Time for Reflection

As a small business owner it’s all to easy to get completely consumed by your business. I didn’t take a single holiday for at least the first five years, I worked through weekends and spent every hour I could in the office during the week just to keep things going. It’s what you do when you’re a start-up. If you’re about to start your own company and don’t like the sound of that, forget it – you’re not right for this – go and get a nice 9-5 somewhere.

There is, however, a problem with this strategy when in start-up mode – it gives you no time for reflection, and reflection is essential. This is the time you need to step back from the business and take stock of everything. You’re too close to things on a daily basis to reflect and plan properly.

So this weekend, while you have some time off here is my suggestion:

Reflect on your overall business

Reflect on your sales and sales processes

Reflect on your company’s relationships with customers

Reflect on your brand

Reflect on your staff & what they do for you

Reflect on your finances and how you can improve them

Reflect on your internal processes for getting work done / products delivered

Reflect on yourself – are you working efficiently? What could you do differently?

I find it useful when doing this kind of exercise to write things down. The danger, if you don’t, is that the ideas you have get lost again as you get busy. Mind mapping is a very useful technique to learn for visualising this kind of information.

Now here’s the thing – When you’ve done all this and you go back to work on Tuesday – action some of the things you’ve reflected on. Don’t let this list form part of your ‘never read’ pile. Make sure it’s somewhere you can see regularly and ask yourself whether you’re making the changes and trying the new things at least once a week.

Good luck and have a great Easter


  1. Scott Gould on 2nd April 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Hey Al

    I’ve been reflecting today. THanks for inspiring me to do so!


    • Banksy on 5th April 2010 at 5:44 pm

      Great to hear it Scott – hope you had a good Easter 🙂

  2. Jonathan on 2nd April 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Great advice – as ever – Al

    Particularly the nudge to turn your reflection into action when you get back to the office!

    We work on a 90 day planning and review cycle. An invaluable process in helping us to achieve our long-term objectives.

    Have an enjoyable – and productive – break.


    • Banksy on 5th April 2010 at 5:44 pm

      Love the idea of the 90 day cycle Jonathan – worth sharing in a blog post one day if you have time?

  3. Jonathan on 2nd April 2010 at 8:55 pm

    And another thing…

    Related to this need for reflection is the benefit of having someone else – an objective third party – who can also look at your business and ask ‘Why’?

    Someone who is not focusing on the day-to-day details can help you to identify the illogical and inefficient activity in your business, that would otherwise be missed.

    • Banksy on 5th April 2010 at 5:45 pm

      Totally agree on this – did you ever see my post on the importance of having a mentor?

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