Resources & How To's

Category: Resources & How To's Blog posts

The Rialto Mobile Marketing Blog

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 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 18 May, 2017
Guest Post by Katie Alteri with Fora Financial .
By Tim Fitzpatrick 25 Apr, 2017
The amount of work we are asked to complete each day only seems to grow. Squeezing as much as we can out of the time we have is super important. We all have the same 24 hours in a day!

I've found this simple tool to be extremely helpful in improving my productivity. It takes a little bit of discipline to get in the habit of using this, but I think you'll see significant changes in your productivity when you start using it consistently.

Check out this quick video for the inside scoop.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 18 Apr, 2017
Anyone involved in the selling process for your small business no doubt needs to find the correct email address to reach a prospect.  Finding email addresses for your B2B prospects doesn't have to be difficult.

I've found a handful of email tools to be very helpful. This video walks you through the tools I use most of the time. It’s pretty rare to not find the email address I am looking for in a short amount of time.   Watch the video now.
By Tim Fitzpatrick 28 Mar, 2017
Let me set the scene...  

I'm on vacation celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary.  It's early in the morning and I'm taking a quick glance through my email inbox before heading out for another day at the beach.  I think most of us have done this at least a few times while on vacation.

The subject line of one email caught my eye.  It started with "Image License Inquiry".  Who the hell is that from?  So I opened the email and proceeded to read...

Apparently I had used an image on my website that was copyright protected.  The email was requesting proof of my license to use the image or remove it from my website promptly.  The last part of the email is what gave me a pit in my stomach,  "Please be aware that removal of the imagery will not resolve this issue. We do require payment of a settlement for past usage of the imagery at issue."  My mind immediately started racing about how large this "settlement" might be.  This is just what I needed while on vacation.  

Has this ever happened to you?  It may not have been a copyright issue, but as a small business owner I know you've run into any one of the multiple issues that can pop up at the most inopportune times.

I promptly had the image removed from my site and waited for a response on how much money I owed.  Turns out this was a $485 mistake!  In the case of copyright infringement, ignorance is not bliss and it's not a defensible position.  I made the mistake (unintentionally) of using an image I wasn't supposed to.  My bad and one I'll add to the long list of mistakes I've made as an entrepreneur.  I'm certainly not a copyright expert, but I am much more knowledgeable now than I was before.

CLICK HERE for a glossary of copyright terminology.  You can also search "image copyright" and all kinds of information will pop up.  It's worth spending a few minutes to learn the lingo, but I'll warn you it can be a little confusing.

I hope you never run into this issue and to help you I've put together a list of the best FREE stock image websites I've found.  With all the content most small businesses are putting out there these days finding the right images can be tough and paying for all your images can get really expensive.   It's super important to double check the license on any image before you choose to use it.   All the sites below have a section explaining the licensing.

Here are some of my favorite FREE stock photo sites.  These are the ones I find myself going back to time and time again.  It's pretty rare for me to not find what I'm looking for on one of these 5 sites.

  1. Pixabay : This is one of my favorites for free images and videos you can use anywhere.

  2. Unsplash : Free (do whatever you want) high resolution images.

  3. StockSnap.io : Beautiful free stock photos free from copyright restrictions.

  4. Pexels : The best free stock photos in one place.

  5. FreeImages : This is a good site, but be careful because there are premium images you need to pay for.
 
Here are some additional sites you might want to check out as well:

  1. SplitShire :  Free stock photos and images for commercial use.

  2. Life of Pix : Free high resolution photography.

  3. Public Domain Archive : New 100% free stock photos. Every. Single. Week.

  4. Gratisography :  Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.

  5. ISO Republic :  Free stock photos for creatives.

These are all great resources to help you find the images you need without spending money every time.  Between these 10 sites you should be able to find what you are looking for.

Did you find this helpful?  Do you have other favorites?  Feel free to comment below and share.

Check out our FREE cheat sheet to convert more of your website visitors to customers.   Click the image below to get it now.
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