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Optimizing Program Budgets: Unleashing the Power of the Pareto Principle

When we first launched our Virtual Business Incubator–we thought a 6-week program wouldn’t be enough. We thought that once the entrepreneurs left us, they’d need all kinds of additional help, so we created a robust startup kit of services they might need. Including things like:

  • Accounting services
  • Training
  • Websites
  • Social media support
  • Etc.

However, The Results Surprised Us.

This package cost us about $42,000 per cohort of 15 people to run. As we started interviewing our graduates, we learned that, in many cases, the bundle of services we created wasn’t necessary. When we spoke with them, it turned out that these entrepreneurs had gotten two important benefits from their time with us: confidence and courage.

In other words, the first 6-weeks of the program are where folks saw the most value. This aligned almost perfectly with the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) that says around 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of your results.

So We Adapted.

Rather than continue to provide a service people didn’t need, we decided to listen to our market and trim the fat on our program. We focused all our energy, attention, and financial resources on the first 6-weeks of the program.

The result? Our program is MORE effective, our attention is MORE focused, and our program budget is less than half of what it used to be. In other words, we’re doing a better job with fewer resources–a win-win situation.

How To Find Opportunities To Improve Your Program Delivery.

These are the questions we recommend asking if you’re looking to trim the fat in your own programs and focus on what truly matters for your community:

  • What about our program really excites people?
  • What makes them light up with enthusiasm?
  • Which resources aren’t being used?
  • Why do you think they aren’t being used?
  • Have you asked folks in the community why they aren’t using these resources?
  • Which elements of your programs are “nice to have” but might not be needed?
  • Which activities are generating 80%+ of your results?
  • How can you double down on these activities?

Interested in Connecting?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an entrepreneur or someone passionate about their community and your business. If you want to help unleash the untapped potential of your community or you have a business idea, here are two ways you can help:

1. Share this article with a friend. Do you have a partner in crime? Do you know people who have BIG ideas and want to unleash them? Who comes to mind? Do you have a name in your head? This person would love to hear from you. Think of the ripple effect you could start!

2. We would LOVE to meet you if you want to plug into our resources. The easiest way for you to do that is to pick a time in our calendar, and we’ll do the rest!

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