Maybe you know where you are going and how you are going to get there. You’ve set your goals and worked out a business plan. You have regular customers who love what you offer and refer you to others. Things are going well and you know that they will continue to go well if you stay on the path that you have set.
That’s great, but are you so focussed on what has worked and what you can see that you are missing out on some exciting opportunities? If you responded to a new idea, could an even better product or market open up for you?
There is a delicate balance between remaining focussed on your plan and being open to opportunities that you are not aware of yet. Here are some tips to make sure that your plan does not prevent you from taking hold of something even better:
- Remain alert to the fact that new opportunities could present themselves through a myriad of channels such as casual conversations, things you notice aren’t working well, things you read, and meeting new people;
- Be prepared to consider new ideas before discounting them even if your eventual acceptance of them would mean changing your well thought-out plans;
- Build into your plan space to regularly try something new or to step outside of your comfort zone;
- Positively embrace difficulties and challenges as opportunities waiting to be revealed;
- Consider whether the opportunity would address an existing weakness or threat in your business; and
- Put some ‘numbers’ around the opportunity – what investment is required and what return would it generate. How does this compare to your current initiatives?
Finally, consider whether the successful implementation of the opportunity would contribute to the achievement of your business and personal goals.