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Tips & Tricks to Help K-12 Schools & Small Businesses Succeed

The Rialto Mobile Marketing Blog

By Tim Fitzpatrick 14 Aug, 2017
Employee engagement is critical for the long term, sustainable success of your business. My focus in this article is to highlight some of the most effective tactics and strategies the best companies are using to create strong employee engagement. If you want additional information on the importance of employee engagement first, I'd invite you to check out these resources:



Here are some awesome examples of what some companies are doing to create amazing employee engagement.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 07 Aug, 2017
The importance of K-12 education and great schools cannot be understated. We must provide children with the knowledge and tools they will need to be successful in life. Part of that education comes from our school systems and the other part of that comes from within the home.

Since the school year is about to start I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the best quotes about great schools and the importance of education.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 31 Jul, 2017
Prior to having kids 7 years ago, I hadn't set foot in a Disney theme park in over 25 years. Since then I've been 5 times and the experience never ceases to amaze me. The customer experience at a Disney theme park is nothing short of amazing. I am always impressed at how well oiled the Disney machine really is.

Whether you love it or you hate it, there are some key principles any small business owner can take away from the Disney experience and apply into their own business.

On my most recent trip, I noticed a number of great things they do. I hope you can apply some of these in your business.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 24 Jul, 2017
Keeping your customers happy and satisfied will go a long way to sustaining a thriving business.  In fact, 85% of small businesses get customers through word of mouth.  Knowing everything you can about your customers - their goals, desires, fears, and motivations is critically important.

Is there a common goal or desire that every customer has? I believe the answer is "yes". Outside of seeking the specific product or service you offer, every client really wants the same thing. It doesn't matter what business you are in, all clients want the following whether they acknowledge it or not.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 18 Jul, 2017
Did you know...

  • engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization than the disengaged?

  • companies with high employee engagement scores had twice the customer loyalty (repeat purchases, recommendations to friends) than companies with average employee engagement levels? 

These are just a few of the many stats out there about the correlation between employee engagement and other critical aspects of your business. Check out Kevin Kruse's article HERE for some eye opening info about employee engagement.

If you have not been focused on employee engagement in your business I'd highly recommend doing so ASAP. I'm going to review the top 5 benefits you will see in your business by doing so.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 10 Jul, 2017
If your company is like most, you are heavily focused on new customer acquisition. There's nothing wrong with that, but often times customer retention and loyalty get overlooked at the expense of new customer acquisition.

What good is acquiring new customers if you are having trouble retaining them? Acquiring new customers and then retaining them really go hand in hand. You must have both in your business to maximize growth & profit, and to have a sustainable business long term.

I'm going to give you the key to managing customer retention in your business and it's one word...

MEASUREMENT.

By Tim Fitzpatrick 03 Jul, 2017

The importance of ensuring your employees are happy, cannot be overemphasized; as this has a great impact on their job output. As an employer, it falls on your shoulders to monitor employee satisfaction and create programs to help boost it.

Here are seven tips to help you improve employee satisfaction now!

 

1. Provide the Opportunity for Authentic Employee Interactions

Managers are typically very busy people, that are short on time. It's not uncommon for employees to think that their manager/employer is too busy for the "small stuff".

However, employees can have outstanding ideas that can significantly impact your business for the better. The challenge is they need opportunities to speak with their managers and not feel rushed or brushed off. Designate time for your managers to have the ability to sit down with people one on one or in a group setting where employees can feel like they are truly being listened to.

Authentic interactions with employees will go a long way in making them feel heard and supported, which will translate into higher satisfaction.


2. Set Clearly Defined Goals

In order to get where you want to be, you must first establish where you want to go. Not setting goals is like driving around in your car without a set destination.

Not setting short and long-term goals for employees creates an environment where they may wander around aimlessly, doing their job, but not really sure where they are headed.  This doesn't make anyone feel great.

Employees also need to know the short and long term goals of the company.  In order to feel satisfied, it's important to know where the company is headed and what you hope to accomplish. When employees know where they are headed and where the company is headed they tend to feel more secure and motivated to perform as part of the team.


