Category Archives: Business

How Do You Recognize Influencers

download (85)Some people may be more aware of influencers in their niche or industry than others. However, it is important to understand that influencers are a very important part of your professional success. It takes a great deal of work to reach influencer status and it is really beneficial to surround yourself with influencers who can help you to elevate your business to the next level.

Capturing the attention of other people online

There is no doubt that your content is top-shelf. However, that is not necessarily enough. Not only do you need to consistently produce content that speaks to other people in a profound way but you also need to get other people to promote your content and to share it with other people. In short, you need influencers to endorse and support what you are offering. If an influencer shares your content, it will go a very long way toward your ability to elevate your content. The good thing about an influencer is not only that the person has a solid amount of credibility and trustworthiness but you can be confident that the person will work very hard to maintain his or her position as an influencer. Just like any position of power, if the influencer doesn’t work hard to maintain his or her influencer status, that person may not be considered an influencer forever.

The difficulties of choosing the appropriate influencers

When it comes to identifying influencers, you must be discerning. Not all influencers are a perfect fit for all businesses and all business owners. It really all depends on your brand and what you are trying to accomplish with your business. Once you have gathered a list of potential influencers, you will need to look at each one carefully and ask yourself if each one will benefit your business and enhance what you are trying to do. You will want to make sure that your final list of influencers is not too long. Those influencers who make your final cut need to be people who will help you to bring your business to the next level. The great thing about influencers is that they often know other influencers well and if they value your strategy and your content, they will be more than happy to share. At this juncture, you are probably wondering how you can choose your influencers in the most appropriate manner possible.

    • Start out by identifying which influencer you want to follow and start to follow them consistently: There are online tools that are available to help you to identify the best influencers for you. You should search for people who have a solid online presence and who promote compelling discussions through their writing. The first advantage that you will have by doing this is that you will not only stay connected to the influencer but also to everyone else to whom that influencer is also connected. That is a wonderfully effective way to widen your sphere of influence and to start to truly boost your reputation and increase your exposure.
    • The relationship needs to be mutual: Relationships, by nature, are supposed to be mutual. One hand really does wash the other hand. There are many different ways in which you can help each other. In many cases, money never changes hands. You have something valuable (a product and/or a service) that the other person wants or needs and that person has something that is valuable to you as well. You give to each other and, hopefully, you will both be satisfied in the end. When it comes to your relationship and interactions with your influencer, it may very well be a relationship that does not involve the same mindset that you have when you interact with other people. Once you have established a connection with that particular influencer, if you both work on that connection, there is no reason why it can’t be a permanent one. It is very important that you and your influencer connect on different levels. Get to know each other as people. A strong foundation of trust will be the result of that.
  • Influence and reach are not one and the same: At this point, it is important to remember that choosing quantity over quality is probably not a wise choice. Being able to say that you have 500+ connections may be impressive to some people but how many of those 500+ people do you actually interact with regularly? Probably not a large percentage of them, right? It makes much more sense to choose quality over quantity. It is a good idea to be discriminating when it comes to the people whom you do allow into your circle. You want to get the most out of those relationships after all.

Conclusion

Influencers are an extremely important part of your business. However, you need to choose your influencers wisely so that the relationship that you share with the other person is the best that it can possibly be. You want it to have very positive, mutually beneficial results. Once you have established a relationship with one of your influencers, you can trust that person to work his or her magic when it comes to expertise in that particular niche. You can then sit back and reap the benefits of that expertise. Whether you are aware of it or not, by choosing the appropriate influencer, you are choosing the appropriate person to tell your story, which will resonate with many other people.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

 

4 Applications Of Epimedium Extract

images (29)Epimedium, also known as horny goat weed is a herb that has been used for centuries in china and other parts of the world. The active ingredient in the herb is icariin that works by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue. The weed has many applications including:

Libido stimulation

Due to the active ingredient that relaxes the smooth muscle tissue, the herb encourages blood flow which is a key component to sexual desire. According to professionals, the herb also contains a few alkaloids and plant sterols that have the same roles as testosterone. You should note that the herb boosts libido in both men and women.

Bone loss prevention

According to a bone and mineral research study, people that received the herb in the form of a pill showed increased bone loss prevention. This is proof enough that the herb plays a vital role in promoting bone health. This aids in preventing bone diseases such as osteoarthritis and many others.

