How to Grow Your Business Using the Pareto’s 80-20 Rule
I just read about the monthly performance report of an Indian IT company, InfoEdge. Numerous well-known companies, including Naukri, 99acres, Zomato, and PolicyBazaar.com, are powered by this corporation. I came upon an intriguing point when I was reading the report. Just consider these figures for Naukri.com:
This one website commands 68% of the recruitment market’s traffic. 90% of its sales are B2B, while 10% are B2C. One product (resume database) accounts for 57% of overall revenue.
Do you notice any inconsistencies in these numbers? This question’s answer inspired me to write about the 80-20 rule. What is it, and how can you use it to expand your business? Let’s find out.
What exactly is the 80/20 rule?
According to the 80/20 rule, in most situations, about 80% of the effects result from 20% of the causes. Simply put, 20% of the overall effort in any endeavor produces 80% of the results.
The Pareto Principle or Law of Inequality is another name for this principle. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, made the initial discovery. He noted that 20% of Italian land was owned by just 20% of the population. Similarly, 20% of the population controlled 80% of the wealth.
If you are a business owner, you may have noticed that 20% of your clients or 20% of your personnel are responsible for 80% of your sales. According to a CNN investigation, 20% of the flaws in Microsoft products are responsible for 80% of the mistakes and crashes. This distribution may differ slightly; in some instances, it may be 90-10 or 70-30, but the fact remains that there is an inequality.
So let’s look at how we can use the 80-20 rule to help us define goals for our company. I’ve identified the top 5 areas where we spend the most time.
1) Boost Online Traffic
Any business’s ultimate objective is to create more leads and draw more attention to itself. In the case of businesses that offer goods or services online, a buyer can only learn about the company from its website. For those that do have partners or affiliates, 80% or more of all leads still come from the company website.
When leads come in steadily, everyone is happy, but let’s look a little further. Using Google Analytics, we can learn a lot about the people that visit our website. You can take your time getting familiar with how to use it and gain some quite helpful information.
According to the screenshot above collected from ProfitBooks’ Google Analytics account, search and direct visits accounted for about 75% of our traffic in 2014.
Sincerity is told, we applied the same amount of work to each channel. Equal amounts of time were spent by our team on SEO, A/B testing, social networking, and other tasks. As a result, the 80/20 rule advises us to devote more time to SEO than to other channels, such as paid display advertising and social media.
What can your business do with this?
Install Google Analytics on your website and begin keeping an eye on the “Acquisition” section. Identify the top three websites that are referring visitors to your site, the top keywords and search terms receiving the most impressions and the top-performing campaigns.
Just concentrate on these data points, and spend 80% of your time enhancing them. To concentrate more on what is already effective is the idea. Find out which of your items or services is seeing more traffic by digging deeper into your product or service page.
If accessing data from Google Analytics sounds a bit complicated, you can ask your developers or the web design firm that looks after your website for assistance.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
The subject of website optimization for Google and other search engines has received a lot of attention. There are specialized websites that only discuss SEO tactics. On this subject, comprehensive manuals and several books are accessible. Do you need all those things, though?
According to my observations, implementing 20% of these recommendations will yield 80% of the desired Google ranking results:
- Include a keyword in the page’s title, meta description, and URL.
- Include two or three links, both internal and external.
- 1500 words or more should be original.
- Use a competent content management system to cleanly arrange the website’s pages and directories so that Google can easily index it.
What this means for your business
Use WordPress to build your company website or blogging. Install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin to learn how to easily optimize your content for search engines. It is really simple and provides immediate effects.
For the first few years, I neglected SEO for ProfitBooks, which made us essentially nonexistent. Our website traffic grew rapidly once we began to rank higher on Google, and leads are now coming in continuously.
When it comes to promoting your website with the least amount of money possible, inbound marketing was practically invented in 2006 by marketing software supplier HubSpot. Businesses are increasingly choosing content marketing over paid advertising.
Regular blogging, posting to SlideShare, producing infographics, publishing to LinkedIn, writing guest pieces for well-known websites, and other tactics are all part of a successful inbound marketing plan. To begin with, it can get overwhelming. Even if you pay a company to accomplish this for you, it will still take a lot of time to oversee the process and keep tabs on the outcomes.
How may the 80-20 rule be used in this case? Resuming with Google Analytics
You can see which material gets the most shares and clicks by visiting the Social tab under the Acquisition section. The Search Engine Optimization tab’s Landing Pages option will let you know which blog posts are doing well.
In this approach, you can assess if it was worthwhile to produce that infographic that received just 29 shares, that SlideShare presentation that received only 135 views, or perhaps that guest post that received only 12 hits after it was published.
What this means for your business
Focus only on the top one or two strategies that have previously worked for you while you carefully observe the acquisition data. You should write more on a certain topic if a blog article on it is still receiving regular traffic. Quit using Quora and Tumblr if Facebook is the top referrer and they are the bottom referrers. If your company’s Instagram account didn’t result in a single sale last year, you can delete it.
Social networking sites
I’ve seen companies that sign up for every social network that exists. The same content is then posted on each of those networks. Every well-known social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, has its niche fan base. Only the community that closely resembles your target audience should receive your time and attention.
For instance, Tumblr is the place to be if you are selling to youthful customers. Similar to how Google will give you the best results if you are selling business services, LinkedIn will. Not every one of these sites needs you to be present there. Choose two to three websites that 80% of your target market visits, and create a strategic social media campaign.
What this means for your business
Utilize software like Hootsuite to automate your social media posting. You may schedule posts for the future and manage up to three social media accounts with the free plan. On our Twitter account, we use their “Suggested Posts” feature to schedule and share viral business-related material. Every Monday, you can schedule posts for the whole week in just 20 minutes.
To post with the most visibility, research popular hashtags that are trending. It helps save a lot of time, which can then be used to enhance other profitable parts of the company.
Including Your Team
The hardest and even slightly contentious one is this one. However, if you use the 80-20 rule in this situation, you can save expenditures and boost revenue.
If you pay close attention, you’ll see that we only engage in one or two significant tasks each day that make us feel satisfied. Even if we work for eight hours, if we don’t get those things done, we feel like the day was spent. So, pinpoint those things and concentrate solely on them initially. Don’t check emails or return calls if you’re working on a quote for a significant client. Finish that task first.
At my company, we discovered that 20% of developers were responsible for 80% of the development labor. These programmers are rock stars who take complete ownership of their work and write nearly error-free code. We made a difficult choice and requested that some of the underperforming workers go. Although we did not fire 80% of the crew, a 40% reduction in size had no discernible effects on output. We hesitated a little before doing the same for the sales crew, but we ended up saving a lot of money.
When sales are booming, we typically overlook these things. However, you can still benefit from the 80/20 rule when they’re not.
How to apply this to your business
Begin by planning your day according to the 80-20 rule. Use the Week plan app to list the two or three most important things you have to complete each day. Move any additional work to the following day if there is any. You can start working on other activities for the next day once you’ve finished the ones in the “Today” bucket.
Then, keep a careful eye on what your team is doing. Investigate the possibility of employing oDesk or eLance to outsource some of your jobs.
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