People work and think differently from their colleagues. Some people can effectively think about opportunities to offer new services to clients while they work. Others are more comfortable completing the work and then reviewing it for signs of new opportunities. You know how you work best. The point is that you need to ensure that both tasks are done.
You might not see any new opportunity in work you are doing for a client. You might discover an opportunity in your conversation with the client when the work is completed. You should always plan enough time with every client (whether verbally or by e-mail) to inquire about significant changes in the client’s life or business and discuss how these changes affect ongoing strategies and work.
As a financial advisor who has been managing the investment portfolio for the 401K funds of a small business, you would likely want to gather more information and plan a follow-up meeting with your client if you suddenly learn that 10 of 19 employees will reach the age of 62 in the next twelve months. You might want to initiate a relationship with each individual in anticipation of changes in work status, lifestyle and appropriate investment strategies.
As an accountant and investments manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company, you would need to know immediately if the CEO of the company is starting to think about the merits of buying a small company that provides a critical component for your manufacturing process. A strategy session would certainly be in order to discuss the merits of working with your M&A department and to develop a strategy to maximize return on investments while also having adequate liquid assets available when needed for a purchase.
Don’t settle for just churning out jobs and hoping the future will take care of itself. Instead, invest a little bit more time in each job and look for opportunities you can grasp to build a stronger and more profitable future.