As business owners, we are always on the look out for opportunities. But, too often, great opportunities pass us by because we are not ready for them. Capturing a great opportunity and making the most of it takes a combination of three things – Awareness – Access – and Ability. Like cogs in a machine, each plays a critical role in driving action forward. Otherwise, as you are standing still, opportunities may pass you by.
There is a reason AWARENESS forms the biggest cog in the opportunity process. The world is full of opportunities, but knowing which is the right one for you and your business requires a continual scanning of the marketplace. Some opportunities are great for someone, but not necessarily great for you. Others may be hidden and require a bit of polishing up before they are ready to be considered. But if you are not continually searching, scanning your markets, and aware of the changing trends, you have not got a chance. Before you know it the opportunity has passed and you only see it when someone else takes advantage of it.
As you become aware of new or current opportunities, the gear turns and triggers a need for ACCESS. To capture the opportunity’s potential, the teeth bite in turning the next gear. In the case of opportunity access, think of the teeth as the six key assets you will need to take advantage of the opportunity. In most cases these are:
- The right talent to make things happen
- The right resources to build up from
- The right market to serve
- The right partners to deliver through
- The right processes to keep things rolling
- The right funding and business partners to grease the wheels
Each of these assets are critical. If one is missing the wheels stop turning and the opportunity engine skips and stutters.
The final gear is that of your ABILITY to execute. I spend a lot of my day speaking with business owners and other leaders. Most, when faced with a challenge, can lay out their goals, their mission and their plans. But when the gears jam up it is almost always due to a lack of execution. One missed step or flaw can make the difference between success in making the most of an opportunity or the failure to do so. When one missing critical process brings things to a grinding halt and the opportunity engine seizes up we tend to want to force it. Yet as leaders, our job is not to take a crow bar to the the gears (that almost always makes matters worse) but to make adjustments or shift alignment so that things start running smoothly again. For it is only when we are moving forward that we can keep abreast of our opportunities and capture them.
So don’t let your great opportunity pass you by. Focus on the three A’s – Awareness, Access, and Ability. When you do, you just might find that opportunity will not pass you by…instead it will come knocking at your door.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…