How do I find (and take advantage of) growth opportunities for my business?

Almost every owner I talk to wants their business to grow. That’s especially true when you are under $2M in annual sales – where growth is imperative for survival (for you and the business)!

Some owners are amazing at this. They are spotting growth opportunities all the time! They tend to have a “glass-half-full” approach to things, looking for what the gains would be from each new idea or venture (and potentially understating the risks).

Others are more focused on keeping things steady, on delivering consistently. They tend to look at the risks or costs of new ideas and ventures first.

Guess which one finds more new opportunities?

The first ones do! (Don’t believe me — Harvard actually researched this!) Folks that are looking for opportunity, who see possibilities and not risks, find more opportunities!

Having an intention to grow, considering the benefit of trying new things, and taking risks mean that you are more likely to see opportunities and act on them.

But doesn’t that create volatility?

Change is always disruptive, and too much change too quickly can be fatal!

If you have a solid team working with you, their job should focus on creating a smooth operation and keeping clients happy. They are the stability and consistently crew. (Which is good because you are likely terrible at that!)

When you are changing stuff all the time, adding new services, products, or tools, the operations never get stable. That’s not good for anyone.

So the trick is…

The trick is that you can’t introduce change faster than your team can absorb it. You need to be looking for opportunities, for new ways to serve your clients, or new services to offer, but just because you have an idea doesn’t mean the team should execute on it!

Keep a bullpen of ideas that you are incubating. Test them in conversation with industry veterans or trusted clients. Try to figure out what needs to be true for this to continue to be a good idea. Then, once a quarter or so, you can introduce an idea to your team.

If you pace yourself, they might even embrace your new ideas and run with them!

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