Weighing Your Efforts for Better Returns {The 80/20 Rule}

Vintage Scale at LaManche on Etsy

Vintage French Weigh Scales – LaManche on Etsy

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule in business?

Here it is in a nutshell:

  • 80 percent of your profit comes from 20 percent of your effort
  • 80 percent of your sales comes from 20 percent of your customers
  • 20 percent of your advertising dollars bring 80 percent of your traffic
  • 20 percent of your products bring in 80 percent of your sales
  • 20 percent of your customers make 80 percent of complaints
  • Your beloved spouse only hears 20 percent of what you say…

Just making sure you’re paying attention on that last one. :-)

I first heard of this “rule” while I was still in High School. I used to read business books for fun (exciting kid, right?) and one of them was about this idea. I didn’t buy it at first.

I thought to myself, there is no way, NO WAY, you can just throw an arbitrary number like that out there and say it applies, universally, to everything. Truth be told, I still have an issue with the idea in principal.

But in practice, in reality, in business, I’ve found it to be totally true. This is across many years in business ranging from construction, to consulting, to blogging, to selling on Etsy.

It’s true. So it makes really good sense to use this information wisely.

  • Which 20% of your work is making you 80% of your money?
  • Which 20% of your time is yielding 80% of your results?
  • What 20% of your products are resulting in 80% of your returns or complaints?
  • What 20% of your blog posts are bringing 80% of your blog traffic?

The answers to these questions can be used to sharpen your focus on the things that are working for you and to eliminate the things that are causing most of your problems!

I think if you look closely, you’ll see this principle rings true in your business. That knowledge is more valuable than you can imagine! I think you should use it.

Here’s more info to help:

Learn More About the 80/20 Rule (aka Pareto’s Principle):

Books on Amazon:


Blog posts on the subject:

Wishing you a great week ahead!

~ Tim

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