This is a reference to Pareto’s rule which says something like 20% of this gives you 80% of that.  It’s otherwise known as the 80/20 rule.

When I worked at Land Rover, our logistics department used it all the time to make stock decisions.

Here’s an example.

20% of your customers will bring you 80% of your business.  (eBay know that, and we’ve seen them acting on removing some of the unwanted 80% recently.)

Conversely, 80% of your customers will bring you only 20% of your business.

So where would you spend your time?  Working with the 80% or the 20% of your customers?

And… 20% of your customers will gripe all the time.  80% won’t.  😉

So the title of this post is a bit of a mind shock if you’ve never come across Pareto before.

80% of what you do won’t make any difference to your internet business.  In actual fact, it’s probably closer to 95% or more.

So how do you know which is the best bit?  Which is the bit you should be doing more of to get the best results?

I think the best answer to that question is “experience”.  It’s only by doing everything to begin with do you learn how to sort the vital from the dead wood.

Once you begin to get a feel for it all and you start to see the light, it becomes easier to see how to improve things.  I’ve had people write to me and tell me how important this or that is, when I already know for a fact it makes very little difference.

It might be important to them, but it’s not important to the bulk of other people.

But of course, you can only get to that stage if you DO things first.  Planning and thinking is all well and good, but getting stuck in is where the money is.

Have you actually done anything today?  The sooner you do, then the sooner you can sort out the 20 from the 80.  Or the 5 from the 95.  Or even the 1 from the 99.

-Frank Haywood