Stop Looking at the Statistics to Grow Your Business

by Don Smith

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I was mindlessly flipping through my statistics today.

Twitter Analytics: 335K impressions this month, nice!
Google Analytics: Yep, traffic to my site is good. Bounce rate down.
Shareasale: No new sales since the last time I checked five minutes ago.
Amazon: No new sales since the last time I checked five minutes ago, but a fair number of hits.
Main Store: A few more workbook sales, that's cool.

Are You Wasting Your Time on Non-Income Producing Activities?

Once I realized what I was doing, I stopped and started writing this article because writing this article means I'm getting in front of potential customers like yourself. There's a good possibility that some of you will buy business consulting services or workbooks after reading this article, so that's a better use of my time.

The last fifteen minutes spent flipping through various statistics meant I was wasting time on stuff that didn't matter, and not DOING the activities that create those statistics. One of the first things I do with new business clients is to take a look at their books to see what's working and not working, so I'm not saying to ignore your numbers completely.

You need to look at your statistics and balance sheet every once in a while so that you know what is working and not working, but checking those several times a day? That's just wasting time.

It's the same with a lot of things. When I coach people on time management skills, one concept I always work with is the old Pareto principal, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. 80% of your activities are going to accomplish virtually nothing, while 20% will create real value.

The 80/20 Rule

In most businesses, 80% of your income is going to come from about 20% of your clients. You are probably also wasting 80% of your time on 20% of your clients (who are likely not those top clients bringing in most of your revenue).

My favorite coaching clients order a package, and we get started. No free consultations, no twenty emails, no trying to get a better deal (which doesn't work anyway because I'm plenty busy). They know what they want, have done their research, and seen the five-star reviews on Google or been following for a while, and they buy.

In the past, I've spent hours trying to get someone to buy, only to find out that they can't get past the fact that I'm not willing to work for peanuts. Those are my 20% that create 80% of my headaches. Now I just put out a reasonable offer and try to get it in front of many people. If people want to work with me, they can. If not, that's cool too.

You may not be a stats guy like I am, but my guess is you've got a few time wasters as well. My challenge to you is to quit doing those and start taking actions that truly matter.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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