Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
As the year comes to a close, many in small business are reviewing numbers, checking to see if sales goals were achieved and forecasting next year’s business growth. In probably more cases than not, this reflection has more to do with paying corporate taxes than actually with investing the time to work ON the business instead of just IN it.
The process of reflection from a business perspective and self-reflection from a personal one should be more once a year or even once a quarter. Scheduling time each week and better yet each day to reflect makes far more business sense.
In the book the “Blue Ocean Strategy,” authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne discussed these four questions to differentiate your business so that you remove it from the red ocean where crazy chaos reigns and place it into the blue ocean of calmness.
1. What can you increase within your business?
2. What can you decrease from your business?
3. What can you add to your business?
4. What can you remove from your business?
These questions involve reflection and may require the assistance from a mentor for an outside perspective. At times, it is difficult to see reality for what it really is.
Another great weekly reflection question is to ask yourself: “What didn’t I do or complete last week?”
If the answer is the same for more than two weeks, the issue may be more complex or there may exist some personal internal reasons for not achieving the task.
When reflective behavior becomes a habit, an attitude of thought, then investing the time becomes “no big deal.” The benefit of this behavior is that better decisions are made because proactive thinking becomes the norm instead of costly reactive behavior that happens without contemplative thought.
Better decisions suggest improved allocation of the limited resources of time, energy money and emotions. In other words, reflection improves the bottom line and means more dollars in your pockets.
So begin today by scheduling 15 minutes at the end of the week to reflect upon your business and even your own personal life. And embrace this behavior so that this time next year you will be even more of a forward thinker and leader.
P.S. Shout Out: Boys and Girls Clubs of Lake and Porter counties.