The 90/10 Rule for Small Business – Webmaster Secret #4

For small businesses especially, websites tend to operate on the 90/10 rule. That is:

90% of the results come from 10% of the work and expense.

This is especially true of SEO, and of site functions, but also applies to design, copywriting, and to a certain extent, to marketing.

So when we begin a contract, we don’t try to do it all. We try to determine the 10% that will get the most results, and we include anything that is critical for their industry or site concept.

This 10% will vary from site to site – there are no two the same. So it takes careful thought and planning for each site, and a thorough understanding of the challenges and needs of their industry to get it right.

Use of this rule has been a huge factor in our success. It is a primary aspect in achieving our goal of delivering higher quality, better performance, lower prices, while still maintaining higher profits for ourselves. It sort of makes the impossible, possible.

When you understand that certain things make sense for big business, but do not scale for small business, and in fact, give no real benefit to a small business startup, you then give yourself permission to not do them, and to understand that it is BETTER to not do them. At the same time, when you understand that other things, typically not included in a corporate contract, are absolutely ESSENTIAL for small business. We are not operating by corporate website standards – we are creating new standards that work better for small businesses specifically.

If it does not contribute to the profit of the site, then it isn’t part of the 10% that we include in a contract, unless a client requests it specifically – in which case we charge more.

The miraculous result of this is that we can take a $50k site, and deliver substantially equivalent performance for under $5k. The site owner can get in the door, develop a successful web presence, and then improve gradually from there – slowly adding those other touches that cost more, but which bring lower returns. 90% performance is typically more than enough to launch a successful business and get it rolling so that it can earn enough to support further enhancements.

But only if you choose the RIGHT 10%, and get the RIGHT 90% of the performance.

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