Use the 80-20 Rule Every Chance You Get

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.


This observation gave rise to the Pareto Principle or 80-20 Principle, which states that 80% of effects result from 20% of causes, or more generally, distribution of anything is usually very uneven: 80/20; 64/4; etc.


What might this look like in veterinary practices?


Most client, employee, or aggressive pet issues come from only very few clients, employees, or patients. Fire the very few hardcore troublemakers and live a less stressful life for not much effort.


Most of the dirt on your floor is located in a relatively small area. Save money by cleaning only part of it daily and the rest less frequently.


Most of your revenue comes from a small selection of your treatments or inventory. Next time you increase prices, save time by only worrying about repricing this top 20%.


Most declined treatments are declined by only a few clients. Maybe start tracking who declines what, and mark some of these people inactive in the computer?


A few pages of your website get almost all the attention. Find out which pages are popular and don't worry about the rest.


80% of what's worth reading about veterinary marketing / management/anything is being written by 20% of the experts. (The remaining 80% of them can be safely ignored.)


And of course:


Most new clients are drawn by a fraction of your marketing efforts. Start accurately tracking, and dump what's not working.


Small business owners are frequently criticized for treating all customers equally, when in reality the value each customer adds varies very greatly. In medicine, you have to be careful because a good, compliant, 'top 20%' pet owner may not spend much money at all in a given year if their pet is healthy.


But nevertheless, the Pareto Principle is alive and well in veterinary practices. Keep a look out and leverage it when you see it!


Is that it? Of course not! Leave a comment to share your ideas on how the 80-20 rule could improve veterinary practices.


This article was first published to the Veterinary Marketing listserv, moderated by Richard Guy. His book, How My Veterinarian Wife and I Increased the Gross Revenue of Our Veterinary Practice By 50% To More Than $1 Million Per Year In Just Two Years: Management and Marketing Tips That Actually Work is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.