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Seven Productivity Inducing Time Management Tips For Team Leaders


As a team leader, you are tasked with a number of responsibilities from managing your team and workload as well as cultivating new ideas and opportunities. In order to be effective in this role, enlisting the right time management strategies is key to accomplishing your work goals.

Here are seven time management tips to help you work as productively as possible

Have an organized work space

When your work area is filled with papers, to do lists and any number of other things, your productivity level is automatically diminished.  In order for you to be successful and productive at your job, you must keep an organized work space.  Start getting organized by focusing on the following areas:

  • Paper – Keep a document storage system on your desk
  • Get a junk jar for random stuff that will no doubt wind up on your desk
  • Choose furniture and a layout that works for you
  • Get your cables organized at your desk

Organize and prioritize your email

Checking your email can be a full time job.  Especially when you are checking it multiple times throughout the day.  In order for it not to take away from more important tasks, you need to schedule specific times to check it.  This could be in the morning, at lunch and sometime again in the afternoon and right before you leave work.  Take it a step further and organize your email by setting up folders for clients, team members, vendors and any other people you interact with on a continuous basis.

Know how to delegate tasks

As a team manager, it is tough to loosen the reigns and pass on work to your team.  With that being said, delegating tasks to those that are equipped to complete them is key to your productivity as a manager.  Stick to what you do best and delegate out the rest. That way you are giving your best work to your strengths.

In order to make delegating work, keep these tips in mind:

  • Know what tasks you can delegate and what to keep for yourself.
  • Provide complete instructions for each task.
  • Come up with a way to track progress and status.
  • Trust that you picked the right person to handle the task and that it will get done.
  • Avoid micromanaging.

Limit your time online

Focus is the number one word that is associated with successful people.  Nowadays with social media you are faced with a real distraction.  Yes there is a time and place for it but if you are playing games and checking Facebook multiple times throughout the day, you are definitely subtracting from your productivity.

Make a Plan

To-do lists are a must if you are going to get things done.  They help you keep track of your tasks and plan your time accordingly.  Otherwise you wind up forgetting important things and the day ends and you feel like you haven’t accomplished what you needed to.  Take it a step further and assign a priority level to each task.  This is not about perfection either.  If you didn’t end up getting something done, keep it on your list for the next day.

Prioritize tasks

When you have a project you are heading up, you are looking at a number of different tasks that need to be handled on a daily basis.  You have to prioritize the tasks since not all are created equal.  Some are time sensitive and others are dependent on another task being completed.  Sit down and figure out where the team’s focus should be.  This is something that should be done on a daily basis so your team knows where their efforts should be put when the day starts.

In addition, in order to have an effective and productive team, you need to know the progress everyone is making with their tasks. This is where a team progress tracking software comes into play.  This way you know what’s been done, what’s getting done, and what can’t be completed (and why).

Collaboration is key

A great leader knows that two heads are better than one.  You have hopefully assembled a great team so take advantage of their skill sets.  Keep a running dialogue with your team by having regularly scheduled brainstorming sessions.  You never know when you will strike gold.

Final thoughts

In order to be a great team leader, you have to be able to manage your time effectively.  If you are disorganized and you don’t work from a to do list, you are no doubt wasting time. The above time management tips will help you be more productive and put out your best work.



Six Tips To Have A More Successful Landscaping Business


When you start a landscaping business, much of your success is dependent upon many variables. Whether you are starting your own lawn-care business or expanding your current business, there are helpful tips that can help you achieve success.

1. Come up with goals 

Before starting your business, you need to give thought to what your goals are.  Think about whether this will be a part time or full time business as well as whether you want to stay small or try and grow it bigger. You also need to give thought to managing all the business aspects like taxes, marketing, invoices etc.

Also important to think about is coming up with a mission statement.  This clearly defines why you are creating this business.  This will help when it comes to making certain decisions as you can look at your mission statement and decide whether it gels with it.

2. Determine your target market 

Now it is time to figure out who your target market is.  Will you be targeting lawn maintenance for corporate offices or are you planning to offer lawn maintenance to residences.  You also need to determine a niche for your business.  Is patio garden design going to be your thing or are you going to promote an all organic approach to lawn care?  Figure out your niche and who your ideal client is and you will be on your way to creating targeted and effective marketing campaigns.

