Understanding productivity: The first step to building a resilient business

By renae hanvin

Dec 5 2022

One of the challenges of being a business owner is knowing what to work on, when. As the old adage goes, ‘time is money’.

There are so many hats that business owners feel like they need to wear – from accounting to marketing, logistics to customer service.

The first step towards building a resilient business is about understanding productivity.

Productivity is not necessarily about doing more, faster, or having more hours in the day. It’s about focusing on the right things and intentionally spending your available time on the few things that will get you a bigger result.

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of your inputs create 80% of your outputs. Generally, 20 percent of the effort drives 80 percent of the results.

The 80/20 rule can be applied to aspects of business (and life) – including how a business owner can best approach resilience.

Applying the 80/20 Rule to business resilience

The reality is we are in a new era of disruptions – from both natural and other causes.

This means disruptions will become more frequent and likely more destructive. Disasters are also compounding, which means many businesses and communities are being hit by not one, but two, three or four disasters in short time frames.

In fact, natural disasters are estimated to cost Australia $73 billion per year by 2060.

Applying the 80/20 rule to business resilience means that you can get your business ready for 80% of disruptions with 20% of the effort. If you are taking the time to prepare for one disruption, you can (and might as well) prepare for other types of disruption within the same effort.

For example, if you’re preparing for a business evacuation, 80% of what you need to do is the same regardless of whether the cause of the evacuation is a bushfire or a flood.