3. Implement a Wellness Program

A healthy employee population contributes to the overall growth of any company. More and more companies are realizing the huge benefits of increasing wellness with their employees...better productivity, lower health care costs, and higher employee satisfaction.

This article, 5 Hallmarks of Successful Corporate Wellness Programs , is a great read to get more in depth information.


4. Concentrate On Growth

A growing company is a dynamic and exciting place to be. Employees can't help but be invested and excited to see where the company will go.

Contrast this with a stagnant company, or worse, a shrinking company where employees might feel uneasy and insecure about the future. It's incredibly difficult for anyone to feel satisfied in an environment like this.

Employees should also have opportunities for growth themselves.  Do you offer them opportunities to learn, personally develop, and take on more responsibilities? Do employees that want to move up in your company have the opportunity to do so? If not, it's highly unlikely they will feel completely satisfied. 

Focusing on growth for the company and all the individual employees will go a long way in creating high employee satisfaction.

By Tim Fitzpatrick 28 Jun, 2017
Becoming more productive is one way of ensuring you excel at what you do and you maximize the time you have available. If you’re in business, it’s important to be at your best and ensure your productivity is at its best. Following are some of the best productivity hacks you might want to embrace.


1. Schedule a monthly 80-20 analysis

This has proven to work time and time again. Focus on the 20% of activities that bring about 80% of your desired results.

Doing this will enable you to figure out where you should and should not be spending your time. Once you identify the highest and best use of your time, you can delegate and/or eliminate the rest. Perry Marshall's book, 80/20 Sales & Marketing , is a great read that will give you more in-depth information on how to take advantage of the 80/20 rule in your business.


2. Keep your list of priorities short

Being responsible for the success of a small business may require you to be equally attentive to your to-do list. Writing down what you should do doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the priorities you should focus on. It’s important to have a short list of priorities so you can hone in on the projects that are truly important.


3. Sideline non-urgent emails

Keeping abreast of the latest news/trends that are specific to your area of business is important. This doesn’t mean you should read every newsletter that comes into your inbox.

I realized I was falling into this trap and set up filters in Gmail to send these types of email messages into another folder.  Now, I review that folder when I have time.  It's been incredibly effective. 


4. Restrict meetings to 30 minutes

Consider making it a habit of restricting your meetings to 30 minutes. Most issues can be addressed in and around those minutes or less. The only time I would consider extending the time is when you feel a certain issue needs extra attention. Significant amounts of time are wasted in meetings, get out of this rat trap now!


5. Dedicate downtime for yourself

This might seem counterintuitive. How can you be more productive taking time off work? If all you do is work, you will burnout at some point. You can't burn the candle at both ends forever.

Taking time off to recharge actually helps you come back to work in a better state of mind, ready to work and focused. Check out this article for more details, Take a Vacation: It's Good for Productivity and the Economy


6. Plan your day around the times you work best

Depending on your flexibility, consider scheduling your workday according to the fluctuations you observe in regards to your energy levels and moods. This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your productivity. Don't spend the time of day when you are most productive on unimportant tasks.

Fo example, if you tend to fade off in the afternoon, focus on your top priorities first thing in the morning when you are alert and fresh. You will be far more productive when you spend time on your most difficult tasks when you are at your peak performance level. 


7. Delegate

If you feel overwhelmed, consider delegating some tasks to another person or distributing them to other members of your team. You should spend your time on the things you are great at and delegate the rest. Delegate to people you know are better equipped to handle the tasks you need help with.


8. Avoid analysis paralysis

It's important to have enough information to make an informed decision, but after that, you need to be ready to pull the trigger.  Overanalyzing leads to doubt and wasted time.

Check out this article on Jeff Bezos and his philosophy on making business decisions.  It's a great read.


9. Have at least one day a week that is meeting-free

If you allow it, meetings will take up far too much of your time, which is why it’s imperative you designate at least one day a week where meetings are forbidden. Take this time to work on critical tasks, projects and goals without distraction.

I started doing this several months ago and it's amazing how much I can get done in a short period of time when there are no distractions.  Give it a try.


