James Schramko here. Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite opportunity-filter tools.
So, when you get asked to do something or you have a look at a business opportunity, you have to take into account all sorts of things. And what I like to do, is use one of my favorite tools which is a spreadsheet.
Now, I’m using the Google set of tools and what this allows me to do, is to put in the known quantities so that I can make a calculation. So, the sorts of things that I will put into the spreadsheet might be the potential income from the project and then I might subtract out the potential costs for the project.
I might also then look at how many hours will I need for the project. That will help me work out an effective hourly rate so I can work out in advance if I’m likely to make a lot of sales or not. You can also use a best or worst case scenario so you might have two columns.
So, let’s take an example. I was asked to speak at an event and at this event I was able to make sales. Now, I knew there were two speakers at this event, and most of the audience is available to purchase.
So, then I looked at how big is the audience. I looked at the available number of purchases and the number was 30.
Now, my best-case scenario is that 30 people would purchase. In fact, even wildly beyond that. Maybe they’d refer other people they were so excited. So, an absolute best-case scenario might be 40 possible buyers. The worst-case scenario would be that zero people found what I had to present compelling enough to purchase. That’s very unlikely though, so I might put a minimum of three.
Let’s say only 10% of the people there wanted to purchase. Then I put the amount of my sale that I would make and then I subtract any costs of transportation. And then, I’d look at how much time’s involved in going to the event and presenting. And contrary to what a lot of speakers say when they talk about having a huge sale for a 90-minute presentation or whatever, quite often, you have to go the night before or you leave the day after and so it literally takes a lot of your time. It might take a whole day, for example. You might want to put down eight hours instead of 90 minutes.
So when I do all of those sums and I look at the variables, it puts me in a much better position to say yes or no to the opportunity. Then, I might put another column and that is what else could I do for that same amount of time. And I might list other things that I could do.
I could run a webinar from home and potentially speak to 500 prospects. I could publish another video or a podcast that could at least see a couple of thousand people. Each one of these videos and each one of my podcasts sees at least 2,000 people to get awareness out. I could spend a few hours crafting an amazing email campaign that compels people to buy, some kind of promotion which could be a one-time thing over a sequence of emails or it might be leveraged in the form of an autoresponder.
So when I score all of these things, I’m left with a very clear decision and I’m able to move forward. So, instead of wondering if it’s a good idea, I pretty much know based on my best and worst-case scenarios.
I hope this has been helpful. I hope you put your spreadsheet to good use.
If you want help with these sorts of calculations, this is the sort of thing I do with private coaching members of SuperFastBusiness Membership. Hope to see you in there someday.