When thinking about the future, people dream of either changing careers or moving up in their current one. However, it’s almost never easy to make those dreams a reality without a clear plan. To really make a change, you have to be looking in the right places, effectively using your resources, and willing to seize an opportunity.
Consider What You Know
The first place to look when searching for a new business opportunity is right in front of you. Consider your strengths, connections, and experience. Evaluate the needs of your current company to develop programs, products, or services that will increase your value to the team. Or think about your own ambitions to determine what you want out of your new career.
When John Ritenour decided to leave the comfort of his insurance career and pursue entrepreneurship with his wife, Valli, he used a combination of both strategies. First, Ritenour evaluated his skills and used his previous experience as an employee to determine what kind of leadership role he wanted to play at Insurance Office of America (IOA). Then, he thought about his own goals and how he wanted to ensure that every employee at IOA would be able to maintain a work-life balance.
Ask for Feedback
Make time to read, research, and reflect. When looking for a new opportunity, use the information you have available to drive you in the right direction. Think about your current clientele or customers and ask yourself a few key questions:
- What needs are not being met?
- What questions are asked repeatedly?
- What problems consistently arise and have not been solved?
With this information in mind, you can target unmet customer needs and potentially develop systems, products, or services to solve them.
Analyze the Competition
After researching what you know about your customers, take some time to analyze the competition. Ask yourself the following questions.
- What are they doing well?
- Where do you see a need for improvement?
- How can you capitalize on their weaknesses and build on their strengths?
Subscribe to business publications and follow experts on social media to stay up to date on current events. Combine the big picture and industry trends to understand what’s happening in the global markets of your industry. Try to identify the same gaps or unmet needs of your customers and see if you can come up with solutions.
Use Your Network
When searching for a new business opportunity or attempting to grow your role within a company, consider your personal connections. Within your company, who can help you push your idea further? Outside of your company, who might be able to connect you to the right people? Utilize these relationships to seek new opportunities. Join networking groups to surround yourself with a variety of people from different industries.
Search With Purpose
Perhaps you are searching for an opportunity outside of your current field and don’t yet have a network to tap into. Fortunately, job search engine sites have made it easier than ever for people to find opportunities in any industry. However, it’s important to first review these websites so you can utilize the ones that will best represent your interests.
Whether you’re creating the pathway to expand opportunities within your own organization or are attempting to begin a new career, the road to success requires a clear plan. Consider all of the steps necessary to implement your plan and take action.