Monthly Archives: March 2016

What the No’s Are Really Telling You

images (26)If you’re doing your job as a business owner, then you’re constantly prospecting. You meet people at networking events; you follow up. People sign up for Discovery Sessions through your website; you hold those Discovery Sessions. You meet people for face-to-face meetings; you follow up. You make phone calls. You send personal emails. You create an online marketing campaign.

And sometimes you get No’s.

I won’t kid you. No’s suck. They can make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy.

You might even start rethinking your entire business model and life as an entrepreneur.

I invite you to think about any No’s you’re getting a bit differently.

No’s can be a gift. Actually, I’ll state that differently: They ARE a gift, and here’s why.

    • No’s help you get clarity around your ideal client. If you really look at your conversation with this person, is she really ideal for you? More than likely not. I bet if you objectively look at the conversation, you’ll find red flags. Document those and use them to get clearer on who you do NOT want to work with, and who you do.

 

    • No’s help you figure out where your ideal client hangs out. If you keep talking to a slew of non-ideal clients, maybe you’re hanging out in those same places. So, put on your thinking cap… where might your ideal clients be found? Streeeeeeeetch and find new places to network.

 

    • No’s help you clarify the benefits you offer. Is it possible that your benefits aren’t clear enough or strong enough? Is it difficult for prospects to see how they can benefit from your products and services? Do you need to amp up your selling skills? Do you need to make a better connection between what they so desperately need and what you skillfully offer?

 

  • No’s help you make your product or service timely. Does your product or service meet her needs NOW? And where is this need on a 1-10 scale? If it’s a 2, of course she’s going to say no. If her need is a 7-10, then she needs you. And what do you need to do to make it clear that you can solve this intense pain or problem… NOW?

So, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself. Follow up and be the amazing business owner you are. Have those conversations and then objectively analyze them. What have you learned? What can you tweak? What changes do you need to make?

Then, embrace the No’s, make changes, and find the Yes’s.

 

Is Export Trade Finance Important Today

images (23)For businesses concentrating only on the domestic market, they may miss out on different opportunities the international market offers. If you make a foray into the international market, you may increase your profit as well as protect your business from the negative effects of slowed-down growth. Apart from that, this will allow you to diversify your portfolio.

Among the most crucial ingredients for success in the exportation business is export trade finance. Exporters want to get paid for their products as fast as possible. On the other hand, customers from foreign markets would want to delay payment until they’ve received the products or perhaps resold these. To become competitive, your company must be capable of offering payment terms which are very attractive to possible partners.

Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Financing Option

The amount of time in which the product is financed – This is considered the most important factor to consider. Experts highly emphasized that your choice of financing will be greatly influenced by how long you’ll wait before receiving the payment.

The cost of financing options – If there are several financing options to choose from, you have to look into them meticulously, most especially the interest rates. Be reminded that these costs can greatly influence the products’ price along with your potential profit.

Risks – Transactions are not created equal. There are those that are riskier than others. Experts have emphasized that the riskier the transaction is, the more you’ll find it hard to finance. Economic and political stability can actually compound or increase these risks.

Amount of orders – If you are receiving plenty of orders, your working capital might not be sufficient to meet such increased demand.

Getting Expert Help

You can actually get help from commercial banks with an international department when it comes to dealing with the export trade finance needs of your company. Choose banks that are familiar with the export business. These banks will provide your firm with a wide range of international banking services.

After finding this kind of bank, consider scheduling a visit with the international department for you to know and be aware of the different matters like your export plan, banking facilities, services, and the applicable charges. In case your partner importer fails to pay for the transaction, your business will bear the responsibility of paying for the loan. With the use of instruments like letters of credit as well as credit insurance, you and your chosen bank can greatly benefit from the improvement of the export receivables’ quality.

Export trade finance is indeed very important. Businesses may also find business guarantee funding important to ensure business success.

 

The Death of the Professional Beauty Industry

images (24)The Professional Beauty Industry as I once knew it, is dead. Having spent the past forty five years in our once proud industry at every level, my purpose in writing this article is to document by decade, starting with the 60’s which is when I came into the industry, the dynamics that drove that decade with the evolution of the Industry moving forward, so we can all see where everything started shifting negatively and where the industry is today as a result of the evolutionary process over the decades.

