Making the most of business opportunities   

July 18, 2018

Billy Webber, COO at Sunderland Software City, has supported hundreds of businesses across the North East. Here, he discusses the ways businesses can make the most of their opportunities

I don’t believe in luck – new customers present themselves in many forms and the businesses that are successful make the most of them. Don’t be someone who looks with envy at others, get off your pity pot and start making the most of their business opportunities.

Most businesses, if honest, would agree that they have missed some opportunities. But as an entrepreneur, if you always do what you’ve always done, then you will continue to miss out.

Lots of businesses fail because they just don’t treat their customers right. Each interaction with a customer or potential customer is an opportunity to create a valuable relationship with them. So, what are they going to think about you or your business? What are they going to think about the people who work for you? What are your ethics? How can they trust you?

The most successful businesses we work with, are those that understand how to make the most of new opportunities. They consider the lifetime value of their customers and maximise it by building trusted relationships. So how do successful businesses do this?

Be positive: There is nothing more off-putting than someone saying that something ‘could be difficult’. This is not about being dishonest; it’s about portraying that you are the type of organisation that looks for solutions, not problems.

Respond quickly: Don’t ruin your good work by dragging your heels with quotes. Every minute, hour or day you wait to respond increases the risk of losing this new business.

Anticipate your customers’ needs: Remember what it feels like when someone overcomes one of your fears, without you prompting them? If you can do this, you will go a much longer way to obtaining their custom and ongoing loyalty.

Make sure your team is on board: Every person in your organisation is involved in the sales process, whether they think they are or not. Therefore, ensure they all remove the word ‘no’ from their vocabulary and ensure they put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

Deliver 100 per cent satisfaction every time: Whatever you agree, make sure you deliver against it.  It’s then no longer words, it’s actions.

Go above and beyond: Don’t just do the same as everyone else. What else can you do to make sure your new customer never forgets you and wouldn’t dream of using anyone else?

This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – small gestures that your customers are not expecting can be really powerful.

Ask your customers to recommend you: People feel good about themselves when they are able to recommend a product or service. So don’t feel uncomfortable to ask: if you have done all the steps above, then most customers will be more than happy to recommend you.

Sunderland Software City

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