3.  Pick the right equipment 

Your next step is the figure out the right equipment and tools that will help you run your business effectively.  You want to give thought to the types of services you will be providing and you want to choose equipment that will help you get the job done as efficiently and as quickly as possible.  You also want to think about quality and the level of maintenance it takes to maintain the equipment.  You want to limit the amount of time and money you spend on repairs.  When you are ready to move forward, check in with your network of colleagues, talk to dealers and do your research online.  Consider these three things before purchasing:

  • The type of guarantee/warranty offered on the equipment.
  • How the dealer’s customer service is.
  • How easily can you get replacement parts.

4. Invest in business management software

In order to have a successful business that has the potential to grow, you need to invest in a landscaping business management software. You want something that has all the essential internal and project management functions you will need.  It should cover everything from estimates, scheduling, invoicing, tracking time and more.

5. Put together a trustworthy team 

The landscaping industry is constantly growing and with that it becomes hard to find and keep good workers. One of the best ways to find new employees is through referrals from your current ones.

Once your team is in place, share your goals and mission statement.  Encourage your team to share any ways you can improve your business as his helps your employees feel important.

6. Leverage Your Clients

When it comes to getting new business, the most cost effective strategy is word of mouth. This is your opportunity to speak with your satisfied customers and ask them to write a testimonial on your behalf.  By now, you should have your business set up on all the main business directories (Google, Facebook, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Bing, Foursquare, Angies List etc).  You should also have social media profiles set up on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  Nowadays people are searching social media and business directories and if you want to be found, you need to have your business on them.  Being that everyone is online at all hours, this is a super easy way for people to sing your praises with a review.







5 Social Media Marketing Tips To Boost Your Shopify Store Sales


As an ecommerce business owner, your biggest challenge is increasing traffic in order to keep growing and stay in business.  With so much competition in the ecommerce space, this is no easy task.

Below are 5 effective social media marketing tips to help boost your Shopify store sales

1. Post consistently

Posting consistently to your social media accounts is essential to growing your following.  The time of day and how often you are posting is also important.  You want to figure out what works best for your audience by testing out frequency of posts as well as posting times.  On average, they say posting once a day to Facebook and 4-6 times to Twitter everyday works for most.  You should also check out the accounts of your competitors to see what their engagement levels look like for the times and frequency of their posts.

Finding the time to post consistently to your accounts is definitely time consuming.  There are a couple of great tools you can use to help automate the process.  For scheduling posts to different social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Autogrammer does an awesome job. The other very time consuming part of posting is coming up with tailored content to post.  This is where a tool that creates social media content for you is so helpful. is my tool of choice.  They ask you all the key details about your business and target audience and come up with tailored content that you approve and schedule to post.  Both of these tools have been a game changer for my social media marketing strategy.

2. Use social buttons

One of the best way to boost traffic to your social media accounts is through social share buttons.  These should be embedded within your website and in any marketing communications you send out.  If you have a business blog, you should definitely have sharing buttons clearly displayed so that readers can easily share your article.

Here are some places you want to make sure you have social share buttons:

  • At the footer of your website and blog
  • At the header of your website and blog
  • In your email newsletter
  • In your email signature

3. Automate your reviews

Product reviews are gold to your business.  They help create trust in your product and are a great way to boost sales.  One of the best tools to use to automate the process of getting reviews is Yotpo.  It is one of the most popular tools for this purpose and it is available for free in the Shopify app store. You basically connect to any of these accounts ( Google, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest) and it will let you post your customer reviews to your pages which will increase sales. The reviews help drive social traffic to your product pages.

4. Try out different titles for your blog posts

Your blog titles matter just as much as the content you are posting.

Here are some tips when coming up with titles:

  • Use simple language
  • Take advantage of psychological traits like urgency, fear, desire etc,
  • Keep it short
  • Using negative words like “stop,” “avoid,” “don’t” perform better when they are in your title.
  • If you are listing things in your post, begin the title with how many points you have in the post (i.e. 10 ways to…)

5. Make it simple to make purchases from your social channels

Sales from social media are growing very quickly.  Buy buttons are the reason for this and you should be using them if you are not.  They let people make purchases from within a social network.  Two great examples of this are on Facebook and Pinterest.

If you have a Facebook store, the Facebook Buy Button allows you to not only sell your products but hold sales events and show exclusive merchandise.  This leads to an increased dialogue with customers.

Pinterest also provides a great way to boost sales with their buyable pins.  As you do a search on there for anything and everything, you see pins at the top where you can make purchases.  With Pinterest you are really expanding your reach and the opportunity to maximize revenue is huge.

