Herbs as a Preventative Agent and Source for Healthy Living

We have all heard of herbal remedies, passed on from generation to generation, lending healthful cures and preventative health maintenance from the ancient East to our American cowboy. Now through science, medicine is testing and researching the power of herbs and finding that there just might be something to the notion that herbs do more than look pretty, smell good, or make tasty spices and teas.For as long as man has been getting sick, old, or even imbibed too much, we have been looking for a cure for our ills. Frequently, before formal medicine as we know it today, herbs played a major role in aiding our ills and soothing our pains. Herbs have played a prominent role in nearly every culture to prolong life, heal the sick, or even prevent sickness. During The Middle Ages, numerous herbs, including garlic, were used to ward off demons, vampires, and The Plague. Science can provide some evidence demonstrating the use of garlic to potentially ward off The Plague.Recently, herbs have enjoyed resurgence in popularity. As most of us have become more health conscious, we have realized the drawbacks to relying solely on anti-biotic remedies to cure the flu, common colds, and most basic illnesses. We have started to look more seriously at older remedies that have been around for centuries for cures for everything from the common cold to arthritis. Modern science and medicine are now putting many of those supposed cures to the test, examining everything from wound healing poultices to depression remedies.At the Division of Basic Research at the South Carolina Cancer Center in Columbia, South Carolina, this research has been taken to a new level. Not only are they examining whether herbal remedies might work, they are also looking at issues related to safety, dosages, and the possible interactions herbs might have with traditional medicine prescriptions.In addition to their effectiveness, researchers are looking to see if herbs possess some benefit over and above allopathic medicine. They also are looking to see if herbal “remedies” allow individuals to control their medicinal decisions and thus possess more control over their choices of treatment and remedy. The use of herbs, both in remedies and in dietary supplements, has raised many questions.Are herbal remedies safe? Can an herbal remedy be abused to the point of addiction or ineffectiveness? Most importantly, do they interact with pharmaceutical medications, and if they do, is the interaction positive or negative?The best example of why research is needed has to do with the efficacy and interaction resulting from the regular use of St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort is a mild herbal antidepressant which is well-tolerated by many patients. While effective, it has been proven to have an effect on some common medications.For instance, St. John’s Wort can induce the CYP3A family of activation enzymes through which approximately 50% of drugs are metabolized. This type of interaction can create a risk by reducing the half life of such drugs as Indinavir, Cyclosporin and Cyclophosphamide, thus causing these drugs to less effective Interactions such as this, however, are not all negative.In some cases, herbal products might create a pathway that replicates pharmaceuticals, but do not possess any negative side effects. As an example, several natural anti-inflammatory compounds found in herbs like green tea, turmeric, rosemary, feverfew, and others do not possess the risk that some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are supposed to possess. Natural remedies might alleviate the reliance on these types of pharmaceuticals, and thus reduce the potential of causing several types of cancers.Additional study into these facts and findings is needed. The Division of Basic Research is dedicated to examining both sides of the issue. More research might, in fact, prove to us that what the ancients have known all along.

Boost Field Force Sales Through Annual Conventions

As a field force sales manager, you need to constantly be on top of your team’s motivation. Without motivation, what do your employees have to work for? Most likely you have already implemented the basic tips for improving your team’s sales numbers from your business coach, including things like offering better compensation, creating positive overtones, having contests, and cheering on performance, but is there something more you can do? What about a company-wide convention?The Basics of a Field Force Sales Team Convention
Just like annual performance reviews, a sales team convention that is hosted once a year can help boost sales team numbers and improve overall morale. Conventions should be promoted throughout the year, and unlike annual performance reviews, these are actually something your sales team members should look forward to. Rather than just hosting your weekly breakout sessions, this sales force convention will bring together business coaches, instructors, and even product vendors into the same facility. With mini-sessions hosted during the convention, field force sales team members can get creative advice for handling leadership, team building, sales, and even public speaking.Touching on Sales Basics
Your sales team members may know what the basics are, but most likely they do not implement them into their daily sales tactics. This is because the basics are one of the easier things to forget during a salesperson’s daily routine. With the assistance of a business coach, your convention could host mini-sessions on topics that include:• Remembering client names
• Creating a culture amongst sale team members
• Communicating and listening improvement exercises
• Cooperation builders
• Leadership building skills
• Tips for reducing public speaking nervousness
• Tips for creating effective sales ploys and presentations
• Tips for creating a fun, sale-promoting environment
• Tips for using research and evidence to boost salesGetting Your Annual Field Force Sales Convention Started
An annual convention may be an added expenditure to your company, but it should be looked at as an investment. With the assistance of a skilled business coach, you can create an effective convention that offers booths with training material, competitions, and even giveaways to make the convention exciting, but educational. To get started with your own annual field force sales convention, you will first want to meet with a business coach who specializes in team-building and how to use conventions to improve your sales team’s performance. You will also want to brainstorm several key points or issues with your current sales force that should be addressed during the convention, such as:• Contest ideas to host
• Problem areas your current field force is facing (e.g., closure rates or conversion numbers)
• Product research regarding any products or services your company currently sells that field force members need to know
• Keynote speakers you would like to attend the convention
• Vendors you would like to see at the convention
• How long the convention will last (e.g., one day or an entire weekend)
• Where you would like to host the convention (e.g.,. local hotel, resort, or conference center)Convention planning should be fun. Integrate games, contests, and other rewards into real, hard-core teaching strategies so that employees look at their field force sales conventions as a way to break away from the desk and phones and enjoy themselves, while still engaging in team-building and sales promoting exercises.

