I had a boss once whose least favorite word was “potential”. As a salesperson working for him, I never understood his violent aversion to the word but if you wanted to see him bristle, all you needed to do was tell him about all your potential business.
Our hotel photography business is currently in negotiations for so much potential virtual tour business that it makes my head spin. We have bids in negotiation for several huge 360 tour contracts that are right in our sweet spot and we’ve been told “Yes” by several businesses that are even now working out the logistics. Webster defines potential as “existing in possibility; capable of development into actuality.” Because I am an optimistic person, I look at opportunities that exist in possibility and calculate all the potential income. The problem with this is that you can’t spend potential!
It’s frustrating and also presents a bit of a conundrum. Our virtual tour business, like any small business, relies on a consistent and steady stream of new opportunities to stay afloat. The conundrum is how to schedule current business in light of future potential. For example, we had a hospital chain reschedule 12 healthcare virtual tours because they found out that they are having HUD inspectors come in for two weeks. The challenge is that one of the other potential national virtual tour jobs that we are waiting on (the biggest of them all) told us that they would be ready to start about that same time frame as the hospital virtual tours wanted to reschedule.
Of course, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but juggling potential business is much harder than juggling actual virtual tour business. We frequently get ourselves overbooked with our virtual tour business and end up working frantically to fit everything in. But it’s harder making decisions regarding potential business — that business that is capable of developing into actuality also presents the possibility that none of it will actually develop.
While it is exciting to look at the horizon and see all the potential, it is vitally important to not stop business development efforts when things look promising. We have learned that until the virtual tour is photographed AND the check is actually cashed — all business is potential business.