Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?
It’s also known as The Pareto Principle.
It suggests that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.
As an entrepreneur, that number has to give you pause.
Where are you putting that 20% of your effort? And what do you count as a “result’?
And, on the flip side of that equation, consider that 80% of your problems come from 20% of your actions.
Can you narrow down the actions you’re taking, and identify that 20%?
Success comes from picking your battles
Professionals in sales can usually identify the 20% of their clients who generate 80% of their revenue. When they’re put through the exercise, they realize that the remaining 80% of their clientele are draining them of energy and resources with little or no return…
When asked to identify their highest-maintenance employees, human resources managers usually discover it’s 20% of their workforce. And yet, they find themselves dedicating 80% of their time and energy to keeping them on task, solving disputes, catering practices to that slim minority.
Entrepreneurs often discover that they’re dedicating too much time to tasks that don’t result in growth. When pressed to identify the “results”, they’re gaining from their efforts; they cite systems they’ve implemented and projects they’ve handled, fires they’ve put out…not growth.
If you want to grow your business, you have to reassign the implementation of systems, the mechanics of projects, to someone else. You have to free up your time finding new sources of revenue, reinforcing existing sources, building client relationships, innovating, and engaging your team.
Project managers give you back that precious 20%
One of the most common challenges we hear about as project managers revolve around a lack of time for strategic planning.
Business owners get so bogged down in the details; they feel like they don’t have the freedom to innovate and build their business. Their business starts to grow rapidly, and they start to feel like they’re losing control over it…events are happening at such a pace they can barely catch their breath.
But if they’re spending time micromanaging details that could be delegated, they’re creating their own problems. Entrepreneurs are visionaries…and they often have a multitude of ideas for growth ricocheting around in their head at any given moment.
If they aren’t able to pass the baton to someone who can run with their idea and see it through, they’ll get stuck in the mud.
How will you know they’re stuck? You’ll hear them saying things like, “There aren’t enough hours in the day” or, “If only there were two of me”…
When you outsource project management, systems implementation, and other administrative duties, you’re getting those bonus hours. You’re getting a second “you” that will chase down the fine details and make sure your ideas come to fruition.
That frees you up to continue on your path of innovation and growth, secure in knowing that your plans are in good hands.
Where is the weakness in your 80/20 rule?
When you take a step back from your day-to-day operations, where do you see the waste in your efforts?
Are 80% of your results from the day’s effort knocking down your inbox to just 50 unread messages? Did you spend a full hour trying to find a quote you emailed to a client a week ago and consider finding it productive? Did you spend half a day going back and forth with a catering manager to finalize the details of meals and coffee breaks for your sales conference?
Is there something you could have been doing instead, something that would have added value to your business? Something that only you could do?
It’s very hard for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins. They’re not all control freaks…but they’re accustomed to taking care of everything themselves. It’s why they have the confidence to stick their necks out and launch a new business.
When they learn to triage, though, they find a level of achievement that surpasses even their high expectations for themselves.
Take a hard look at your day, your week, your month, your quarter. Be brutal about assessing where you’re dedicating your time and resources with the 80 to 20 rule in mind, remembering that it works both ways—good outcomes…and bad.
Are there tasks you could be delegating? Are there leads or ideas you’re pursuing out of sheer stubbornness when you should be moving on to something or someone else?
A good project manager can either pick up where you left off or establish that the lead isn’t a wise use of company resources. But they’ll spend the time you don’t have figuring that out for you.
You might not think you have the budget for a project manager…or you might wonder if they will understand your business. But a good project manager will save you time and money in the short and long term and become an extension of your business.
If you want to learn more about our services, contact us. We’d love to make your 20% pay dividends for your company.