Monthly Archives: February 2016

How answering 77 questions could help you avoid business failure

Out Now: 77 Ways to avoid Potential Business Failure77 Questions to avoid business failure by Diane Shawe white background

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

Like you I Never Thought I Could answer 77 questions that would help me  avoid business failure  – But I Finally Discovered The Secret! Here’s How…

article by Diane Shawe Author

Are you ready? Is Entrepreneurship For You?
Are you the right person for your business idea?

 

In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business – but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions.

  • Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organise your time, and follow through on details.
  • How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it?
  • How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly – often quickly, independently, and under pressure.
  • Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-­hour work days every week?
  • How well do you plan and organise? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organisation ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, and production ­ can help you avoid many pitfalls.
  • Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.
  • How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. It’s important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.

So Before you start – Do you know the answer to these 77 questions?  Download your copy today it will be the best £3.99 you spend? 

I recommend you get a little notebook and start working on each question. For those you cannot answer, find the answer and make a note.  This is also an invaluabe excercise if you are already in business, it can help you clarify where you are today and help you plot where you need to get too and how to do it.

Get your exclusive copy today and save £3.00

Get your exclusive copy today and save £3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to find out if you are right for your business, we have a surprise link hidden inside this little ebook.  All you have to do is Answer 10 questions and we will send you a full report which will also include your Personal Training Needs Analysis to develop your Entrepreneur skills.

Diane Shawe Author of 77 Question to avoid business failure Available from Amazon

Diane Shawe Author of 77 Question to avoid business failure Available from Amazon

Traction Alopecia – How You Can Stop It and is it Reversible by Diane Shawe

traction alopecia how to stop itAre YOU a Likely candidate for Traction Alopecia?

Anyone can be affected by traction alopecia – young or old, male or female. It’s more common within certain groups of the population, because they are more likely to use some of the hairstyling techniques listed above.

The reason I raise this article is because we are all living longer and some of the current fashionable trends in the younger groups are contributing to traction alopecia. Read about Clip ins and how they cause Traction Alopecia

For example, women and girls are more likely to notice the problem due to braids and weaves. Ballerinas – who tend to wear their hair pulled into very tight ponytails – sometimes suffer from traction alopecia around the hairline as a result.

In a nutshell – if you have a habit of doing something on a frequent basis that puts your hair under some sort of strain, then you are a candidate for traction alopecia.

Read on to discover the many ways you can prevent it from happening, or stop further damage if you’ve already noticed a problem.

Traction Alopecia Symptoms

Have you ever undone a ponytail and found your scalp feels sensitive to the touch afterwards?

Does untying your hair feel like a relief?

Does your scalp itch after you’ve had braids or a weave put in?

Have you ever taken painkillers because your hair is secured so tightly it’s given you a headache?

All of these are warning signs that your hair is under way too much tension. Your body is trying to tell you something… and you need to listen!

If not, the next thing you’ll notice is that sections of your hair are actually missing, or worryingly sparse. You can often see this more clearly around the hairline or behind the ears, but it can often happen around the crown, too. It really depends on what was causing the tension in the first place.

Some people even notice pustules (blisters filled with pus) or papules (little pimples) where the hair is under a lot of tension. This is because of the irritation being caused to the scalp and is a clear indicator that the follicles just can’t cope with the strain.

Can Traction Alopecia be Reversed?

Yes and no.

If you spot the warning signs of traction alopecia early enough and you put a stop to whatever’s causing it, then your hair will stop falling out and should – with time, patience and loving care – be completely restored to its former glory.

But if the hair follicles have been so badly traumatised for such a long period of time that they have scarred over, then the hair will not grow back by itself. Areas of the scalp where this is the case will likely look shiny.

In cases like this, you’ll need to think about some sort of surgical restoration – speak to your dermatologist to establish whether or not your traction alopecia has caused permanent scarring and to discuss the surgical options available to you.

