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Business Decisions Can Have A Far-Reaching Impact

Apr 18, 2008
Too many times businesses make a decision based on how it affects the owner without taking into consideration how the decision will affect many others involved in the business. Owners may not realize who, or what will be affected by their decision until it is too late and once the decision is made, even when they realize it was a bad move, they may be reluctant to change back to their original operational standards.

Consider a simple decision about the business's hours of operations. Take the example of a small, mom and pop retailer that currently is open from seven in the morning until 10 at night. The owners decide they want to open earlier and close earlier, while still being open for business the same number of hours. They calculate that expenses probably will not change as payroll and utility costs will remain the same and make the announcement that they will now be opening two hours earlier at five in the morning and closing at eight at night.

The first obvious consideration should have been the employees that are accustomed to starting work at seven. There may be legitimate reasons they cannot get to work at five in the morning such as kids at school, arrival of a babysitter or the need for a ride to work from a friend or neighbor. There options are to possibly make other arrangements or the business may lose a valued employee.

The workers who are done at 10 at night may appreciate being done with work by eight, unless they are also dependent on someone else for a ride home from work. Closing time may be more exasperating to customers. Maybe they stopped on the way home from work or on their way to another job and by closing at eight instead of 10, the business will lose them as customers.

One consideration many business owners tend to forget about are the vendors. Most have established routes that work the schedule of the businesses they service. A majority will provide product and services during the morning hours and if your change in opening times require them to arrive at your business earlier, they may not be able, or willing to adjust to your new schedule. Those that service in the evening may also have a problem getting to the location two hours earlier.

It is not only the business owner that is affected by the changes and most realize that before making the change effective, they should speak with the other that will be affected and ask for suggestions. They should also consider the reasons why they want to make the change and if the decision is to make a change simply because it has been operating the same way for many years, perhaps the change should not take place.

Before making any decision, business owners need to fully comprehend the ripple effect the decision will have and how it will affect the bottom line of the business as well as the lives of others affected by their choice.
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