Salons, once a haven for women, have become Independent Stylists leasing space from the landlord / salon owner. Professional only products have become commodity products purchased on price and found everywhere, especially outside the salon.

The large distributors are now owned by the corporate giants, leaving a landscape with small distributors fighting the system and losing the battle to a marketplace never seen before in our industry. The 60’s were all about wet sets, women visiting their stylist at their favorite salon every week to redo their do. During this decade, the old guard manufacturers were Revlon, Lamaur, Helen Curtis, Rilling, Clairol, Roux, and others that generated their income primarily though salons. Early during this decade, Paula Kent purchased from Jheri Redding 3 simple formulas and started a company called Redken Labs. At the same time an English stylist, Vidal Sasson, had started a movement that would literally turn heads upside down as his message was “Let the haircut be the blueprint for the style.”, which opened the door for salons to expand their business as they were working on the same 50 clients each week. In a month’s time, they still only worked with the same 50 clients. When hair cutting became the trend, stylists focused on hair cutting were now seeing a different 50 clients each week, now totaling 200 a month, opening the door to additional revenue.

The 70’s saw the emergence of more manufacturers following the Redken model, seeing the entry of Sebastian in 1976 and Nexus in 1979. The focus of these new manufacturers was to help the salon build a whole new business called retail, eventually opening the flood gates to greater income for all. In the 70’s many Redken concept salons were competing with their service business to increase retail sales to 25% of their gross, which in turn opened up profitability to levels never seen before. Redken Labs grew exponentially based on their Beauty through Science philosophy and the newer entries such as Sebastian and Nexus were setting their own standards to compete in the new direction of the industry. Chemical services in salons, in particular perms, drove huge numbers at all levels and manufacturers were starting to phase in new products to support the shift in clients’ needs for their maintenance free hair. Education was also on the rise, as salons wanted to know as much as possible about the products supporting their services and the new retail income stream that was on the rise.

The 80’s was a decade with consistent growth and power for the new manufacturers. Paul Mitchell and Matrix Essentials came into the market in 1981 and we now had five new, aspiring and growing companies driving the growth of salons through their direct leadership and were becoming so strong that there was an additional shift from the leadership of the aforementioned manufacturers found in the 60’s to the top five leaders that drove the 80’s with their philosophy, products, and education. During this decade, salon retail went through the roof, as salon clients were an easy target for professional products that were exclusive to the professional salon. Big hair was the rage which opened the door to newer products that supported this trend. During this period, Beauty Supplies were allowed to represent and carry professional products, as long as they had a shampoo bowl and offered services as part of their in store layout. Unfortunately, this was one of the first areas where the manufacturer lost control and opened the door to price cutting, non adherence to policies, and professional products starting to show up in less than professional outlets.This decade also saw the rise of the Independents, eroding the old system of commission salons where the owner hired stylists as employees and grew their business as a team oriented effort. Now the majority of salons nationwide is nothing more than lease spaces for anyone willing to pay their space fees. Products are harder to position in salons because every stylist can make their own decision as to what they use and sell and education has gone by the wayside as a salon owner cannot mandate that his lessors have to attend any educational events.

The 90’s were a time when we acknowledged that we were an aging population and that the Baby Boomers were driving the bus into the next decade. We now see the entry of the corporate giants, Loreal, P&G, Alberto Culver, Unilever, etc., start to purchase not only large distributorships, but also the manufacturers at the top of their game such as Redken and Matrix. The only one of the large five giants in the industry, Paul Mitchell, is the only one that has not been sold. The others, Redken, Matrix, Sebastian, and Nexus are now corporately owned and driven, and while they espouse “professional only”, sell their product range through any source that will make them money. That is why professional only product has become “commodity” product, which is defined by price and ubiquitous placement. With the purchase of the large distributorships that drove the growth for the large manufacturers, in particular Redken and Matrix, the market place was left with middle to small sized distributorships that have not been able to compete with the mass size and scope of the corporate giants.

The 10’s have brought us full circle to where we started this journey in the 60’s. The giant manufacturers then were forced into going retail as the new giants had created an atmosphere in salons that kept their business growing. Unfortunately, we are seeing the same thing happen again with the ownership of family owned and driven businesses being bought out by the corporate giants.

Here is why we are seeing and feeling the results of the death of the Professional Beauty Industry.