Hormonal balance

Scientific studies have shown that epimedium brings about a balance in estrogen and estradiol levels in women. The balance comes in handy in women that have great hormonal fluctuations during menstruation or menopause. The herb has also been shown to reduce incidences of dangerous side effects that are associated with hormonal therapies.

Anti-aging

I bet no one wants to get old or do you? Researchers have observed that people that take the herb tend to maintain their youthful look for a long time. This is attributed to the fact that the herb is able to reset the age-related metabolites which include: amino acids, carnosine, and nucleotides. The herb also has powerful antioxidant properties that kill the aging free radicals.

Safety concerns when taking the herb

While the horny goat weed has plenty of benefits, it’s not ideal for all people. According to medical professionals, the herb isn’t ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It also isn’t ideal for people with bleeding disorders or low blood pressure. Horny goat weed also comes with a number of side effects such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety and high blood pressure.

According to the professionals, the side effects increase as the herb is combined with other similar herbs such as maca. To be on the safe side, you shouldn’t take the herb without first seeking the advice of a medical professional. As rule of thumb ensure that you take it according to doctor’s instructions. When buying it, buy it from a reputable herb store.

 

What Does An Aerospace Manufacturing Certification Offer?

download (84)It is very important to have quality standards and rigorous safety in the aerospace industry. Aerospace manufacturers should always be up to date with the quality standards for supplying parts to the aerospace industry.

In order to get listed with major certifying bodies, you need to fulfil all the specific requirements that are required. Nowadays, it is mandatory to get aerospace manufacturing certification, in order to get permission for supplying products. They should also be aware of any revision related to certifications that they hold. Former aerospace pundits, with extensive experience in the industry, are often known to advice manufacturers through the entire process of certification.

Why is aerospace manufacturing certification important?

Aerospace certification is the only way to get permission to supply or manufacture aerospace products. Certification is developed by many bodies to provide aerospace manufacturing standards internationally applicable to everyone. An extra amount of stress is laid on product traceability and regulatory compliance by configuration management and subcontractors.

Aerospace manufacturers should give emphasis on improving the system of quality management between their audits. For companies that supply raw materials for aerospace industry, even they should produce documentation demonstrating their standards.

Safety and quality control

Special attention should be given to the production of sophisticated vehicles like rockets and aeroplanes. All recorded engineering documentation need to be revised correctly by following some instructions, where the performance of the company should be noted.

The correct performance of your operations is proved by controlling the production processes. Production of tools and equipment, like computer controlled machinery, is also the basis of product acceptance. You should develop a process to offer oversight to the integrity of your machinery.

An aerospace certification provides the entire needed framework for a traceability program of the components.

Benefits

There are some benefits of such a certification. They are as follows:

• Multiple expectations can be reduced from outdated standards and sub-standards.
• Throughout the process of product supply, there is a verification of methodology of quality.
• Certification helps to satisfy both, the suppliers and the manufacturers.
• Long time taking verification audits can be decreased through a certification.
• Oversight costs can be reduced throughout the chain of product supply.
• Aerospace certification improves supplier performance to a great extent.
• It also helps to increase consistency in expectations related to the quality of the products.

5 Types of Businesses That Need Call Tracking and Why

download (86)There are a lot of people who are used to making purchases or orders using their phones. Believe it or not, phone calls are still one of the essential business components for many industries. For many business organizations, calls are the main type of leads and they are usually worth multiple times more than those that came to you by filling in a kind of form. Yet another trend for industries that rely on phone leads is that most of them use paid search ads to drive traffic to their websites, and these are the ones that lead to people making calls.

However, there is a big issue with calls that come from paid searches; they are usually untracked and this greatly reduces the effectiveness of a PPC campaign, especially in regards to conversions and leads. Without valuable call tracking data, professional marketers get stranded in the dark when talking about which ads, landing pages, and keywords are responsible for driving these calls.

This makes businesses unable to make the right decisions in their future PPC strategies. Without proper call tracking methods, advertises and businesses alike risk losing a big portion of phone conversions because they don’t have important information that can help them understand where to focus their efforts and resources. They are unable to channel the extra budget funds into new keywords if they don’t know which ones work the best.

Home services

If you are an expert in home decorating, plumbing, home cleaning, window or door installation, flooring or any other home repair service, then you should include call tracking. No matter what kind of home improvement services you provide, you should expect a lot of of calls each day.

Just imagine that a potential customer needs a new sink installed; he or she will probably search for things like “plumbing services” or “sink services” via a search engine, click on some ads and then call a service that is most convenient.