When Traction Alopecia Compounds Other Hair Loss Problems

traction_alopecia_caused_by_hair_clipin_diane_shawe

If you are wearing a hairpiece – such as a clip on topper – to mask other hair problems like androgenetic alopecia, then you need to be very careful not to compound your problem with traction alopecia!

The best option is to ensure that the clips of your topper are firm, but not too tight, and that you rotate them. We also recommend undoing a couple of the clips when you’re at home – it gives your scalp a little rest from the tension.

Traction Alopecia Recovery Time

Most experts agree that your hair should recover within 6 to 9 months of you removing the cause of the problem.

If you’ve followed the guidelines given here and you are still not seeing regrowth, then it’s likely that the damage to your follicles was permanent – a fact your doctor/dermatologist can confirm. In that case, you might like to discuss the possibility of a hair transplant, which will effectively mask the problem.

What are the Causes of Traction Alopecia?

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that happens over time. It’s caused by putting the hair under constant strain or tension and is usually caused by one or more of the following…

  • Very tight ponytails or pigtails
  • Tight braids or cornrows
  • Dreadlocks
  • Extension (single) braids
  • Hair weaves or wigs attached with glue, clips or tape
  • Certain hair clips, slides or barrettes that hold the hair tightly and are worn in the same position every day
  • Headbands – even fabric ones – worn day after day
  • Tight hairpieces
  • Tight headgear like cycling helmets that are worn frequently or for long stretches of time and tend to rub or pull repeatedly on the same area of hair
  • Repeated use of hair rollers
  • Repeated pulling of the hair with the hands (this is an emotional condition called trichotillomania)

If you use or do any of the above, then you may find that the constant tension they cause has led to areas of thinning hair – usually around the temples or behind your ears. Alternatively, you might notice that the part in your hair looks wider than it used to.

If so, then it’s quite likely that you’re suffering from traction alopecia.

There’s more to this condition than hair simply breaking off. Instead, the constant tension in the affected area either pulls out the hairs’ roots completely, or causes the follicles to become inflamed. As time goes by, the damage to the follicles causes them to become atrophied (wasted away)… and if you don’t put a stop to the cause of the problem, they will reach the point where they no longer produce hair at all.

Reference: DermHairClinic – Traction Alopecia

Get your copy today from amazon.co.uk

Get your copy today from amazon.co.uk

Traction Alopecia Treatment

As discussed above, ‘treatment’ for traction alopecia is only effective before you’ve arrived at the stage of permanent damage.

But the good news is that ‘treatment’ – if you’ve caught the condition early enough – can be as simple as changing whatever hair styling and hair care practices you were using and really learning to CARE for this precious asset… your hair!

Wearing a weave

One of the biggest ironies about traction alopecia is that it’s the most common cause of hair loss for women wearing hair extension is due to the application being too tight when weaves and hairpieces are applied… yet those weaves and hairpieces are often used in the first place to enhance hair that may seem thin, or lacking in volume.

Weaves are generally applied through braiding, fusion, netting or bonding – and the sad fact is that any or all of these methods can lead to traction alopecia if used extensively, over long periods of time.

To minimize the risk of traction alopecia, or to try to prevent further damage and encourage regrowth, have your weave fitted by a state licensed professional. Yes, it may be more expensive, but you – and your hair – are worth it! Someone properly trained in hair care will keep damage to a minimum and will be able to spot potential problems and nip them in the bud.

The same goes for hair extensions, which can also cause hair loss problems in the lower half of the scalp. Have them fitted by a trained professional – don’t try to fit them yourself or have a friend do them for you.

Speak to your hairdresser about taking care of your scalp – some women find it difficult to maintain good scalp hygiene because the weave or extensions make it awkward… unfortunately, though, this can make the problem of traction alopecia worse.

When chemicals are the culprits

There’s a kind of alopecia called CCCA (central cicatricial centrifugal alopecia), also known as hot comb alopecia, or follicular degeneration syndrome. It’s almost exclusively seen in African American women and it’s often confused with female pattern baldness, because it starts at the crown and spreads to the surrounding areas.

