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Decision Time for a Small Business

Introduction

The decision making process is one of the hardest tasks in any business. In fact, when an individual is making a decision, he/she has to choose from two or more options that will influence the certain situation. However, not always the decision made is the right one. It is important to remember that, in fact, there is no right decision for any kind of an issue. One has a responsibility of accepting the decision that shapes the future of a certain situation.

New Decision Evaluation

In part one, Alex has made a decision to work with Dave and to buy more computer supplies, in order to make the working process faster and more specific. However, taking into account the additional information from the part two, this decision can be argued. When the company is facing problems in financing, it is not the best time for investments. For now, the previous decision of Alex to cooperate with Dave is put under question and needs further development.

Now, the company is facing some tough moments. The Rest Assured store lost its clients after the crisis, and did not manage to return them back yet. It is necessary to enlarge the flow of customers in the shop and raise the company’s profits. These are the two main aims for Alex and his wife. There is no need in new computers; there is the need in advertising. That means that the new decision of Alex must be the focus of the new development strategy and major investment in evolution process, in order to win the attention of the customers and make bigger profits.

Objectives Defining

The Rest Assured store provides its clients with bedroom goods that have high quality and are made in United States. The inner culture of the store is also developed and stable. All the workers have been employed for more than two years, when some of them were working in the store since its opening eight years ago. This is a strong part of the shop and it has to be emphasized in the future advertisement campaign. The advertisement is needed because the objectives of the company are facing future development and rise of income (Hammond, 2002). However, it is impossible to implement without paying customers’ attention to the unique features of the shop.

In order to evaluate objectives for the study, four questions need to be answered. The first one is what the company wants to achieve, while making decisions. The second one stays for what the shop wants to preserve. The third question will specify the need of avoiding particular issues. The last question will answer what should be eliminated by the decision taken (Heath, 2013).

The first objective for the decision making is the desire to achieve success and to finish the discount store in the mall. The small price is not always the best quality, so Alex has to work hard, in order to emphasize this issue. The company provides its customers with the highest level of quality and variety of goods. Moreover, it supports the products made in USA, so it is helping to raise economy of the country. The customers have to know about it, so more advertising is needed.

The second objective is preserving the culture of the shop. The small family business has much more specific features than the big discount mall. All the customers in these kinds of shops are getting proper consultation, and are treated with care, as if they are shopping at their friends’ store. This attitude has to be saved, and the emphasis on this strong point can be the main feature of the advertising process.

The third objective is the desire to avoid staff dismissal. When the economic situation is bad and there is no profit, the decision to cast the workers may seem suitable but it is not. The small business is stronger because of its workers who had already spent much time within the company and believe in it.

The fourth objective is the elimination of the customers’ desire to buy more on reduced price than better for a little higher price. In fact, it is important to tell the customers about the culture of the shop and invite them to become a part of a big family. The desire of the customers to shop in the Rest Assured is the target of Alex and his crew.

Creation of Alternatives

Alex needs to change the situation and make the shop prosper. That means there is the need to generate ideas that will help to achieve the major goal. Generating the alternatives is the significant part of decision making (Kahneman, 2013). It helps to specify and shape the ideas. The formulated and stated data has more chances to work out than its unclear vision.

During the brainstorming, four alternatives were shaped. Brainstorming is one of the best techniques for formulating the possible variants. There was the list of possible ideas and their combinations, which afterwards had formed the alternatives in the decision making process (Kallet, 2014).

The first alternative is to find another place for the shop in the center of a shopping mall. It will help to focus the attention of the shoppers on the company and will help to enlarge the amount of customers. However, this alternative will have negative consequences for the shop’s budget. It will also valuate one of the objectives made, because with the new and expensive rent, Alex would not be able to keep all the employees on their places. The tradeoff can be made, in case the staff agrees to earn reduced salary, having in mind that right after the company fights the crises and raises an income, they will be earning more and will receive bonuses. Still, there can be another decision to find sponsors or partners, who will help to move to the bigger shop, but will have an opportunity to have the half of the shop. This can be the linked decision for the alternative. The uncertainty remained for this alternative lies in the fact that the busy space could fail to help and the company will not win anything from such a move.

The second alternative is to launch a big advertising campaign. It will help to create the interest of the customers in the company’s goods. Moreover, good campaign will be emphasizing on the core values of Alex’s shop. Good culture is always the benefit of the organization. The negative consequence of it can be lowering the customer’s flow and lack of their interest. In case the company is not successful, Alex will be left with bills and deep crises. The tradeoff for this alternative cannot be shaped, because the campaign either works or not. However, there is the decision to spread the news using no special tools. When the customers hear from their neighbors about a good shop, they will want to visit it. Still, there is an uncertainty for this objective. The advertisement campaign is not cheap and needs the big amount of time, which is not good for the financial stability of the shop.

The third objective is to turn to the brand new bonus program that will provide customers with stable discounts and sales. If the competitors are so good in doing business, it might be an option to get to know their experience. The negative consequence can be the object of the discount shop in the mall and the lawsuit from them. The tradeoff can be made when the new bonus program will prove its sufficiency and uniqueness. The linked decision is to make the bonus system available for permanent customers, when the uncertainty is laying in the existing bonus program.

Making the Decision

The decision making process will be supported by the special tools, such as weighted and unweighted matrix. Weighting factors will help to find out the importance of alternatives and will help to choose the best one (Albright, Winston & Zappe, 2010). Using matrix helps to make the decision more carefully. It helps to decide which option to choose, when there is more than one alternative. For the current study, there are three alternatives and four objectives. The weight of each objective is scaled from 1 to 4, where 4 is the highest level, and 1 is the lowest. The results are presented in the Table 1 and Table 2.

Weight / Objectives Success Culture Avoidance of Staff Dismissal Customer Desire
Alternative 1 4 4 1 4
Alternative 2 4 4 1 2
Alternative 3 4 1 1 4

Table 1. Decision matrix analysis, showing unweighted ranking

After the unweighted matrix, the weight of each objective was valued.

 /Objectives Success Culture Avoidance of Staff Dismissal Customer Desire Total
Weight 4 3 3 2
Alternative 1 16 12 3 8 39
Alternative 2 16 12 3 4 35
Alternative 3 16 3 3 8 30

Table 2. Decision matrix analysis, showing weighted ranking.

The second matrix added the weight for each objective. Success is the most important objective for now, because Alex needs to fight the crises and bring the company to the highest level. The desire of average customer got the lowest ranking, however, it means that it is not that significant in the current research. Still, customers are the highest value for every shop owner.

The weighted matrix had shown that the first alternative is the best one. That means that Alex must pay attention to searching for a new place. However, the first alternative, like all other, does not value the staff. Therefore, eventually, the changes within the employees will take place. However, the second one got just 4 points less than the first one, which means that advertising campaign also has to take place.

Formulating the Decision and Conclusion

According to the research, the decision to move to another area in the shopping center appears to be the most effective one. That means that Alex has to negotiate with the Mall’s administration and to move to its busy area. However, it is still important to remember, that advertising is an effective tool when working with customers. Alex has to make the budget that way, that he would be able to complete at least a small campaign. Then, his shop will be prosperous and get the customers’ approval.

The study used the brainstorming tool and the matrix analyses, in order to provide sufficient and reliable result. The decision had faced the specified discussion and revision. However, it must be mentioned, that the change of the place can help the Rest Assured to change the situation positively.

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