As business people, we are often presented with what might seem like a great opportunity. Maybe we have a chance to open another location, or to buy out a competitor or to add a product or service to our existing portfolio or to acquire more customers, resources, material or equipment.

At the outset, that opportunity can sparkle in the sun like a jewel. It can cause you to ignore all rational questions and considerations and move forward with the promise of more money, more customers, more visibility, greater market share. But, like a sparkling gem on the beach, if you look closely at the jewel, you might discover that it is a piece of scrap metal or glass. I am not suggesting that you ignore every business opportunity. I am simply offering a caution.

There will be times when your best option is to stay the course; when the right thing to do is…well, nothing!

New opportunities always require change, which may mean that you have to dedicate more resources, time, money, bandwidth, etc. We get so excited about these opportunities that we ignore the practical considerations and choose to focus only on the positive aspects of that opportunity. We get greedy! We want to add that line of business, we want to open new doors, we want to close more sales, or take over a new territory or piece of the market.

When these opportunities arise, you need to take a breath! Try to take a logical approach. Consider (measure) the likelihood of success vs. the effort it will take to succeed.

 Ask yourself whether:

  • you really want to work on this opportunity
  • this opportunity, market or product aligns with your core business
  • you have the money, resources and time to do this the right way
  • this opportunity will help you to better serve your loyal customers
  • the market will perceive this as a good fit or addition to your products and services
  • your team can (and will want to) pursue this opportunity and succeed
  • the proposed changes will overburden or overstretch your team and resources
  • this is an ‘organic’ (natural) growth or addition or something that feels forced

Bigger isn’t always better. More isn’t always better. Sometimes your formula for success is to continue doing exactly what you are doing now and either a) wait for the right opportunity to come along or b) accept and solidify your success in your market of choice with a great, dependable product or service and a solid team and market niche. 

Knowing when to change, how much to grow and what opportunities are real jewels (as opposed to glass in the sand) – these are the qualities of a truly gifted businessperson!

Original Post: Opportunity Is Knocking! Should You Answer?