The cause?

A mixture of too much stress (traction) on the hair along with the use of harsh chemicals like dyes, relaxers and bleaches. The chemicals actually damage the keratin structure of the follicle itself, causing hair LOSS, not just hair damage.

In fact, research conducted in 2008 showed that the highest prevalence of traction alopecia was in women with relaxed hair.

If you suspect this is a condition that’s affecting you, speak to your dermatologist. In addition to removing the cause of the traction and stopping the use of chemicals in your hair, you may be tested for any bacterial or viral infection and possibly be prescribed topical steroids, antibiotics or topical minoxidil to encourage regrowth.

NOTE: If you must use a relaxer on your hair, have it done professionally. Specialists are seeing more and more problems caused by home relaxer kits, because it’s tempting to leave the chemicals on longer than necessary, or accidentally use a stronger formula than you really need. (Make sure they have been certified)

Braiding, ponytails, pigtails and locs

The 2008 research into the prevalence of traction alopecia in African girls and women showed that braiding caused more problems than chemicals (although the two together were worse still).

Starting up a hair extension business Diane ShaweConstant, tight braiding – or other styles like ponytails that place hair under chronic tension – can affect any ethnic group. So it’s very important to take a new approach to styling hair that doesn’t rely on placing the hair under extreme tension.

The ideal solution, of course, is to allow the hair to be completely natural, without using any kind of clips, slides or ties.

The reality, though, is that this just isn’t possible for most of us. Our hair may either be unmanageable and wild looking when allowed to ‘do its own thing’ – or, like us, you may live in a climate where it’s simply too hot to have your hair hanging around your face all day.

The answer is that you can continue to secure back your hair, but you MUST change the way you do it from one week to the next. Traction alopecia is usually the result of CONTINUALLY putting the hair under EXACTLY the same tension in the same place, day after day.

How to Avoid Traction Alopecia (and still have beautiful hair!)

Change the location of your ponytail often – wear it high, low, on one side, then the other. Don’t wear a ponytail at all if your hair isn’t really long enough to need one… otherwise you’ll probably be pulling your too-short hair really hard in order to secure it.

Avoid using clipped in ponytails – the weight of them can – quite literally – tear out your hair.

Always use fabric covered hair bands – avoid bare rubber bands like the plague! And remove bands, clips and ponytail holders from the hair at night – this is when you may be putting your hair under tension without even realizing it.

Invest in satin pillowcases. They cause less friction on your hair than cotton or nylon ones – and, as an added bonus, they’re believed to help reduce wrinkles too!

Change the location of your partas often as you can. Even a simple part in the hair can trigger a problem when worn in the same position day after day.

Don’t retwist the roots of dreadlocks – watch this video for first-hand experience of how damaging this can be!

If you use hairspray or hair gel, wash it out before you next brush your hair.Brushing dried hairspray and gels out of your hair is damaging to the shaft and may cause further hair loss.

Make sure your hair is hydrated. If you’re in a dry climate – or you use air conditioning or central heating – the lack of moisture in the air can make your hair brittle and more likely to break

Other related Hair Loss Article by Diane Shawe

The dangers of being out-thought and out- manoeuvre by your competitors

soft skills training for sales team by diane shaweBuyers Don’t Follow a Linear Path anymore so why ask your sales team to do the same?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

The sales funnel relies on the theory that someone comes into the top of the funnel and sales fall out the bottom. But is that true in today’s world? Do we start at the top and make our way through to the end? Or do we start at the top, leave, jump levels, come back, leave again, come back at the beginning and some point come back and buy or totally just leave? Are sales people  following a linear purchase pattern or an erratic path of engagement that sometimes results in less and fewer sales?

Distraction is the Number One Barrier to Sale

Distraction is destroying the Sales Funnel. It’s clear that buyer behaviour is erratic, but they are also finicky and overloaded with information.. Distraction may very well be the number one barrier to a sale. We get distracted and abandon our cart. We stop reading the article that brought us to you. Simply put, any little distraction means we move on to something else and we may never come back. We are also finicky buyers, what we think one day may be dramatically changed by another piece of content that contradicts our previous opinion.

