Have you ever been in a situation where you said you wished you had thought of that idea first? Or, you saw a trend emerging but didn’t have the time or resources to be an early adopter.

In business, being in the right place at the right time is often critical to success. And the way to do that is to be able to look ahead at the opportunities coming your way.

Eddie Yoon, founder of EDDIEWOULDGROW, a think tank and advisory firm, compares this timing to surfing—watching the best surfers catch the biggest waves. In a recent Inc. magazine article, he shared these three tips for riding the wave to success, which we reveal in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Build an early-warning system. The first step is to analyze data around you and interpret shifts and changes. Yoon says that traditional business metrics like market share or market penetration aren’t very helpful here. Newer metrics like share of growth are better complements. So, review and create a powerful early-warning system by identifying the critical metrics for your business.

2. Change how you go to market. This is where innovation comes into play. Innovating an entirely new way to do business isn’t easy—but the advantages are huge. Think where there are gaps in your industry and how you can fill them. What can you develop that’s not in existence today? New opportunities to create new categories are far more likely if you have a similarly quest-driven mindset than if you’re just out to make a buck. The iPhone created a new category of “smart phones.” Drones are re-inventing how products can be delivered in the future.

3. Boldly go where no one has gone before. Having the ability to take risks is key to getting ahead of the competition. Many large companies shy away from risky opportunities for multiple reasons: politics, bureaucracy, inability to confirm a payoff. Those that can be nimble in taking on new opportunities will have the distinct advantage. Try these tips for being at the forefront of your industry and profiting from being ahead of the competition.

Source: Eddie Yoon is the founder of EDDIEWOULDGROW, LLC, a think tank and advisory firm focused on growth. Previously he was a partner at The Cambridge Group, a strategy consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 CEOs drive growth by unlocking consumer demand. His work over the past two decades has driven over $5 billion of annual profitable growth in consumer packaged goods, durables, robotics and energy.