I had a realisation that I am good at emotions, by which I mean to say that I am easy with them and, I hope, non-judgemental. People seek me out when they want to discuss their emotions; friends, family, clients. And yet this isn’t the core theme of my business and expertise. It’s part of it, for sure. But it isn’t the main thing.
I started to wonder if perhaps I am missing an opportunity. Ostensibly I teach self-employed people how to be more successful at entrepreneurship, specifically how to make more money. But what I deal with a lot of the time is their emotions, especially fears and doubts.
But sometimes it goes beyond that, a surprising amount of times now that I come to think about it. People want to talk about what’s going on in their lives and relationships and in areas where I have no expertise whatsoever apart from being a long-time observer, a good listener and a bit of a wise old bird know-it-all.
And I like being available to people in this way, so I am wondering if and how and whether to turn that into a more central theme in my business, to meet what appears to me to be an increasing demand.
Do you have enough quiet time to notice what people are asking you for? Is it what you are already selling? If not, is it a Universal nudge to tweak the direction of your business? Are you being led by your market? It behoves us to sell what our clients will buy and to notice what they are asking us for by paying close attention to them and their requests.
I find one of the best ways to do this is ask clients how I can help. I am not a fan of the survey, simply because I sigh when I receive them from anyone including my bank and various other suppliers. I want a more personal approach. I want to be heard as an individual.
Sometimes I notice a recurring theme, it seems that often everyone wants the same things at the same time or we are all talking about the same things. We are social animals. That’s a good time to be observing others and their needs – in get-togethers, emails, meetings and on social media. What’s the buzz all about and is that a market you can serve?
One note of caution, perhaps. I am also good at accounts and spent the first twenty years of my business career doing that. About a year ago I thought I might dabble in it again because I still love to do my own accounts on Sage, but no sooner had I started talking to a potential new client than I realised it wasn’t for me anymore. So pay attention to your inner wisdom. It is one thing to be grateful for a piece of income to plug a cash flow gap, and quite another to be setting up a business which keeps you stuck in a place you don’t want to be and robs all the joy out of the things you do love to do, at which you are a natural.
I am describing business opportunities, and keeping our eyes peeled and our antennae wiggling for new ones. Everything changes all the time and its good for us to appreciate that and keep up to date and aware of all the ways there are in which we can stretch and morph our portfolio of client services to satisfy a hungry market.
Maybe 2014 will be just the right time to be adding a new string to your bow?