Let’s take a look at the Sales Funnel Concept.

The sales funnel has been around for as long as any of us has been in business. It is a tool that has been used to visualize everything from the sales process to marketing impact on an organization. I use to be a  fan of the sales funnel.  But the truth is, the traditional sales funnel model has been dead for years; we just haven’t come to accept it yet. They say a picture paints a thousand words, the problem is clients are overloaded with the same information.

SALES-Marketing-Funnels dead. avpt Diane Shawe

Buying patterns have changed drastically in the last decade. They’ve changed so much that they have truly broken the sales funnel as we know it.

Old habits die hard, so the big question is whether or not a sales funnel is still a viable model for sales concepts. Here are the biggest challenges I see with the sales funnel in today’s buying environment.

Selling the way your customer wants to buy…Not the way you like to sell

Sales Plan Mapping is all about Rapport.  Rapport is defined as:

“A state of mutual trust and respect existing between two or more people. Rapport is the primary basis for all successful communication.”

Sales Plan Mapping is all about Rapport.  Rapport is defined as: “A state of mutual trust and respect existing between two or more people. Rapport is the primary basis for all successful communication.”  To build rapport with someone you have not met face to face is a learned skill referred to as NLP.

Learning to Plan a Sales map requires knowledge in a new type of Consultative Selling.  Planning a Sale Map would mean learning new skills in 5 key areas:

  • Best Practices
  • Communication Skills
  • Strategy and Traction
  • Sales Project Management
  • Presentation

The strategic role of continuous education

One way to stay on top of a rapidly changing market is to implement a business strategy that maximises the synergies between lifelong learning and workforce productivity.

Without appropriate technological support, training programs appear to be less effective. No matter the size of your business, if you stand still and basque in your current success, this is surely the biggest route to new challenges.

Even though research has shown that E-Learning proves to be an excellent way to achieve quality results in a short timeframe, most users still only dabble with free flimsy or overbearing solutions that provide no tracking, evidence or further sign posting to continue competence training.

Getting the world back to work with skills we can trust

Getting the world back to work with skills we can trust

POINT OF NEED TRAINING

Point of Need Online-delivered learning, using mobile technology within a context of continuous education, is considered strategic because it:

  • Keeps the workforce appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact on their role individually and as a team and help that Organisation achieve its aims and goals
  • Aids succession planning, helping workers to acquire the knowledge and skills to help them progress within their Organisation
  • Allows Organisations to keep training budgets under tighter control, develop and retain existing employees and reduce the costs related to external human resources recruitment, selection and on-boarding

The current speed of change means that employees need to be trained continuously for Companies to avoid the dangers of being out-thought and out-manoeuvre by competitors especially on qualities such as leadership.

A poorly educated workforce results in decreased, indeed ever decreasing, levels of productivity and reduces their ability to deliver results. Ignorant and poorly skilled staff can’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) be promoted — since they don’t have the appropriate skills to help their company reach its business objectives. So Organisations need to go to the expense, in terms of time and trouble, of recruiting staff with new knowledge and competencies from outside the organisation to cover middle and senior level positions. It’s important to realise that not only does this practice have a negative impact on the organisation, regarding high costs per individual worker, but company results show that this approach isn’t always successful.

According to recent research (Lifelong Education and Labour Market Needs, published in The EvoLLLution online newspaper) examining the need for continuing education in the workforce, 64% of executives who are recruited externally fail within four years of joining the organisation.

Ideally, every company should have a Personal Training Needs Analysis plan in place for each of their employees. This project should engage the employee in identifying training programs that will enable the employees to develop the necessary knowledge and skills specific to them.

How can we help up-skill your sales team without them taking too much time of work?

Modernising your Sales Team – Project Manage Sales Mapping Whitepaper by Diane Shawe M.Ed