Things are changing so fast these days and most of us could agree that technological improvements and the ever-changing demands of consumers within the past decade have made a drastic impact in the way we conduct business today. In order to capitalize on these changes and mirror its growth, business owners need to make sure that they dedicate time to understand the trends and the possible impacts for their business.
A simple concept that we use to help stay ahead of the curve is the 80/20 rule. Essentially, the 80/20 Rule suggests spending 80% of the time doing the things necessary to move the needle for your business, and the remaining 20% of your time learning, experimenting, and growing.
It should come as no surprise that two of the world’s most successful and influential business leaders, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, live and breathe the 80/20 Rule, dedicating at least one hour a day to continuing education, whether it be reading, research, or training. Similarly, Google encourages its employees to spend a significant portion of their work time experimenting with new projects. We too at Wilmington Design Co. consider the 80/20 Rule to be an integral part of our internal business development, which is why we are constantly testing and experimenting with new strategies.
That being said, the 80/20 Rule is more of a best practice than an exact science or number to follow. The rule should simply remind businesses to spend a portion of their time and effort considering new opportunities. Perhaps your business’s number is 90/10 or 70/30. Regardless of what makes sense for you, it’s crucial to incorporate this best practice in order to stay relevant in today’s market.
And while shifting your focusing off your best performing product, service, or function of your business for any amount of time seems unsettling, businesses who widen their scope and evolve to become a learning organization reap the rewards.
Not sure where to focus 20% of your efforts to help your business grow? Consider taking a closer look at these ideas:
Improve business efficiency with communication tools such as Slack or Skype. Give thought to project management and time tracking software to increase productivity and clearly define your workflow. Document your workflow to provide transparency and consistency for both employees and customers. Become the master of organization by migrating all of your important files and data into one cloud-based software program.
Since learning is the single best investment you can make of your time, dedicate yourself to continued education. Freshen up on new social media trends and features. Master platforms relative to your industry or take a dive into unchartered waters to study new techniques, regulations, and the actions of your competitors.
Digital marketing and consumer attention is ever evolving, so why not change with it. Take your marketing efforts to the next level and experiment with various online advertising channels like Google Ads and Gmail Ads. Consider experimenting with social media advertising on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. Start a blog page with relevant industry content and push customers there using email marketing. Create a drip campaign that captures consumers and gracefully guides them into your funnel. Consider following various blogs or podcasts to keep up to date with new trends. Do You Convert’s marketing podcast and The Moz Blog are a few we are particularly fond of when it comes to staying ahead of the curve.
Simply put, businesses that consistently invest in intellectual capital will see dividends. Remain relevant today and in the future by following the 80/20 Rule for smart business growth.