“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”
~Henry Hartman

Change happens. It’s a given, particularly in business. If its not your market, it’s your customers’ needs and preferences, or the technology and equipment you use, or your sales channels, or the way you deliver your products/services. It can sometimes prove to be scary when potential threats materialize, but also rewarding when new opportunities present themselves. Therefore, it is always important to periodically step back and evaluate your business to ensure that you are addressing those threats, but also grabbing those opportunities.

Identifying potential opportunities can sometimes prove difficult. Occasionally, we are also too late in seizing an opportunity before its time has past. One way you can ensure that you are spotting opportunities as they arise is to follow trends that will affect your business. Try to identify the trends that are affecting your business now, and over the next 12 months.

Other ways to identify opportunity include:

Evaluating your existing customers to attract new customers. Do you know why your customers choose to buy your services and/or products? Have you historically used more than one method for attracting and securing those customers? If so, take a look at the different ways used and see if one has proven more successful than others and attempt to duplicate it to attract new customers.

Hold on to your existing customers. Explore opportunities that will generate or increase a higher level of sales among your repeat customers. You might consider offering new products, or versions of products, or upgrades of your existing service.

Expand your current customer base. Are there customer groups that you do not sell to currently, but who you believe would benefit from your products/services? Make a list of the characteristics that made this group distinctive, for example their age, gender, race, occupation, income, hobbies, membership of clubs and associations, etc. Then, identify the benefits that your products or services could provide to these individuals.

Using your uniqueness. Its difficult to take advantage of your opportunities if you offer the same products/services at the same prices and in the same way that your competitors do. There must be something about your business, products, or the way that you market your service that sets you apart. Identify what that is and learn to use that uniqueness to your advantage.

Pursue partnership opportunities. Often, working with another business that offers complementary services or products to your own can prove both beneficial and profitable. By partnering with others, you can open the doors to opportunities for your business that you may otherwise be unable to develop due to a lack of resources or money. These “piggyback” style marketing relationships are becoming increasingly more popular, and can help businesses develop opportunities more quickly.

Author's Bio: 

Darrell Morris is the V.P. of Business Coaching for the Achieve Fitness USA Licensing Program. He is a dedicated toward helping fitness professionals achieve there goals of running a successful fitness business. For more information visit www.AchieveFitnessUSA.com and www.AchieveFitnessCoaches.com