Diversion: This key area saw salon products move into retail channels through unscrupulous and unethical people. We had a captive audience for professional products in the 70’s and 80’s, but once the salon client understood that they could find professional products at outlets outside their professional salon, it opened the flood gates and is the original reason we now see these products literally everywhere. The big losers in this ongoing game are the salons and their stylists, who have never recovered. Why buy professional product at the salon when they can buy it at Costco, Target, Drug stores, grocery stores, and on into infinity. Interestingly enough, Beauty Supplies today complain and gripe about their losses to mass retail, as salons once did about them. How the circle turns.

Ownership: Once the top tier of manufacturing companies moved from family ownership to corporate ownership, driven specifically by “bottom” line profitability and stock holders looking for a return, we see a major shift. The reason we don’t see any large number of direct manufacturer educators for these companies, is they were the first things to be discarded for cost savings. Bigger is not necessarily better.

Independents: This one shift transformed our industry, taking away leadership at salon level and creating a nightmare for manufacturers and distributors alike, as they now have to speak to each stylist separately in salons that once had one or two key people that made financial decisions for the team. Typically stylists today only come into their space when they have an appointment and could care less about education and the industry as a whole.

Distribution: Today it is hard to find large distributorships that once dominated the landscape with their sales force, educators, education and support. They have been purchased by the giant corporations for their stores, which is part of the game plan the giant corporations continue to follow. They want stylists to come in daily if needed, to purchase what they will be using tomorrow or even this week. While they maintain a weak sales force, the long term plan is to get all stylists to enter their stores to purchase their beauty needs. The current distributor base now works with smaller lines that many times do not have the capital to properly market and drive their business.

Trends: Having lived through six decades of this industry and observing the many trends such as the Farrah Fawcett cut and style, the Dorothy Hamill Wedge, Big Hair, Jennifer Anniston, and now Rich Girl Hair. Unfortunately, we have gotten away from keeping the client tied to the salon for service, as hair has become less of an accessory and almost anti-salon. With the exception of the specialty services such as color, straightening, relaxing, and formal events, look around at women’s hair. It is in poor condition, over processed, dry and unmanageable, not shiny, and seemingly not as important as we once saw in previous decades.

Since I took a hard look at why we have lost the industry we all once knew, I would be less than responsible if I did not offer long term solutions to the mess we are in. Here are a few of my suggestions.

Contemporary manufacturers have to control their product movement. If they are working within the professional industry, they have to accept the responsibility for the way their products are positioned, taught, and sold. I suggest legal contracts between the manufacturer and their distributors, as well as the distributor and their salons. Any deviancy brings the loss of the line and legal ramifications. This includes Internet sales, which are typically sold at a discount and offer little to no control. A new interactive group representing these distributors has to be enacted, ensuring that the goals of “professional only”, be the supporting factor driving their growth.

Legislation has to be started state by state to establish salons as a commission based business and Independents have to be relabeled as employees so that control can be brought back into the industry and its long term opportunities.

Distribution networks have to continue developing for the professional only market with a full understanding of the role they share within the vertical integration of their manufacturers and vendors.

In closing, I come from an era in this business where professionalism was everything and was exhibited by all players with a stake in the game. It was a glorious time, with success and prosperity for anyone willing to work hard and devoting their efforts to contributing to the overall concept. It was a time of passion, loyalty, and generally a lot of fun. What happened? Today we are in an apathetic state, very few are making good money, and opportunities have seemingly gone. Being the eternal optimist, I continue to think that we can get it back, but it is going to take all of us moving in the same direction and getting involved at all levels to right the great ship and get it back on its proper course.

Selecting the Right Contract Research Organisation in Clinical Trials

images (25)Clinical research is extremely valuable and an essential part of investigating new treatments and bringing them to the market. However, to do this effectively it is important to have the right professionals on board to run these trials around the world.

This is because not only is the relationship the pharmaceutical company has with the Contract Research Organization important, but also the ability, management skills, timing and budgeting of this organisation are critical too.

Although some pharmaceutical companies can afford to only outsource some of the necessary processes of a trial, others will entirely outsource to a Contract Research Organization (Contract Research Organization) for their clinical research. In either case, here are some of the most important aspects of doing this.

