Where Are You Missing Opportunities In Your Business?

By Sharon Worsley

As a self-confessed people watcher, I spend quite a bit of time watching what people and businesses are doing, and more importantly what they are not doing. The reason is simple…you can learn so much by observation.

A perfect example of this was at an annual street festival here in Toronto, called The Taste of the Danforth. From Friday evening to Sunday evening on a weekend in August, over 1.5 million people attend this event with over 150 restaurants and other types of vendors setting up their wares on a long strip of a main street (1.6kms) that is closed off for that weekend.

This year, while walking down the street, I noticed a man ‘wearing’ two boa constrictor snakes around his neck. Yikes – I thought, as I have always had a big fear of snakes, even though I have never even been close to one before that moment.

For some reason, I decided to go up to the man to find out what he was doing. He explained that he was renting his snakes out for $5.00, to anyone who wanted to have one around their neck for a few minutes. Wow sounds like quite a deal doesn’t it? Yes, if you are in search of the opportunity to put one of these reptiles around your body. Apparently this day, I was one such person.

In just a moment I found myself in deep conversation with this man, with my first question being “What is the worst thing that will happen if I put one of these snakes around my neck?”

This man confirmed that the very worst thing would be that the snake would bite me, and although the venom is not poisonous, it would hurt for a week or so.

I weighed the decision of whether I would like to get over my fear and hold this huge snake around my neck or walk away and still keep the fear. If the worst thing that could happen was that I would be bitten and it would hurt for a while, then I was prepared to go for it.

You will see the photo of me holding the snake here. My smile is not fake as it was such a relief to get over my fear and find out that I had little to be concerned about, that I couldn’t help but smile.

So why do I share this experience with you, and what does it have to do with business?

Well, from my experience I see many business owners miss out on the chance to grow their business because they have a fear of making a change or taking a risk that can be holding them back in some way.

They are leaking opportunities and often don’t even realize it.

Like me, they have made a decision that they can’t do something, but if they just asked themselves what is the very worst thing that could happen, it might mitigate lost opportunities.

In my case, it would have been a painful bite, which would eventually heal. For a business owner, it could be going in the wrong direction, feeling like a failure, or fearing financial loss.

However, any decision should be based on weighing the risks involved, and then taking the necessary actions to ensure wherever possible that this doesn’t happen.

When working with consulting or coaching clients I often ask them to consider what would be the worst thing that would happen if they take a certain action that they have been holding off from making.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not ever look at what the very worst thing is that could happen – rather they sit back and imagine their business being more successful than it currently is, but not taking any action to move them forward.

No action equals no results moving forward. I say no results moving forward, because you have to realize that nothing ever stays in place. You are either moving forward or going backwards.

Now back to my experience with the snake. As I was giving back my ‘new friend’ to its owner, I asked him how much it was to hold both snakes and he answered $7.

As I walked away I thought to myself that here is a man spending the weekend walking up and down this festival leaking opportunities. If he had first said to me that one snake was $5 and if I wanted to experience what it was like to have two snakes around me, then it was an additional $2, I might have taken him up on his offer.

However, he never let his prospective customer (me) know about the upgraded service offering.

I consistently see this happening with businesses of all sizes, in all types of industries, where they either don’t offer an upgraded service/product/experience, or they fail to let their customer know what is available.

Imagine how much more money this man may have walked away with, had he just made sure to fully advertise his offering better. With over 1.5 million people attending the weekend, even if he had 200 people pay for the extra snake that would have been $400 extra in his pocket.

You might be thinking $400 isn’t much money. Maybe not to you, but perhaps it might have been extra grocery or gas money for him.

Regardless of the money he could have made, ask yourself what opportunities you might be missing in your business.

Points to Ponder:
– Where in your business are you currently holding yourself back, and what would it take for you to at least start taking steps towards moving forward?
– Where are you leaking opportunities in your business, and at what cost?
– What will you do to plug the leaks and start taking advantage of new opportunities to grow your business?

Sharon Worsley, The Business Development Ninja™ is the creator of the R7 System™ to Flood Your Business With Clients Today, Tomorrow and Beyond, helping businesses to ‘Wake Up, Shake Up, and Show Up’. To learn more, please go to www.sharonworsley.com