Boosting sales from social media is important but you also want to make sure you are doing all you can to increase sales from your Shopify store.  There are many Shopfiy apps to help you reduce the amount of business you lose.  I have had a lot of luck with Exit offers.  This app provides you with a pop-up that will show a special promo to a customer if they start to navigate away from your store.  Things like free shipping or a percentage discount easily sways customers to purchase.  I saw my revenue go up pretty quickly after I started using this app in my store. Also keep in mind email marketing, this channel is key too for keeping revenue flowing.


Boosting online sales for your Shopify store is key to its growth and success.  Maximizing your presence on your social media channels is a great way to do this.  Try out the above tips to help your brand stand out from the competition.




Eight Tips For Growing Your E-commerce Business Using Social Media











Do you have an ecommerce store and are looking to improve your social media presence and boost sales?  With the right strategy in place, you can certainly achieve this.

Below are eight tips on how to boost your ecommerce business using social media.   


1) Social SEO

When it comes to your social media profiles, you want to have the right SEO plan so that your brand is super easy to find online.  This can be achieved by making sure you are optimizing your profiles.  First, you should definitely have a social profile setup on all the major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ etc).  It is not necessary to be super active on all of them.  Just having a page set up is enough to improve your brand’s social SEO and its overall searchability.

2. Start a blog

Having a business blog is key for attracting new business and further nurturing your relationship with your current customers. Posting content that is informative and well written will go a long way in increasing traffic to your website, attracting more prospects, boosting customer engagement and most importantly, increasing sales. It is also a great opportunity for your brand to set itself apart from its competitors.

3) Pay for advertising

Social media for marketing has taken off and you can no longer expect to get too far without spending some marketing dollars.  Go through your blog each week and choose a couple of pieces of content that you think will resonate with you audience.  Then, check out Facebook’s advertising options to promote your content on either Facebook or Instagram. This strategy is budget friendly and a quick way to get your content seen.

4) Post user generated content

UGC (User Generated Content) is basically any content generated by your customers with regards to your company.  This could be an image, review, tutorial etc. Aside from the great perk of it being free, you get the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the customer that helps make your company so great. In addition, you are highlighting your product through the eyes of a customer which provides potential buyers a better idea of whether the product would be right for them.

5) Show your expertise

When people are looking to make a purchase, they want to do so from an expert.  Take the time to make your brand an authority by taking part in events, trending topics, Twitter talks, Facebook live videos etc. Doing these things will have you come across as more  trustworthy and you will see your sales go up.

6) Employ social media monitoring

There is tons of chatter online and you need to be in the know about it.  Look into using a social media monitoring tool to see who is talking about your brand or industry.  You can  create a feed that will monitor keywords or hashtags relevant to your industry. This will also give you an idea about what types of content your industry is chatting about which will help give you direction for your own content strategy.

7) Advertise your products on your social media

As an online business owner, you need to advertise your products where the masses are.  Millions of people are on social media at any given time and you need to be as well.  Look into having your products advertised directly on your Facebook business page. As you add a new product, don’t forget to also mention it on your timeline as well so that it shows up in your audience’s news feed.  You want as much exposure as possible.

8) Produce content for the season

When it comes to holidays, events, seasons etc. companies are great at putting out promotional content and sales events that coincide with each.  What they fall short on is putting out non-promotional content that is related to them.  These can be treasure troves for your business for two reasons. First, they are usually visual and as we all know, high levels of engagement occur with posts that include a photo (i.e. company holiday event).  Second, you have the emotional component that the holidays trigger.  These also boost engagement and conversations.  Take the time to focus on curating and creating related content more so than promotional content and you will definitely see an upswing.  On a side note, coming up with great content on a consistent basis can be a job in itself.  I have found that using a company that can create custom social media content for you can be amazing.  Provide them with all the key details about your company and they will give you tailored content. No more trying to come up with the perfect post for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Just approve the content and you pick the day and time it does out. I cannot express enough how much this has helped my business.  I now have the time I need to focus on other important aspects of my business.


How To Use Flyers This Holiday Season To Market Your Listings

The holidays are coming up on us once again.  As real estate agents and brokers, you should definitely have holiday marketing on your to do list.  It is a great time to further relationships with current clients as well as gain new ones.  One way to provide value to your clients is through real estate flyers. Instead of creating the usual flyer with your latest properties, consider creating flyers with useful information and offerings.  This will certainly peak the interest of both buyers and prospects.