Firstly, the geographical reach of the Contract Research Organization is very important, as this determines the selection of participants available to take part in the research and also the disease profiles able to be studied. Many developing countries in the world offer ideal patient profiles, as there can be a mix of different diseases, from infectious diseases to ‘modern day’ diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Therefore, finding a Contract Research Organization that has an appropriate reach in a particular region of the world is important. This matters not only for certain disease profiles, but also for patient enrolment and retention. In many cases it can be very difficult to enrol and keep patients, but a Contract Research Organization with a strong influence in a geographical location can make a huge difference.

An example of this would in Latin America, where clinical trials and research are only just starting to develop in a significant way. With the right understanding and contacts within countries in this region of the world, the right Contract Research Organization can boost participation and retention in clinical research trials for the pharmaceutical company that it represents.

Quality is another very important aspect of clinical research in ensuring that all trials are carried out in accordance and adherence to relevant legislation and regulation. This can seriously affect the validity of any results obtained, yet not all research in different regions the world may be up to scratch.

Furthermore, the pharmaceutical company that is looking to carry out the research will be based in a country where specific standards are required. From North America and Europe right through to Far East Asia, there are different criteria and standards to meet, and specific regulation to follow.

The right Contract Research Organization in clinical research will need to make sure that it has knowledge of all the relevant protocol and regulation to abide by when carrying out trials for a pharmaceutical company. If not, this could lead to invalid and low quality results and therefore an immense waste of investment.

Looking at the experience of a particular Contract Research Organization in carrying out successful research in their region of the world will be an indicator of whether regulation and protocol can be abided by, and will also be an indicator of successful patient recruitment and retention rates. This information can therefore be very valuable to pharmaceutical companies when making their choice.

In addition to this, a strong indicator of future success is the Contract Research Organization’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively every step along the way with the pharmaceutical company that is looking for the research to be carried out on their behalf. Therefore, any contracted should make sure that excellent and efficient communication is present from the beginning for best results.

 

What Are the Main Advantages of Using Recycled Building Materials?

download (83)In recent years, the increased availability of high quality recycled building materials has meant that more and more companies are choosing to invest in these products rather than more conventional options on the market. With a range of different products including asphalt surfacing materials and crushed concrete, there are numerous products to meet a number of construction needs.

There are several major benefits to using recycled building materials rather than procuring brand new ones that are behind this increase in popularity of this type of service. The first one of these is that these are now very easy to find, which can be an advantage over procuring difficult-to-source new raw materials.

Although many raw materials are still available in abundance on the market, some will need to be imported from abroad, or there may be regional ruptures in stock due to temporarily limited supply of these materials. This is not the case when working with recycled goods.

Now with more recycling firms based nationally and globally than ever before, it has become far easier to source the necessary materials locally without being concerned with importation issues or the supply of new raw materials. The second major advantage of these recycled products is that they are also a great deal cheaper than investing in brand new aggregates. In fact, the consumer benefits significantly from the drop in price between brand new products and recycled ones.

Although the quality of reclaimed and recycled goods is now comparable to brand new materials, the cost of purchasing these aggregates is a lot lower, meaning that building contractors can better control their budgets. In fact, even if they do not use recycled aggregates for every project, using them judiciously where appropriate means that overall costs can drop quite significantly.

The third reason is that using these reclaimed materials is advantageous not only for companies, but also for society at large. Instead of sending still-useful materials to landfill sites, they are re-purposed and used again, thus meaning that there is less waste of valuable resources.

As many industries are rapidly using up global stocks of natural resources, it is important for the economy and for production that used materials are not just being disposed of when a construction or building is demolished. With more conscientious use of natural resources, industries risk running out of these valuable materials at a much lower rate.

The impact on the environment is also significant, as there is less energy spent on mining, quarrying and otherwise procuring natural resources. These processes can release toxic chemicals into the environment and destroy important natural habitats, which can have a major impact on the planet as a whole. Companies that are particularly environmentally and socially conscious may therefore wish to invest in recycled building materials rather than source new goods all of the time.

They can rest assured that their choices mean that they are contributing to a more responsible and resourceful industry that is much more likely to thrive in the future with careful management.

With that said, price is often the most important factor that encourages companies to source recycled building materials. This can also make companies more competitive, as they can lower prices for their end customers due to the savings that they have made compared to procuring raw materials.

These are just a few of the many advantages of investing in reclaimed and recycled building materials. Whether your company is looking for timber, granular materials or something entirely different, there are many excellent service providers now offering these less expensive and more responsible products on the market, which can be used for a vast range of building projects.