Have you wondered how some small businesses abound with opportunities? They seem to effortlessly enjoy an excess of possibilities in their business. Did they find a four-leaf clover, rub a genie's bottle, unearth a rabbits foot or are they just plain lucky?
Roman philosopher, Seneca said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Here are 10 ways to prepare for more opportunities in your small business:
- Launch a new program. Nothing infuses energy and opportunity into a business more than a new program or service. Can't think of a new idea? Find a new way to repackage your expertise.
- Develop an inbound marketing model. Inbound marketing, coined by Hubspot, Dharmesh Shah and Brain Halligan, is perfect for small business owners short on time but long on expertise.
- Have coffee with your clients. Virtually or face-to-face, you'll learn volumes about how to create opportunities for your business by jawboning with your clients. Plus, it shows your clients you care all the time -- not just when you need to make a sale.
- Guest blog on sites where your ideal client is known to frequent. Regularly guest blogging is a great way for others to know you exist. Find curated and/or membership sites where your ideal client hangs out and become a contributing editor.
- Understand the buyer's journey. Not everyone who visits your website or likes your Facebook page is ready to hand over their credit card. For many, they want to date for a while to get to know you better. Take them gently through the "Nine Steps to Building Trust Online & Offline for Your Small Business."
- Adopt a giver's mindset. I'm not talking about giving away your expertise for free. After all, you're in business for profit. It's an attitude of what you can do for this person rather than what can they do for you.
- Learn 21st century consultative selling. Put away the double-knit plaid pants and loud, abrasive sales scripts. In the 21st century, selling is uncovering the needs of others and satisfying them.
- Keep in touch with your network. Don't just stop by your social media platforms when you have something to sell; stop by and say "hi." Turn your favorite social platform into Cheers -- where everyone knows your name. Put the social back into social network.
- Fill your sales pipeline. Put enough effort into lead generation to satiate your sales pipeline. And, don't stop just short of "full".
- Apply the 80/20 rule. Spend 80 percent of your time each day focusing on sales, marketing and networking activities. Try this for two weeks. You'll amaze yourself with the number of opportunities you'll enjoy.
Opportunity, like luck, isn't what happens to you; its what you do that creates opportunities. What sort of opportunity are you creating today?