Which side of Pareto’s principle is your company on?

April 12, 2013

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

I assume that anyone in business for more than a few years has heard some variation of the 80-20 rule. One common iteration states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Another says that 80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spend. There’s another version that claims 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products and that 80% of your sales are made by 20% of your sales staff.

Believe it or not the concept is actually based on quasi-scientific postulation known as the Pareto principle, which states that roughly 80% of all effects come from 20% of the causes. For example, 80% of the land in Italy is owned by 20% of the population.

With this in mind, I guess I should not be surprised that roughly 20% of NAID members are capitalizing on NAID marketing programs. Nor should I be surprised that the same percentage seems to be thriving while the larger proportion is simply surviving.

However, while I should not be surprised, I can’t help but be curious. If a significant minority of NAID members is having dramatic success with the Customer Employee Training Video, what are the others missing? If it works, it works, right? Why would any business ignore a program that helps them grow? Of course, the same question could be asked of any of the NAID marketing tools, conference attendance, or this blog’s readership for that matter.

While it would be easy to simply attribute the lopsided use of NAID’s programs as an example of the Pareto principle, the association has decided to take a different perspective. I am sure a good portion of members not realizing the full potential of these programs simply lack the training and confidence to use them effectively, which is the core mission of the new Shred School that starts this summer.

The Shred School website will be up soon with full details. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the article in the winter edition of NAIDnews. The Shred School workshops are affordable enough to send your entire staff and provide both a comprehensive overview of secure destruction and specific advice on the successful use of NAID programs.

If Pareto was right, I suspect that 20% of you will be there. The 20% who want to thrive.