- Your client (or customer) base will change over time – mature, move on, develop different needs.
- You change over time – you get antsy to try new things, or you want additional income.
It's fun to find these new opportunities for your business. I call this using your entrepreneur ears. I've used my own entrepreneur ears to develop new ways to do business many times. My first business was a massage clinic, which I expanded by adding additional services, products, and treatments that used high technology. I've owned The Confident Marketer for 12 years now, and I've added services and products many times. I've also developed complimentary businesses through seeing new opportunities.
Over time, your ability to see new opportunities isn't even something you think about, you just do it as you go through your day. I particularly love hearing about new opportunities for business when we travel. Our trip to Costa Rica is a good example of finding new opportunities in business for me. I ended up doing an hour's consultation for the guy who was showing us around the countryside – he wanted to know more about social media marketing and how to align his copy with his mission. I also talked to a teacher/interpreter about my coming back to Costa Rica to teach a workshop, hiring her to teach it simultaneously in Spanish while I taught in English.
I'm a mobile entrepreneur. Sometimes people see me working in a hotel lobby or on a plane, and the next thing you know they are telling me about their own business, or an idea they have for a business. From this, new opportunities pop up.
To develop your own entrepreneur ears, start putting yourself in position to meet new people and see what their needs are. If you stay behind your computer all the time, or you refuse to get out and meet new people then your business (and your life) suffers.
4 Ways to Develop New Opportunities in Business and Grow Your Entrepreneurial Ears
- Be aware of the questions you are asked by the people you meet. Often people will ask you questions based on a problem they are struggling with.
- Listen to what they are doing in business – they will usually talk about their problem areas along with what they do.
- Be curious. Ask how things work. While in Costa Rica, we went to an artist's wood shop and heard what they do to successfully export their art work into the U.S.
- Ask yourself “is there anything I know that would be additive to this person or this business?”
You'd be amazed at what is right in front of you. There are opportunities everywhere to share your expertise, and to develop new relationships that might later bring opportunities for your business. Our time in Costa Rica gave me at least four opportunities to be of service and build relationships.
- Consult in social media marketing for the tour guide we used, who needs to expand his business to an additional target market.
- Help a local expat organization refresh their workshop materials and develop more useful handouts for their participants that use technology, save paper, and can be updated easily.
- Give a Costa Rican citizen a new idea for her own business that will provide new funding to help support her elderly mother.
- Develop and teach workshops in Spanish and English to Costa Rican entrepreneurs and expats who have online businesses.
The next time you leave your office make sure you put on your entrepreneur ears. Develop a mindset of listening for opportunities and you'll be surprised at how your own business will grow. I advise business owners like you how to shift your business and think about new opportunities in business. You can set up a two hour consultation with me by clicking here, or email me to set up a quick chat before booking.