How does the 80 20 Rule affect your Business?
The 80/20 rule is not something new in business or in life. I first heard it at a seminar where the speaker said 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your client base.
I was amazed by this statement and thought, “I wonder if that applies to my business?” Every business is a little different, but when I ran the numbers on my business, it wasn’t exactly 80/20, but I was surprised at how close it was.
Roughly 20 percent of my clients were responsible for 80 percent of my consistent business. That’s business that pays and comes through my door.
For a web designer that’s:
- Web Sites being built
- Web Site Updates
- Site Service and Maintenance
With that knowledge, it was very clear to me how important the strongest 20% of my clients were in order to stay successful.
The other side of the 80/20 rule was that 20 percent of what we do makes 80 percent of the difference in our business. I needed to investigate what tasks and skills were part of that 20 percent of what I did in my business that was consistently growing my company and build on that momentum.
Every business is going to have a different mix of skills and aptitudes, but we all have something unique about us that will attract clients to us. For me as a Web Designer I had to look at why my top 20 percent of clients come to me. I think some of these ideas may work for your business as well.
- Be great at what you do.
Do your job well. Be the best and give your best to your clients. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing sub par work on someone’s website, or someone who’s designed a site that’s not user friendly for the client or the business owner. Use the skills you’ve been trained with, find the solutions people need that only you can give and your client will stick with you long term.
- Make it easy to do business with you.
Be online so that your customers can find out about your business. Have a way for them to contact you easily by email, text or phone. I realize we all can’t be available every moment, but be able to be found. If you’re a restaurant and I can’t find you online; much less check out your menu and hours, likely I’ll choose somewhere else to go, because it’s easier. Make it easy to do business with you.
- Have a follow up and marketing strategy to stay in contact with your clients
One of the best strategies to grow a business is a follow-up system. Send a Thank you card after your first meeting. Have a system that won’t allow clients to fall between the cracks. It’s so easy to fall out of touch, even with good friends, but a simple Newsletter or regular subscription email can keep you in touch. Have a marketing strategy and stay in touch with your clients.
- Use reminder systems
Everyone appreciates reminders. With today’s technology it’s easy to stay in touch and send out reminders for upcoming events and appointments. I use text, e-mail and even a simple phone call to let them know appointment times. It works and keeps my clients coming.
- Make Face-to-Face appointments client centred.
It may sounds like a no-brainer thing, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to be interrupted. Turn off your phone and create the space to make your client number one. If I’m consulting about a building your website and I’m allowing our time to be disrupted by phone calls, email, texts…I’m not present, I’m not taking all the information in and I’m not as clear as I could be. It may be impossible to eliminate every interruption, but make the effort and keep the focus on the client.
- Take a unique approach to every project and track your progress along the way
Make notes and find ways to improve what you do. Web design is always changing, yet there are simple principles that work consistently. Balance that with new ideas. Know the basics well and be open to change. Sometimes a new way of looking at something can open a new door and a new opportunity for your clients. Tracking your progress helps you stay on track with your client’s business goals and your growth.
Taking the time to understand the 80-20 rule can make all the difference in your business. Know the 20 percent of what you do that brings in 80 percent of the results. If you do the 20 percent best, you’ll be the one with the most consistent business. These have been some of my keys to my success.