What if Prioritising Was One of the Main Keys to Success?
I have discovered two things that many business owners tend to find rather challenging when running a business. These are:
Thinking ahead and doing things in order of importance (the right things that is!).
Doing these two things can make the difference between success in business and just surviving (the same is true for many other areas of our lives too).
Leadership trainer and author John Maxwell says, “Thinking ahead and prioritising responsibilities marks the major differences between a leader and a follower.”
Most people have heard of the Pareto Principle. It’s something that comes up time and time again. You may also know it as the 80/20 rule. Roughly stated this says that in most businesses 80% of your business will come from 20 % of your customers.
Other examples of the Pareto Principle are:
Reading 20 percent of the book contains 80 percent of the content.
Job 20 percent of our work gives us 80 percent of our satisfaction.
Products 20 percent of the products bring in 80 percent of the profits.
Family Picnic 20 percent of them will eat 80 percent of the food! (hmmmm…)
So… when it comes to your priorities, 20 percent of your time spent on the important ‘stuff’ will give you 80 percent of a return on that time. This rests on the big ‘IF’: IF you spend your time, energy, money and personnel in the top 20 percent! When you do this you are getting a 400% or fourfold return in productivity. What would this mean in your business?
What would happen if you took a good look at the Pareto Principle as it applies to the areas of your customers, your team and your leadership?
In the area of customers, it is vital to identify the 20 percent who account for 80 percent of your business. These are your “A grade clients” and strategies must be put in place to care for them appropriately.
For your team, who are the top 20 percent producers? What would happen if you spent 80 percent of your people time with these people to develop them to their full potential?
In leadership, if you took an honest look at the question “What do I have to do that no one else can do?” Remember that a leader can delegate everything apart from final responsibility.
Only you can decide whether you will be reactive or proactive when it comes to prioritising your time. If you are currently thinking “Great, I am busy all day today!” what happens if you change that to “How will I invest my time today for maximum return?” It’s not necessarily “My calendar must be full!” but “Who will fill my calendar for maximum return on my time?” What happens if, rather than thinking “I must see everyone about my business” you now think “Who do I need to meet up with that will give me the best return for my business?”
Sometimes we are so in the thick of the 80% of ‘busyness’ that we miss the top 20%.
Then of course there are the real gems of opportunity in the top 20% of the top 20%!!
But that’s for another time!
If you slow down can you move faster?
To Your Success,