When Opportunity Knocks: 4 Ways to Grab Small Business Opportunities

You never know when an opportunity might strike that will change your life forever. If you want to be a success story, you have to be ready to take advantage of unexpected opportunities when they appear. Here’s how you can take the steps needed to find success.

Don’t Let Past Failures Scare You

Just because you've failed at ventures in the past doesn't mean you should be frightened to try again when you come up with a great idea and the means to launch it. It’s true — failure hurts. However, most people learn each time they fail at something. They learn what to do next time and what not to do. If Thomas Edison had stopped trying to create the light bulb after the first failed attempt, we all might be dining by candlelight every night.

Be Ready to Pitch Your Idea

Do you already have a great idea but you aren’t quite sure how to get it launched? One example of grabbing an opportunity is Alan Mruvka of Storage Blue, who came up with the idea for his business after sitting on a plane next to a successful executive. At the time, he was renovating buildings in New Jersey. Alan had a lot of great ideas for businesses and projects, but not all ideas were ready to be pursued.

He pitched his idea but estimates he was turned down about 400 times. It wasn’t until he was seated next to an entertainment executive on a plane that he finally made a successful pitch and met with success. The executive wound up investing in his idea.

Be ready to grab those opportunities. Have an “elevator” pitch ready that can be given in a minute or less, along with a longer pitch. You never know who you might sit next to, meet, or impress if you’re ready for the opportunity.

Mingle With Others

You can’t expect to sit on your couch and have opportunity knock on your door. You have to actually go out into the world and be around other people if you want to find opportunities. At a minimum, you need to interact with others online.

About 77% of people prefer in-person meetings because of body language and facial expressions. So, how do you go to where the opportunities might find you? Join a local networking group, go to organizational meetings in your niche, travel, go out with friends, and talk to people you meet along the way. Remember that you never know where you might run into your next opportunity.

Find a Mentor

No matter how experienced you might be in business, seek out a mentor who knows even more than you do. A good mentor can give you tips on how to bring your idea to fruition, as well as connect you with influential people and investors.

So, how do you find a mentor? If you’re already mingling with others, as suggested above, then someone probably came to mind. Don’t be afraid to ask that person to mentor you. Even if the person says no, he or she will likely be flattered that you asked. If the person does say no, ask if they know of anyone else who might be willing to mentor you. Work your way down the list until you find someone willing to help you grow as an entrepreneur.

For most businesspeople, coming up with unique and viable ideas is fairly easy. However, it isn’t quite as easy to implement those ideas. This is where you need an opportunity to come knocking. However, don’t just sit and wait for it — go out and make your own opportunities.

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