Business owners have a finite amount of time at their disposal, which makes the occasional missed opportunity inevitable. That’s different than discovering that you miss opportunities on the regular. Regularly missing opportunities have an enormous impact on your bottom line in terms of lost sales or deals. So what steps can you take to avoid missing opportunities and connections in the future?

Avoid Wasted Time
Almost everyone in business probably has a story about how they didn’t get right back to someone and lost out on a huge deal. Procrastination or simply using your time unwisely can cost you a ton in missed opportunities or connections. Take too long replying to an email and you may find out that the person got tired of waiting for you and moved on.

You can also consider voicemail as a prime example of the wasted time problem. Businesses have become so bad at handling voicemails that 80% of callers won’t even bother leaving one. If you or your employees can’t review voicemails, how are you spending your time?

Update Your Technology
If you aren’t leveraging technology to your advantage, you’re definitely missing out on opportunities. Consider the average business phone systems out there. They’re often inadequate to modern demands, either shifting people off to a voicemail system potential customers won’t use or delivering busy signals. Modern phone systems can integrate VoIP to expand your number of lines and offer more versatile features. Remember that even if your setup isn’t failing, it is still worth looking at your options. A quick search of something like “business telephone systems in NJ & NY” can show you what is available. You never know when you may find a better system for the same price you’re already paying.

Chatbots can answer basic questions on your website, freeing up employees to field questions from new customers. You can also take advantage of web-based video conferencing to reach customers at a distance. You may also improve web based communications by simply updating data cabling and the rest of your infrastructure.

It’s a bit of truism that people do business with people they know. If you never engage with the owners of other businesses, they’ll prove a lot less likely to come knocking on your door with opportunities.

Take advantage of networking opportunities like business mixers, chamber of commerce meetings, and even parties. Don’t know anyone throwing a party? Put together a list of people you think you’d like to do business with and throw your own party at a local watering hole.

No business owner can completely avoid missing opportunities and connections, but you can take steps to avoid unnecessarily missing them. Use your time on productive activities, leverage technology, and make a point to network with other business owners. You’ll bring in more business and probably enjoy running your business more than you do now.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.