How to Get Started With Social Media for the 50-60-Something Entrepreneur

When you see the title of this article, some of you may be saying, ‘what do you mean, how do I get started with social media, like it’s some big secret?’ To some, it might sound like a silly question as most people just dive into a platform and begin making posts.Now imagine if you will, that you’re a 50 or 60-something new entrepreneur. Most of your posts have been on Facebook or and you might have contributed to the company LinkedIn page, but you never had to bother with setting these social media accounts for your business.With dozens of multi-million networks and big companies pouring millions of dollars into it, social media may seem daunting for any small business entrepreneur, even more so for fifty-somethings who haven’t grown up with the Internet. But the amount of exposure social media can bring your business, and the opportunity it offers you to connect with your target audience and spread the word about your products or services cannot be ignored.Your competitors are already on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks. In a world full of mobile devices and apps, having only a website and blog is no longer enough.Here are some tips to get you started for the #FiftySomethingEntrepreneur.The Right Approach to Social MediaBefore getting started, you have to remember that social media is first and foremost social. While brands do use it to market themselves, sometimes using paid ads, the main benefit of being social is interacting with your audience. What’s more, Google takes into account the buzz you generate on social networks when determining your search engine ranking, or how high you show up in the Google search results.Start SmallThere are many social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Tumblr. As a startup or small business, you may not have the time or the resources to be active on all of them, nor should you.An effective strategy is to start small. Most businesses start with #Facebook, #Twitter, #LinkedIn, and optionally, #YouTube. Depending on your target customers, some of networks will offer you better returns on your time spent on them than others.Create a SM Marketing StrategyIt’s important to have a social media marketing strategy in place. Without one, social media can become a time-sink. Considering your audience, their needs, and what you can offer them. Decide what content would work best for them, whether it’s articles, images, videos, short updates, how-to guides, and so on. Social media is very flexible, so you mix it up to keep things interesting.Creating an Engaging Social Business PageAfter creating your accounts, you have to personalize them. Keep personal and professional accounts separate. For your business, make sure to create a business page, rather than a standard profile. This will enable you to customize your page with a logo, business address and other details, as well as access a wealth of data about your fans and followers. Add a custom header and background to your business page, and try to keep all pages consistent in terms of design.Content: Creation, Curation, and TimingYou also have to determine how often you will post fresh content on social media – at least two or three times a week is a must, and ideally you want to post something new every day. Fortunately, you don’t have to create all the content yourself. You can always curate or share content from experts in your industry, news sites, and other relevant sources, so long as you give credit to the creator and don’t infringe any usage rights.The Key to Success – Being Active and InvolvedThe hard work begins after you’ve set up your accounts. Posting is not enough. You have to interact with your audience by answering their questions, starting discussions, organizing contests, and rewarding loyal followers with mentions, and possibly for ecommerce businesses with coupons, or freebies. You have to follow others, share their content, and join groups and discussions. On social media, if you are not active, you are invisible.Social media can also open up the door to new professional connections. Actively connect with your existing connections and also seek influencers, experts, and other notable people in your industry. Share their content and you may catch their eye.Be SocialLast but not least, it’s important to keep in mind that being on social media is no longer optional for a small business. If you are not “social,” people won’t be able to find your business as easily, and many will go to your competitors instead. That’s why if you don’t have the time to manage your social media marketing efforts yourself, it’s better to delegate someone within your company to do it for you, or hire someone to help you with this.The key is to get started and not to shy away from engaging in social media. Trust me when I say it gets easier the more time you spend in doing some type of post. Now go and have some fun.

Will Google Places Help My Local Business?

Google Yahoo and Bing have each developed local search pages for the benefit of people searching for local businesses so what are the advantages for local business. After all local advertising, mail shots, fliers and the occasional local radio have sufficed until now.This is very true but times have changed. Offline advertising has become more expensive and less effective, mail shots are regarded as spam and fliers are seldom cost effective. People’s shopping habits have also changed. As buyers have become more mobile they are more inclined to search for what they want on the internet. The number of searches has risen each year and the advent of internet enabled mobile phones has meant that more people are searching on the fly. This has meant that local search pages are playing an ever increasing role in local commerce.It is expected that smart phones will become ever more important over the next twelve to twenty four months. Google is involved with the production of smart phones and is at the forefront of mobile software. It has been rumored that the phones will soon be free on signing a contract. This is bound to increase the use of Google local search pages.Google local search pages are now mobile ready.As smart phones become more available and cheaper, more people in the UK will use their mobile phones to search for services and products they want. Google has integrated Google maps with Google Mobile and developed an app to enable GPS services on your mobile thus helping searchers to physically find the outlet they are looking for.Large multinational companies are leaving the high street and going where the customers are. They are moving to the large out of town shopping complexes. This leaves the smaller local business at a disadvantage as it has always relied partly on passing traffic for direct marketing.Google with its mobile searches, with Google Places and Google maps has allowed local business to once again to have a presence. Of course just having a presence is seldom enough. Smaller local businesses need to be offering what the customer wants and be able to give a service superior to that of the larger chain stores. A positive helpful customer relationship will always gain over the disinterested customer relations of many of the larger stores and service industries.A properly setup and managed Google Places listing that is also mobile ready is probably the best and most economic way to help smaller local business customers find what they really want and therefore ensure that local business survives and thrives.