When was the last time you looked closely at your business?

I’m often reminded of a line from the movie Shawshank Redemption, “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” This old man who had spent his life in prison said it about the world he found outside the prison walls. Thankfully, we don’t have to be locked up in jail for half our lives to see that with faster technology comes a faster world and the opportunity for tremndous business growth.

Too often we get caught up in the day to day list of things that must get done that there is no time left to reflect on what you’ve accomplished or whether it had any impact at all on where want your life or your business to go.

It’s a good idea for every business owner to stop and truly think about their business. Not just for an hour while you’re having lunch and signing paperwork. Truly stop everything your are doing. Clear your desk. Clear your calendar for the day. Get a piece of paper or open your lap top to a blank page and think about your business. Reassess your goals. If you don’t have any goals, write ten. Don’t be embarrassed that they are too lofty or not aggressive enough. Just get them in front of you. Ask yourself how you intend to achieve those goals and write down the answer. Is your answer realistic?

Let your mind wander. As you focus solely on your business you’ll find there is plenty on your mind. Make a list of the things you like about your business and things you don’t. Was there a new hire that’s made a positive impact? What is it about them that’s changed things for the better? Have you had a recent surge in productivity? What caused that? List your recent successes. What can you attribute those to? Can you do it again? What about your short comings. Every business has them. What can you do to make improvements? Thinking about your business takes time and you have to make time for it. After all, it is what you spend your life doing.

Yes. Home Advertising practices what we preach. Every January for the past twenty years, Joe and I have devoted an entire day to thinking about our business. We have our bookkeeper run reports for us to review. We examine each client individually and discuss what we could do to improve the service we provide. We review what projects we did within a month and decide if these projects should be annual events. If so, we write it in our calendars as a reminder to ask the client about it. We review our expenses. One year we realized we were spending way too much on periodicals. After reviewing the benefits of each, we cut that cost in half. We review equipment software purchases and assess if we’re going to have any large expenditures coming up? We document the discussion and set goals for the coming year.

If you think the world’s got itself in a big, damn hurry, spend eight of the estimated 2,000 hours a year you work to make sure you’re hurrying in the right direction.

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