06/17/2014 03:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Tools Every Entrepreneur Needs to Make Strategic Decisions

Making decisions in your business, especially with so much at stake, can be rough. Do you follow your gut? Your friend's suggestion? The latest information published on Huffington Post or at Although all are good resources to facilitate your decision-making, the best decisions any entrepreneur can make to grow their business are strategic decisions.

From the time your feet hit the floor in the morning to when your head hits the pillow at night, you're continually making decisions. It's exhausting! With so much riding on each and every decision, the choices you make either put out fires or prevent them from occurring. Your decisions either advance your business growth or stall its growth.

There are two fundamental decision choices entrepreneurs can make -- strategic and tactical. Tactical decisions are like "putting out fires". They are decisions made in the "here and now". Although they appear to the best decisions in the moment, tactical decisions easily derail your business and result in lengthy, costly detours.

Strategic decisions, on the other hand, prevent fires from occurring in the first place. They consider the direction in which your business is headed. Strategic decisions keep you on track. They serve as guideposts along the winding road of success and ensure you avoid distractions or getting lost down a dusty trail.

Strategic Decision Tool Kit

There are three (3) tools every entrepreneur needs in their strategic decision-making tool kit to encourage decision-making that matters. These essential tools create the framework for decision-making that translates into easy daily action steps that are aligned with your goals. Moreover, they allow you to take advantage of the opportunities available to grow your business.

1. Mission. Your mission is the reason you're in business. It answers the question "what do we do". Being your core values and target audience play an integral role in crafting your company's mission, decisions based on your mission keep you -- and your business -- in integrity.

2. Vision. Your vision statement defines the future you want for your business. Decisions based on your vision statement make sure your choices address the immediate need in your business and move you forward to your ultimate destination.

3. Strategies. Strategies establish how your business will achieve its mission and vision. They create the winning performance you want. Being strategies are unique to every business, where your growth comes from, the amount of risk you're willing to take, and the available resources all play an important role in the selection of the strategy that is the best fit for your business. And, used wisely, strategies provide valuable insight into the many decisions you need to make.

There are as many ways to approach your mission, vision, and strategies. In fact, a simple search on Google reveals as many approaches as there are decisions to make in a day. However, when crafted correctly, your companies mission, vision, and strategies seldom change. You can count on them to support your strategic decision-making efforts.

The next time a decision is starring you down, reach for your strategic decision-making tool kit and ask, "What decision best aligns with my mission, vision, and strategies?" Your answer may surprise you.

This article first appeared on Synnovatia.