10. Create a comfortable workspace

Take the time to personalize your workspace, make it your own. Consider personalizing your space with photos of your family members, children, and friends. If that’s not an option, personalize your desktop background. 

It's challenging to be productive when you don't feel great about your workspace.  Being in an environment where you feel great sets the proper foundation for you to be your most productive.


11. Make your health a priority

Always make your health a priority, without it, you have nothing. Putting your business first at the expense of your well-being is a mistake.

On a plane you are always told to put on your oxygen mask first, then help others.  If you aren't in a condition to take care of yourself, you won't be able to do anything to help others or your business.

Lack of physical activity coupled with poor nutrition has been linked to low productivity, so eat balanced meals and drink lots of water.


12. Say "NO" more often

Small business owners have non-stop demands on their time.  Often times, we say yes without really thinking about the consequences of it.

Anytime you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Forget about FOMO (fear of missing out) and say no more often. It will free up your time to focus on the things that really matter.


13. Get great at time management

We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet some of us get far more done in that time compared to others. It all comes down to time management. Productivity is directly related to how you manage your time. Give your attention to the important matters and don't stress about the rest.


14. Dump social media

Did you know the average Facebook user spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook?   That's almost 6 hours a week!

There are some reasons to be on social media, especially from a business standpoint, but usually,  social media is a complete waste of time ! If you can't give it up, at least limit the time you spend on it.  The time you save can be spent being more productive and enriching your life.


15. Done is better than perfect

Do you fall into the trap of wanting everything to be perfect? If so, you're not alone. I used to be this way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should put out substandard, low-grade work. But, nothing is perfect and spending the extra time to try making it perfect is simply a waste of time.

Know when to say when and move on.


I'm sure you can find at least a couple of these tips to implement and be on your way to increased productivity in no time. Have fun!

What tips are you going to try?  Feel free to comment below and share.

Check out our FREE cheat sheet to help you catapult your marketing to the next level.   Click the image below to get it now.

By Tim Fitzpatrick 20 Jun, 2017
According to Gallup , only 32% of employees in the US are engaged. This means only 32% of US employees are involved in, excited about and committed to their job and the company they work for. Ouch!

Engaged employees usually stand out because of the discretionary effort they consistently show in the roles they are given. They are the ones who will go the extra mile and work with a passion while also establishing a profound connection with the company. Having engaged employees in your business is an assurance that innovation will thrive and your business will grow.

Contrast this with employees who are actively disengaged. Disengaged employees, whether they mean to or not, damage the reputation of your company. In addition to being unhappy at work, they usually act out their unhappiness while also monopolizing their manager’s time and driving away customers. While engaged employees are innovating, creating new customers and solving problems, the actively disengaged ones are doing the exact opposite and undermining the positive efforts of others.

Disengaged employees are a potentially untapped resource that offers the largest opportunity for your business to improve profitability and performance. They are typically not difficult to spot because they are overly concerned about lunch or their next break or any other way of trying to escape work…they have “checked out.”

Most disengaged employees aren’t overtly disruptive or hostile. They do just enough to meet their job requirements and usually nothing more. Sleepwalking throughout the day is their norm. They look uninspired and unmotivated, having little to no concern when it comes to customers, profitability, productivity, safety or quality.

When an organization decides to increase employee engagement, it can be an incredibly effective strategy to increase performance, productivity and long-term growth for the company.

Great leaders and managers know the people they have working for them...who they are, their strengths, their weaknesses, and their goals. How you interact with your employees directly influences their engagement at the workplace.

Check out these 3 practical employee engagement strategies to start building an engaged workforce now.

By Tim Fitzpatrick 15 Jun, 2017
As a small business owner, I'm sure you want to increase the growth of your business. I'd bet you also want to maintain the loyalty of every customer, whether they are new or long-time customers. Customer loyalty is an incredibly important aspect for the success of any small business. It costs a significant amount of money to acquire new customers.  Having systems in place to keep those new customers coming back will not only save you money, it will increase your business too.

Providing the best customer experience possible will go a long way to encouraging loyalty and engagement with your customers. Here are seven strategies to help you.

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