The value of reflection to improve business results

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” (Margaret J. Wheatley – American writer and management consultant who studies organisational behaviour)

These are very sobering words and make us realise that we might be chasing the next deal without giving sufficient thought to the ability of our business and infrastructure to meet and exceed client expectations.

We continuously need to sharpen the proverbial saw. Here is a value chain perspective to consider when reflecting about your business endeavours:

  • Target market performance: Is there a match between our defined target market, their needs and our product/service as a solution to their needs and requirements?
  • Suitability of value proposition: Do we know how well our product/service is addressing the target market needs and requirements?
  • Marketing Mix: Do we have the most optimal marketing mix available to market and promote our product/service to the selected target market?
  • Sales and distribution: Is our sales and distribution team fully equipped to sell our products/services?
  • Service delivery: How do clients experience our service delivery and after sales service?
  • Cash flow management: Do we have an up to date cash flow forecast to plan for to ensure that we can fund operations?
  • Human resources: Do I have a skills development plan per employee?
  • Information Technology: Are there technological advances which can support me to operate more effectively and efficient?
  • Procurement: Am I getting the best possible deals when procuring products and services to operate my business?

Another building block in our endeavours to plan for the future of our businesses is to remember the successes and disappointments in our business over a specific period of time (say the last 12 months). What are your learning experiences from these lists and how can you apply what you have learnt?

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success. Go to to download your free copy.


The content in this article was provided by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market. Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, headquartered in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.

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