If you're a budding internet entrepreneur, it's time you really understood the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule has been around for decades. We normally think of it in relation to business. For example:
20% of a company's products produce 80% of the sales,
20% of the sales team over-perform, 80% don't,
20% of the customer base place 80% of the orders
and so it goes on.
* Agree to Disagree
In the world of the internet entrepreneur, I maintain that the 80/20 rule must be cherished.
"Nonsense!", you say, "Doing business on the internet is a numbers game. Volume is everything. It doesn't matter how clever you are with targeting, it all begins and ends with getting traffic to your site. And lots of it. The more the merrier. It's unreasonable to expect 20 orders out of each 100 visitors to my site, therefore the 80/20 rule can't possibly apply!"
Hmm, let's just take a step back and think about it for a moment.
* Promoting and Marketing Parade
You've set up your web site. Fine. You've got a really comprehensive marketing and promotion plan you'd like to implement. This might involve any of the following online components:
1. Search Engine submission
2. Directory listings
3. Classified advertising
4. Use of Newsgroups
5. Press Releases
6. Ezine articles
8. Site Newsletter
10. E-mail campaigns
11. Viral marketing
12. Own Affiliate program
13. Join Affiliate programs
14. Web ring
15. Site Award submissions
16. Gateway pages
17. FFA links
18. Reciprocal links
19. Free services
20. E-mail signature file
22. Bulletin Boards
23. Special offer promotion
24. Joint Venture
25. Auction feature
After reading that list, I hope you're saying WOW! So much to do and so little time to do it in. There is no way you can hope to implement that little lot, unless you're looking for your site to go live in about 9 months time!
But, there is an answer.
* The 80/20 Rule to the Rescue
Here's the 80/20 rule expressed especially for you, the internet entrepreneur.
** Spend 80% of your time on 20% of your possibilities **.
Let me show you what I mean, and see if we can agree to agree on this one.
This is how you apply the rule to your site's marketing and promotion plan:
1. Of the 25 options listed, estimate which 5 will bring the highest volume of RELEVANT traffic to your website
2. Of the 5 selected, decide which one will bring the most traffic
3. Implement that item NOW, if not sooner!
4. Of the 4 remaining, calculate which one will bring the next highest traffic volume
5. Implement that item NOW, if not sooner!
And so on - you get the theme. Carry on until you have completed the 5 you selected.
Hey, that was easy, wasn't it?
Did you notice the subtle use of the 80/20 rule all the way through? I'm sure you did the math.
We took 20% of the marketing and promotion list - that's 5 items. Then we took 20% off the 5-item list. What we are doing here is getting the list, any list, down to one priority item. Once we get that, we go to work on it.
And that's the essence of the 80/20 rule. Yes, you can use it the normal way to describe past performance. But as you've seen, you can also apply the 80/20 rule to any jobs, tasks or functions you wish to perform.
* Test of time
You know how much of a time-stealer the internet can be. It doesn't matter whether you are browsing, designing or marketing your site, the internet has no respect for your valuable time. Which is why YOU must have!
Don't be too proud to use the 80/20 rule. You will focus more of your precious time on your priority activities, and work much more quickly to the internet success you are seeking.
The 80/20 rule has stood the test of time in every industry, for every profession covering every job function. Use the 80/20 rule wisely in your internet entrepreneurial activity, and you will be well rewarded.
Brian McGregor is CEO of Work Winners, which helps individuals at work to win promotions and salary raises. He is author of "100 Ways to Influence Your Boss."
Contact Brian McGregor at firstname.lastname@example.org