I have often been told that you make your own ‘luck’ in business, and that one of the key virtues of a good businessman is the ability to recognise opportunity when it comes knocking. But the ability to recognise and act on an opportunity requires planning and preparation. Opportunists don’t just wait for ‘luck’ to come their way; they actively have opportunity in mind every day of their lives, and know how to embrace an opportunity while minimising exposure to risk.
Entrepreneurs are always cited as the ultimate takers of opportunity – I once saw entrepreneurship described as “the process of recognizing, seizing, pursuing and exploiting opportunities without regard of the resources you currently control”. But being an opportunity expert is not the preserve of entrepreneurs, even if opportunity is not always obvious and is often hidden by other problems or issues.
One of the challenges of recognising opportunities is that often they exist only for a short time. You need to be able to identify the chance and react quickly. It is also often the case that the bigger the opportunity, the shorter the window, and the greater the risk. But the potential reward can also be bigger too.
When we work with new clients, we are often surprised at the opportunities which already exist within a business. Sometimes it is simply that fact that nobody has recognised the opportunity. ‘Blue sky thinking’ is a horrendous marketing cliché, but brainstorming ideas for developing a business without any limits or preconceptions often helps identify new opportunities. People habitually say that they don’t have time for this kind of esoteric activity, but trust me, it really is worth doing once in a while.
On other occasions, a company has identified a possible opportunity for growth, but claims that they do not have the time/energy/support/money/resource/courage to do anything about it. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, those are simply excuses all of which can be overcome if you have the desire to embrace opportunity.
One of the most exciting things about working with new clients is seeing business opportunities which have previously been unrecognised, or simply not developed for various reasons. We can bring focus and form to those opportunities and put strategies in place which allow the business to grow profitably simply by developing their true potential.
Assuming you recognize when a business opportunity next comes knocking at your door, will you put out the ‘Welcome Mat’ and greet the opportunity with enthusiasm. Or will you hang up the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign because you simply do not have the mindset to do anything about it?
Either way, Acumen is ready to help you develop that opportunity for the benefit of your business.
© Acumen Strategic Marketing Ltd 2010