What does swinging a kettlebell have to do with business? I read The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris. In the book, he introduced a really important concept called the “Minimum Effective Dose”.
If you use this concept in business it can help you focus on the things that really matter, and stop wasting time on things that don’t need more attention.
The minimum effective dose is the minimum necessary to complete a task.
In certain situations, you need to be careful not to do too much of something.
For example, Tim Ferris uses sunbathing. If you sunbath for 15 minutes at a time that is the perfect amount. If you sunbathe for 2 hours a day instead of 15 minutes because you are in a hurry to get tan, you will set your progress back compared to where it would’ve been if you were doing 15 minutes each day. Sometimes it’s pointless, or harmful to spend too much time on certain tasks.
Perfect quality every time!
For example, if you say “I never compromise on quality” do you mean you give a perfect cut every time? To provide the perfect quality, you would have to sharpen the blades after every yard. Pick every single weed out of the lawn, and pressure wash the sidewalks each time you are there.
Each company has a level of quality that they aim for, but it is different for each company. Working for wealthy clients requires a different level of quality. If that is your target client, then you are probably running strings down hedges to get perfectly straight hedge rows. If your target client is a ¼ acre lot in suburbia, they probably don’t want to pay extra for that type of quality.
As an exercise for your company ask yourself “What is our customer base’s expectation of quality and price”? Doing any more quality than what the customer asks for is wasted, and customers are not going to appreciate the additional price for it. As soon as someone comes by with a lower price and quality that is closer to the customer’s expectation (lower quality), they will win the job from you.
Market every minute!
But that’s not the only place that you can apply the minimum effective dose in your business. For example, blogging can help you drive customers to your site, but no need to overdo it. Michael Hyatt recommends posting 2-3 times a week. He says
“I used to recommend blogging five times a week. For some time now I’ve blogged two to three times a week and have seen the same level of reader growth. By cutting back the frequency I freed myself up to do other things.”
If 2-3 times is a good amount to post on your blog, then focus on other marketing channels, opportunities, and priorities. More time spent on blogging is wasted effort.
What can you do to save yourself time without dramatically changing your outcome? What’s one small thing that you could do to make your business more profitable? Similarly, how about growing bigger or maybe to spend more time with your family?
It helps to reflect on these types of things while the season is coming to a close so that you don’t make the same mistakes last year that you made this year!