the local residents, and leave the premises quietly.  The reasons that the sign fails to resolve the problem, are obvious.

  • Firstly, the loud, obnoxious people who leave bars making so much noise that it’s likely to offend local residents, are loud and obnoxious people.  They make that noise because they NEED to be noticed.
  • Secondly, the drunks who leave these bars making tons of noise, are often unable to walk in a straight line.  They are hardly likely to read a message, make a decision and then adjust their behaviour to magically act in a sober way.

The pub owner knew the sign would have no positive impact on noisy late night drinkers.  The local residents knew it too.  That’s what happens when you apply no thought to the solution of a problem.  As I mentioned recently, when you apply the right kind of thinking to a problem, you get a far more effective result.

Lazy thinking in small business marketing

Lazy thinking is behind the dumbass marketing you see small business owners waste their time and money on.  For example:

  • It causes business owners to waste money on mail shots and email marketing, which they write themselves in order to save money.  These home-made, DIY marketing messages are almost always extremely ineffective, so rather than save money, these letters waste a fortune.  They also fail to generate the sales, which a professionally copywritten message would have generated.  Lose – Lose.
  • It causes business owners to buy mailing lists, rather than build communities.  In 2011 we build lists of interested people, by attracting them (here’s how to do it.)  We don’t buy them.
  • It causes business owners to add you to their newsletter list without your permission, just because they have your email address.
  • It causes business owners to leave sales messages in the comments section of blogs, without realising how cheap it makes them look.
  • It causes business owners to waste money on ebooks, which promise unbelievable results.
  • It causes business owners to put lots of great content on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc – Whilst their own blogs are seldom updated (if they even have one!)

We place a very low ceiling on our potential, if we apply the lazy thinking model to business decisions.

Your prospective clients have never been better informed.  Thanks to low cost (and no cost) global digital communications, they have never been so actively targeted by competing providers, either.  If you want to survive in business today, let alone thrive, lazy thinking just doesn’t cut it.

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