This is a typical conversion path when it comes to services like this, because the nature of such a service presumes coming to a client’s house directly. This is why people feel that it’s best to give you a call, talk specifics, as well as the type of trouble they are having.

Cosmetic and dental clinics

In most cases, people don’t have their own dentist and they don’t call one until there is an emergency. People don’t even search for a nearby dentist until they start feeling the pain in their mouth or when they beak their tooth in an accident. When this happens, they start searching for local dental services or clinics and they start calling numbers.

Both dental and cosmetic clinics are busy places, especially the good ones, and one always has to make an appointment some time in advance. Alternatively, they can arrange something for the customer in case of an emergency. All of these appointments are made through phone calls, and people can also consult with a specialist without the need to see them in person. These are clear reasons why businesses like these need call tracking.

Real estate businesses

When a person is looking to buy a new home or rent an apartment, he or she is definitively not going to do a quick search on Google and press the “purchase now” button. Not a chance! Real estate is one of the most important aspects of one’s life, and one of the greatest expenses. You probably already knew this; but conversions are definitively not going to happen as often online. They simply won’t.

If a person that searched for a certain piece of real estate online is genuinely interested in renting or purchasing a certain place, they are definitively going to grab their phone and call the number they find online in order to talk to the real estate agent. In a business like this, generating call leads is the foundation for further growth, so make sure that you are ready for incoming calls.

Education

There are many forms of education out there: college, high school, middle school, elementary school, grad school, various courses, private, public, etc. The options to choose from are vast and researching schools can be difficult thorough, especially when it is done by a parent or a guardian who cares for his or her children.

Once again, the whole sales cycle here is quite long and it includes many factors that must be considered. Why is this the case, you ask? Well, simply because education is one of the most important factors for a person’s future and it’s a major life-affecting decision that can make a huge difference. There are many factors in play when someone is seriously considering and educational institution, including housing, tuition, location, professors, courses, price, and the list goes on and on.

This is yet another industry where people need to call and ask certain questions in order to gather all the missing pieces of the puzzle. Furthermore, if someone is looking for a good college, chances are that it’s far away, and they can’t simply go there and see what it’s all about; they need to talk to someone and ask important questions that matter to them.

Legal business

Law is one of the hardest fields you can possibly be in. The competition on SERPs is quite fierce and every single click is quite expensive, meaning that every single phone call has great value as well. Each of these small opportunities can result in getting a permanent client, which can further result in getting a lot of profit for your business.

Most legal services are quite expensive. Now, the biggest problem most law firms are unaware of is that they are not harvesting the potential ROI from paid searches, as they don’t track calls. They feel like they will just waste their money. In most cases, this is not true.

I strongly encourage you to find a professional and reliable call tracking tool that is affordable and that can fit in with your PPC tool. It is very cost-effective. Not only will you be able to increase the efficiency of your sales, but your clients will have a clearer picture of how beneficial your efforts are. One thing is for sure, if your business organization depends on phone calls to go forward, then you should definitively look to implement a call tracking solution. Understand that you are missing out on a lot without it, and that this little investment can pay off multiple times over in the future.

What Every Property Owner Should Know About Pipe Replacement

images (28)Trenchless sewer repair

In most cases, a professional plumber can be trusted when in need of sewer repair. Replacement is a huge cost, and is unavoidable unfortunately. It’s important to note that before a property is sold, the owner has to report any potential issues to buyers, so it’s smart to get it taken care of and avoid any drama.

When it comes to an expensive repair like this, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. One should also make sure any contractor is bonded, licensed, and has references that can be checked. Expect most bids to be thousands so there is no shock.

History of Piping

First off, if there is any clay pipe it needs to be removed. Cleaning is never a good option and will only delay the inevitable which is replacement. Use of copper sulfate or rock salt is not a great idea as it will create more work by the owner having to remove the tree permanently, and then fix up the yard.

Clay sewer pipe has not been used for a very long time, as joints were packed by mortar and movement of the soil breaks them with ease along with tree roots. They are just not a smart choice, of course builders had no way of knowing this decades ago.

After clay pipes came iron and they featured a similar bell joint to the clay pipes. They were joined using hemp oil and molten lead. Though the joint was stronger, it still didn’t withstand the eventual movement of earth. After clay and iron, no hub cast iron and rubber couplings with steel bands were used. They couldn’t withstand root infiltration though.