Below are five creative ideas on how to use real estate flyers this holiday season


1. Provide information that is both valuable and helpful

You can really get creative with this one. Since it is the holidays, try putting together holiday recipes, holiday prep tips, upcoming special events etc.  Just remember to add your contact details, company info and logo to your flyer.  You can even go as far as to invite them to contact you for further tips or services.  These work great as marketing collateral since people will tend to hold onto flyers like this.  And for bonus, add a pic of yourself.  Each time they look at your flyer, they get to see your face and remember you as their go to realtor.

2. Collaborate with local businesses and feature holiday discounts

This is a great time of year to link up with local vendors or businesses and create a special discounted holiday package.  This can include holiday related products/services like cleaning services, light and decoration installation, personal shoppers etc.  Your flyer can highlight these exclusive special deals that are only for your clients. Remember to include some details about the companies as well as any services they provide.

3Feature your key properties that you sold this past year

This is a great way to show off all your hard work. Potential clients will love the visual proof they will get from seeing the positive results others have had with you.  You will no doubt see a boost in your conversion rate right away.  Also make sure you include some testimonials to further solidify your abilities .

4Create a Thanksgiving letter flyer

Thanksgiving offers the perfect opportunity to reach out to clients both old and new.  Putting together a special Thanksgiving letter for your flyer will really go a long way with your clients. You definitely want it to have a personal feel so be sure to include your    handwritten signature as well as your name and address on the envelope.  For an added touch, include a first-class postage stamp.  The great thing about this idea is that it transfers over perfectly to real estate email flyers.  Once your email flyer is ready to go, use  “Thank you” as the subject line and to give it an extra touch, follow up it up with a phone call.  With the social and digital revolution, people really appreciate hearing someone’s voice.  By doing all this, you will no doubt drum up some business as well as referrals.

5.  Come up with a cause to sponsor

The holidays are all about giving back, so this would be a great time to find a cause to sponsor.  Create a flyer around the cause your are sponsoring and include details on how to get involved. This will definitely garner you respect and future loyalty.


Tips For Better Real Estate Photos

When it comes to real estate, having great images to show potential buyers attracts more attention and will help you sell your listings faster.  In order to make those picture work for you, they need to be great!  High quality photos will help you achieve this. This is crucial when it comes to your online marketing efforts as the majority of home buyers are researching online for their next home.

Below are some tips on how to achieve great real estate photos that will sell your listings.

Invest in a decent camera

Poor picture quality can really make or break a listing.  It is not necessary to break the bank with high-end equipment but you also do not want to use your camera phone either.   A 5-megapixel camera should be sufficient enough to get you great pictures. These cameras are pretty common and very affordable.  It is also worth it to invest in a tripod.  It will help you produce clearer pictures since using your hands can lead to them turning out blurry.  For tips on choosing the right camera for your pictures, check out this article:

Once you have some great shots you can start using them on any print materials as well as for online marketing purposes.  Real estate email flyers are a great way to use these pictures and maximize your online marketing ROI. is a great source for this. They have a wide selection of real estate email flyer templates to choose from or you can upload your own custom design.

Take the right pictures

When taking pictures, bare in mind that potential buyers are not looking to see what is currently in the house, they want to see the home as it is being advertised.  For this reason, you want the house to be as neat and clean as possible.  You want the person who is viewing the images to be able to imagine how their belongings would look in the home instead of seeing an overload of someone else’s stuff.  Make an effort to showcase items of color in your photos like flowers, colorful artwork etc.  You would be amazed what a splash of color can do for a neutral space.

Natural light is the best light

Natural sunlight is every photographers dream.  It is the best lighting to take pictures in and real estate pictures are no exception.  Be sure to schedule your picture-taking on a sunny and clear day if possible.  Allow as much natural light in as possible by keeping the curtains open. For additional tips on the best lighting for real estate photography, click here

Some additional tips to keep in mind

Take pictures from the doorway entering the room.  These tends to come out better.

For exterior shots of a single-family home, an angle shot as opposed to one directly from the front allows people to see the depth of the home instead of a more flat view.  Also be sure to not include any obstructive things like dumpsters, electrical wires, telephone poles.

Lastly, have fun taking tons of photos.  You want to make sure you have enough great shots to choose from.  Today’s digital cameras are so advantageous for this reason, you can take as many as you want with no additional cost.

Now that you are equipped with some professional looking pictures to show potential buyers and other colleagues, you are all set to sell that home in no time!