As business owners and entrepreneurs we are conditioned to look for opportunities and new initiatives. With the right mindset, identifying opportunities is not the problem as there is no shortage of “things we could be doing” to improve or grow.
But sometimes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. When we are bombarded with so many initiatives, it is easy to get overwhelmed. This often results in paralysis and inertia and you end up being busy going nowhere.
So how do we choose which shiny object to pursue? How do we prioritise our opportunities and new initiatives so that we actually get to the point where we stop talking about them and start implementing them?
In my business and executive coaching experience, the first step is to make a list of all the initiatives you have identified, and then ask these questions of each one:
Does the initiative align with your vision of where you want your business to take you? Will it get you one step closer to that vision? Is it going to add value to your business or is it a “quick buck” project that will lead you back to the same place again in a few months? What is the immediate need? What can you do to build on your business’s future?
Is the initiative aligned to a long term, medium term or short term goal that you have identified for your business? Linked to this, which initiatives can you identify as low hanging fruit where you can gain value in the short term. And can you balance it with another more sustainable long term project that will yield results in the future?
Before you pursue an opportunity you need to assess the likelihood of it materialising and being successful. Sometimes the best opportunities are a long shot – but the anticipated output needs to be worth the effort of the input to get it off the ground.
Have a long, hard and honest chat with yourself… why haven’t I done something with the opportunity yet? What has stopped me from taking the next step? Can these obstacles be overcome? Do I have the skills and know-how to take on the project?
What is it going to cost to pursue this opportunity? Is it just time, or does it involve a capital risk? What is the projected income if you get the opportunity up and running?
What human resources will you need to put in place to achieve success with the opportunity? Could it be implemented with your existing team or is there a need to recruit additional resources?
Finally, once you have identified the opportunities to focus on, you need to create a plan for its implementation. Set clear targets and goals, deadlines, roles and responsibilities and expectations, as well as the steps and actions that need to be taken to achieve it.
Opportunities don’t just happen. You create them. But they will remain opportunities until you take action to turn them into reality.
If you are ready to take action and convert those opportunities into profitable initiatives, contact me.
Stop talking. Start doing.