Having a watchful eye on business opportunities is a crucial business skill. Can you honestly say that you spot opportunities when they arise? In this post I discuss how to identify opportunities and how to make the most of them.
In my Women in Business Network (WIBN) groups of late, we have been discussing this very topic avidly. We’ve been talking openly about how we recognise business opportunities for ourselves and importantly (as part of a strong business community), for each other.
What spurred the interest in a focus on ‘opportunity’
I decide to open the conversation across my groups as I was approached by a WIBN member who said they could help me with some work on a particular project.
It was a call out of the blue which got my creative juices flowing and I was so warmed that this person had independently thought to reach out and offer themselves up to collaborate.
With the launch of Your Business Matters, my business training and connections business, I have been doing some 60 second and 10min presentations to share more about it. This person had rung me as a result of seeing one of my presentations. She was terribly apologetic and said she hoped that I didn’t mind her calling me and offering to help me. Wow.
I actually thought it was great! It was done in a non-pressure way, which really suited me. And she could see a solution to what could have been an issue for me. Fantastic.
What I loved most about this interaction was that this business lady had seen a need that I had, and matched it with what they could do to provide a solution. Simple.
Can you see opportunities that present themselves to you?
As result of this superb interaction and experience, it did make me think – does everyone see how they can help or be of service to someone else?
I think that when we are out connecting there are two things ideally we should be able to do:
- See the opportunity for ourselves
- See the opportunity for others
So, how do we do that?
In both cases it’s about really listening to what people are telling us. When we just do all the talking we easily miss the opportunities in what people are saying. If we are consistently worrying about finding someone to buy our products or services then we become so insular that we miss those opportunities.
If, as good networkers, we reverse all of this and think outwardly about the other people in our connecting circle – start listening to people we meet and I mean really listening, we will see opportunities for them and they will be doing the same for us.
But we can’t do that unless we know what we want and we understand the other persons business. Wouldn’t it be great if we seriously took the time to educate ourselves on what each person within our business community does? We would then be far better equipped to look out for opportunities for each other – that’s brilliant. That is what connecting is all about.
Trust, confidence and relationships
Let’s just make a big point clear though on this subject. Whomever we choose to match a business opportunity with, we still need to have that trust and confidence that they can provide a good level of service and can deliver on what their business says on the tin.
After all, it is our reputation on the line when we recommend or introduce people to each other with a view to business opportunities.
What to do if you are approached for an opportunity
In our different circles we are connected in, we will have opportunities offered to us. In the first instance we should thank the person for the opportunity. Next, with an open mind – you must evaluate it and work out it if it is right for you and in line with your business objectives. If it isn’t, tell the person who has offered the opportunity and also explain why – so that in future they know who would be a better match.
Recognising opportunities for our business is important if we are to gain new clients, but equally when we commit to networking, recognising opportunities for others in our connecting circles is equally as important.