Entrepreneurs must have a diverse skill set to drive growth in their business, and one of the most important skills that leaders can have is the ability to choose decisively. Decision-making skills can make or break an organization, which is why it is critical for business owners and decision-makers to refine their abilities to make wise and informed choices for the sake of their company.

Mark Kelly, Safety Marking Inc.’s Founder and President, can attest to the reality of how vital decision-making is for any company leader. Mr. Kelly has had to make various business decisions since the day his pavement marking service organization started in 1973. Fortunately, Kelly learned how to become an effective decision-maker to further develop his small, family-owned pavement striping business into a company that offers eight major types of services with offices in three states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island New York. Below, Mark Kelly shares from personal experience seven keys to making more intelligent business decisions.


  1. Know the Mission

Any business decision should cater to the company’s mission, and its mission should help lead those decisions. It is crucial for any business leader to know and state its mission for moments of reflection during tough decisions. For example, Kelly bases his choices on Safety Marking Inc.’s mission: “Core Values of Safety, Accountability, Communication, Teamwork, Integrity, Commitment, and Exceeding Expectations provide focus and direction for every person in the organization.”


  1. Prioritize the Organization

With any business decision, smart ones prioritize the organization. If a decision is made without the organization’s best interest in mind, it is most likely not the best business decision.


  1. Trust Evidence

Intelligent business decisions involve understanding the situation at hand as a whole. Often, to reach a complete understanding, research must be done, or data needs to be collected. For these types of decisions, always rely on evidence when circling back to the decision’s objective.


  1. Strategically Plan

A rhythm of success can be found through strategic planning, leading to repetitive, intelligent business decisions. Strategic planning does not mean simply planning for a single business move or decision but instead planning for three, five, or ten years down the road.


  1. Think First, Then Act

High-stress moments or crises can put pressure on a decision-maker to make snap decisions. Snap decisions can injure a company, so business leaders should set feelings aside to think first, then act.


  1. Include Necessary Talent

Business decisions do not always need to involve others on staff. However, smart business executives realize that there is talent on their team that can help share valuable insight in certain instances that lead to smarter decisions.


  1. Learn from Mistakes

Mistakes can quickly become failures if business leaders do not learn from them. Learning how to become a more innovative business decision-maker is a journey, and from human nature, mistakes are bound to be made.

“Making smarter business decisions and more of them is a learning process and one that should be crafted, not rushed. Your mistakes are teaching lessons that only help you and your business grow. Great business decisions are made by those who think strategically but are not afraid of failure, for with failure comes wisdom and better leaders,” summarized Mark Kelly, Safety Marking President.