There are two key points that many business people struggle with – doing things in order of importance and planning ahead. But mastering both of these can mean the difference between being successful in business and just getting by.
Renowned American author and leadership trainer John Maxwell encourages people to think ahead and prioritise their responsibilities, as it will mark the significant difference between being a leader and a follower.
The Pareto Principle, often known as the 80/20 rule, can be applied to transforming your thinking and consequently, your business success, too. The basic principle is that in most companies, 80% of the business comes from 20% of the customers. This also applies perfectly to setting business priorities.
When it comes to determining them, 20% of them will provide you with 80% of the production, if you focus your time, money, energy and staff on the top 20% of your priorities. Doing so can result in a 400% return in productivity. That could make an exponential difference to your company’s success. Every business person should have a working understanding of the Pareto Principle and how it applies to sales, customers, staff and leadership.
When it comes to customers and sales, the 20% will provide you with 80% of your revenue. These are your biggest fans, so you should focus your efforts on treating them accordingly. For your staff, it’s worthwhile to identify the top 20% of producers – spend 80% of your energy on them to help them reach their full potential.
Regarding leadership, it requires taking an honest look at the situation and asking yourself what you can do that no one else can. A leader must be willing to sacrifice everything except final responsibility for the business. With that in mind, you can decide whether to be proactive or reactive when you’re dividing up your time.
Don’t aim to just be busy – instead, decide how to invest your time. It’s not about a full calendar, but who exactly will fill it. Not whether you’ll fill your calendar but whom exactly you’ll fill it with. If you change your thinking, you’ll see both your productivity and your personal satisfaction increase!