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Change Habits To Grow Your Business (Part 3 of 3)

This series is focused on practical suggestions to help focus on YOUR business.  What you want to achieve, what you know you should do, but if you find you struggle with finding the time to fit everything in, then this is for you.

The previous articles (part one and two) focused on the fact we KNOW the things we should do to grow our business.  Focusing on what is most important and ensuring you schedule time to achieve what you want to.  Then in article 2, it discussed how to change your daily activity to achieve what you want to.

The first article is here.  Second article is here.

PARETO PRINCIPAL

What 20% will you focus on for 80% of your results?

You will be aware of the Pareto Principal and how it operates (also known as the 80/20 rule).

I was away last week and read ’12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos’ by Jordan B. Peterson. In one of the early chapters he mentions this Principal also. He gives great examples of how it applies to so many different areas of life.

When you consider the true application of this Principal, it can clear your mind and help you realise, if you operate using the Principal to its best advantage, things may work better for you.  Examples used in the book – application to wealth distribution for every society studied in the early twentieth century (the top 1% have as much loot as the bottom 50%). It applies to population of cities (a very small number have the most people), 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients (directly or referral etc). There are also many examples cited on Wikipedia.

How might we use this Principal to help us Grow Our Business?

Schedule tasks using the Pareto Principal

If we truly understand that 20% of what we do will bring 80% of our results, then this Principal should be used / acted upon each day.

One piece of work might be much larger in value terms than many of the others, so looking after this first will have the best impact on your invoicing / cash position for example.

One item might be larger and harder to start but could also bring more longer term results if done early. Valuing tasks will be discussed later.

Resist the urge to focus on the easy things.

Longer term view using the Pareto Principal

If you want to get into a new market or need to start work on a new product, the best way I’ve found to think about this is always thinking about what will make your life easier in the longer term.  Never only focus on today.  Think about how your life will look in a year or five years’ time.

It has been documented that many very successful people have long term views in everything they do.  They don’t think about the here and now when working to achieve in business, they always focus on what is being created. In order to operate at that level, thinking about what can make our lives easier in the longer term is key.

In many cases people put off larger tasks and start their day on easier items.  The problem that may arise here (not for everyone but for a lot of people) is that your day can then be disrupted by items not planned for and before you know it, it’s time to leave and you didn’t get that one big job even started.

Therefore, think about your daily task using the Pareto Principal by asking yourself what item on your list will achieve more in the longer term (and in where you want to take your business), to assess what task is key for this day or week.

Value of Items using the Pareto Principal

We discussed scheduling the important tasks and prioritising what it takes to grow your business.  If you work from lists for your day or week, then you should now also consider the ‘value’ of each item on the list using the Pareto Principal.

As mentioned earlier, one task will most likely be worth more than 5 times the rest of the items on your list for the day.  If so, this is where you should start.  This is usually where procrastinators will leave this task to later in the day or week when they ‘find the time’ to fit this in.

I recommend changing our work practices, so we do this item first.  Brian Tracy’s ‘Eat Your Frog’ time management book discusses the value of this also.  For anyone starting to improve their time management skills, this book is a great starting point.

There are many great follow on books also.  Skilling up in this one area will make massive changes to your day to day life and cumulatively this will have a very positive impact on your business in the short term as well as longer term.

Are you focused?

Take time out to review where you’re taking your business and ensure you have set your priorities for growth.  These must be scheduled into your working week and daily activities if they are to be achieved.

Do you use the Pareto Principal in your working life?

Can you see the value in thinking about this when planning your business growth?

 

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To contact Wendy – email wendy@williamsmerrigan.ie

[10 December 2018]
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