The Pipes of Today

Today most locations use plastic piping. Plastic pipe uses glued joints, and many are looking into trenchless sewer repair. For trenchless sewer repairs, a cable is pulled through the existing pipe after careful examination, and hooked to a bursting head. That head is hooked to the new pipe. It splits the current pipe and pushes it out-of-the-way as the new one is pulled in. It has the same diameter as the old or can be increased in size if the home or business owner decides.

This way of trenches sewer repair only needs one hole at each end of the line, and no trench which is usually a mess. Hence, why many prefer it over traditional methods.

Downsides of Trenchless Sewer Repair

While being the perfect option to other methods, there are some downfalls to trenchless sewer repair. If the company is fairly new and not knowledgeable about how to pass inspection, it may become a headache that no one wants. One of the main concerns is pooling water at a low spot in the line. However, if discussed before installation this can be avoided.

Other issues are deflection and sag which cause concerns. Experienced crews know what deflections in the current line can be taken out, but it depends largely on soil conditions, and the degree of deflection. A less brutal soil like sand allows for deflections to be removed but soil like shale is not so kind.

Further, proximity of utilities is an issue in some cases. The method used can damage other lines depending on how close they are to the action when the outer pipe is pushed away. No one wants gas leaks or cut water lines. Contractors must mark existing lines and formulate a plan to make sure there’s enough room for the installation.

Yet, trenchless sewer repair is still the most cost-effective and least disruptive method today. Simply taking care to verify the experience of any contractor before signing on the dotted line will make sure that it’s done effectively.

What Causes Copper Pipe to Fail?

images (27)Sadly, copper pipes don’t last forever, though they do last quite long, sometimes more than a lifetime. However, usually they’ll get around 25 years, and that’s if the water condition is conducive to the pipes. Changes in the chemistry of water can make it rough on copper pipes, and lead to copper pipe repair. In most cases they will not affect the quality of the water, but will certainly cause the property owner to lose money.

As the most commonly used material for plumbing systems, copper is easy to use and resists corrosion. It also is impermeable to gases and liquids which is an added bonus. For over 50 years, copper piping has been the go to material for domestic water supply, and it can be found in the majority of buildings today.

Anyone who notices warm spots on the floor, ceilings or walls, we carpeting, or very high water bills should consider that copper pipe repair many be needed. They should immediately contact a repair specialist for a consultation to see what their options are between traditional options and the latest methods to include trenchless pipe replacement.

Pinhole Leaks

Pinhole leaks are the result of perforation of copper tubing, fittings or pipe in domestic distribution of water, and the result of corrosion initiated by pitting on the inside or waterside surface of the pipe. Inside pitting and corrosion of copper piping may be rare, but when discovered becomes an expensive problem that quickly results in pinhole leaks. The chemistry of the water itself has been found to cause the pitting.

The pinhole leak is a common copper pipe repair, and so professionals continue to try to detect pitting corrosion before it turns into pinhole leaks. Of course, these leaks could occur in any tube or pipe made of copper within the house. Most leaks are found in older homes and businesses, definitely before 1970.

Copper Corrosion

while there are various types of corrosion, pinhole leaks are caused by pitting corrosion in copper plumbing most of all. The attacks are definitely localized, and non-uniform in characteristic. Various, small areas are typically attacked.

There are three main types of pitting corrosion:

  • Soft Water – This type of pitting is possible in various soft waters of pH below 7.2, it’s narrower than in hard water, but still causes failure in pipes.
  • Hard Water – This pitting is found in hard waters that have a pH of 7 to 7.8, and it is most common in cold water applications. Pits are narrow and deep and cause pipes to fail.
  • Cold and Soft Water with High pH Level – This pitting happens in soft, cold waters with a pH above 8. It’s generalized and has shallow, wide results in blue water, pipe blocking and byproduct releases.

Water Velocity

High rates of water flow can erode the coating of bare copper, and cause copper pipe repairs. It also results in high corrosion once eroded. The biggest effect is when forced water changes the flow direction and damages the whole system.

Repair Choices

Today, property owners have many options of which to choose. Yet, none of them consider the main cause of the issue, but just correct detected symptoms. Options are not cheap for copper pipe repairs, and they include:

  • Fixing the leak by application of external solder
  • Re-plumbing the whole property
  • Replacing the tube in sections
  • Re-plumbing and putting PVC in place of the copper
  • Buying cures, such as magnets
  • Coating with epoxy

In the end, there are many choices when it comes to copper pipe repairs. Home and business owners owe it to themselves to explore them all, and have their property examined by a professional who can make smart recommendations.

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.