The value of reflection to improve business results

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market

“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?


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.

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