The Franchise Association welcomes and interviews Diane Shawe founder of Need a Hair Makeover Hair Extensions & Hair Loss Specialist Salon Franchise. Read interview in June Magazine. Read interview here
Every New Year I have always checked for the top business growth tips and trends.
This year I have decided to present my own because we the business community are still living in unprecedented times of uncertainty, fear, transformation, deception, confusion, and outright disruption of the old ways of doing business.
I am Diane Shawe founder of Virtual Speedy Services Ltd (which I gave birth to during the first lockdown) and author of ‘Answer 77 Questions about your business to avoid business failure’ shares her top small business growth strategies for the year ahead.
2021 has been a year of rapid transformation across all industries as the business community has dealt with shifting customer buying activities and economic challenges, as well as mitigating hot-button issues such as the pandemic and people’s changing conception of work life balance. In a year filled with change, there are some trends which are going to be firmly fixed into 2022 that you and your business should seriously build into your growth plans.
To lead your business in the right direction as we head into 2022, here are my humble 10 small business growth strategies.[
1. Prioritise your business culture
Throughout the pandemic, businesses have been dealing with “The Great Resignation” as workers are quitting their jobs at record-high rates. One of the reasons for this is that people are changing their definitions of what they consider a healthy work-life balance and what they want in a company culture.
“The pandemic has shifted the way people incorporate work into their life, whether it’s moving to another county for cheaper housing or not going into the office every day and getting the opportunity to do remote or hybrid work,” Diane states.
Diane goes on further to state that “Not all solutions are made equal, and culture is now a part of that. “A big factor for employees, in addition to salary and benefits, is culture, so have a culture strategy in place.”
2. Consider hiring more freelance workers
The number of gig workers, freelancers and contractors has grown exponentially over the last few years and they make up a large portion of workers within the current market.
“Small business owners will now be able to bring in more specialised freelance workers to carry out tasks without having to deal with the hiring and training costs that are often associated with recruiting a full-time employee,” said Diane. “With the importance of being agile in today’s economic environment … as well as the rise of remote work, … skilled outsource
Peopleperhour.com and fiverr.com are great places to start.
3. Work with micro-influencers
While small businesses may be competing against larger businesses to work with online influencers, collaborating with micro-influencers is an option to consider.
“As influencer marketing is becoming more popular than ever… micro-influencers are going to be the best option for small businesses because they don’t cost as much and they are more open to collaborating with small businesses too,” explained Diane. “With a couple of these small influencers helping [your business] reach specific audiences, growth will not be an impossible feat in 2022.”
4. Leverage the way you supply your products and services.
Distributors and businesses across the country dealt with supply chain issues with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic disruptions. In 2022, businesses must be aware of scarcities within the supply chain and get ahead of manufacturing and transportation challenges by working collaboratively with their suppliers.
Checkout companies like Amazon who can provide a fulfillment service for your orders. Consider moving to a drop shipping manufacturer or warehouse so as to reduce your cash investment in slow moving stock.
5. Educate client and partners your new paradigms
It’s important to inform your clients and partners about changes you’re making to better benefit your business across a shifting economic landscape. If the changes don’t land, it may be time to consider other options,
Many businesses are painfully aware how much the talent pool has changed. Working with potential employees, client partners to educate them on the new management styles needed, increased compensation packages and other aspects of recruitment and retention is very important.
6. Prepare for potential contracting opportunities
Almost 80 new businesses were created every hour across the UK in the first half of 2021, according to research by iwoca – one of Europe’s largest small business lenders.
Analysis of Companies House data reveals that 340,534 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021, an increase of 32% from 257,243 over the same time period in 2019.
London dominates list of areas to start a business
iwoca’s Small Business HotSpots UK 2021 reveals that Camden saw the largest number of businesses registered out of all UK local authorities, with 19,755 new companies – a rate of more than four and a half new firms every hour.
The second largest number of new businesses were registered in Hackney (13,646) followed by 10,151 in Westminster. London’s local authorities make up half of the top 10, which also includes Birmingham in 5th with 7,442 new firms and Kent placing 7th with 6,504 businesses.
London saw over one third of the new registrations with 120,338, followed by the South East (37,573) and North West (33,640). The capital city also witnessed the largest increase in new business registration compared to 2019 of 59%, with the West Midlands registering a 49% rise followed by the North East (28%).
Christoph Rieche, iwoca CEO and co-founder, said: “It is fantastic to see the creation of so many businesses during the first half of this year, they are testament to the entrepreneurial spirit which characterises our vibrant economy.
“Many of these businesses will be unnecessarily constrained by cashflow. At iwoca we turn cashflow into a superpower enabling them to grow faster and worry less. We look forward to working with many of them.”-
Why is such a growth happening?
A survey I read stated that 39% of people in current jobs are going to quit within the next 12 months, which is not great for an employer, but suggests a start of a business revolution is happening.
What advice would I give to somebody looking to start a business?
There is never a good time to do it and you just must go for it. It’s all encompassing and it’s a phenomenon. I just decided to go for it in 2000 and have never looked back. However you can be clever about it though – can you cut down your hours in your current role or could you work part-time initially? Explore your options wisely.
7. Get creative on sales and marketing opportunities
The digital marketing landscape has become increasingly challenging due to congestion and evolving regulations, said Diane Shawe of Virtual Speedy Services Ltd
“This is forcing many traditionally digital companies to explore other sales channels and marketing strategies,” she said.
To mitigate these challenges, Shawe said her company is getting creative by helping other companies engage with A.I. Conversational Marketing Technologies with its engaging methods.
8. Widen your business’s online footprint
Small businesses must adapt and be “practical” when it comes to sales, as consumers continue to favor online and mobile shopping.
“Businesses need to widen their online footprint to gain a significant proportion of customers from the current market,” said Diane. “A simple way to sell products is to have a sellers account on your popular social media or estore platforms. To sell services, … list [your company] on freelance and contract websites.” Also create a blog and YouTube website for reviewing products, testimonials, advice and tips. Become the expert in your field. Entry competitions, exhibitions, network meetings.
9. Learn video SEO strategies to rank higher on search engines
Video marketing has become an integral part of a successful marketing strategy with the rise of live videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. It’s estimated that by 2022, videos will account for 82% of all consumer traffic. That’s why video SEO should be a top priority for businesses in 2022.
“Small businesses that incorporate short-form videos into their website posts will see more organic traffic coming from search engines,” explained Gilmour. “As TikTok continues to grow, search engine algorithms will shift to articles and posts that include short-form videos. Short-form videos from TikTok and YouTube may even become the main point of ‘how to’ searches.”
10. Utilise partnership marketing to reach a broader audience Partnership marketing is a strategic collaboration that gives you and your partner company a chance to reach a wider audience together, explained Diane Shawe, founder of Virtual Speedy Services Ltd.
“Collaboration with another company can aid in the development of better marketing initiatives that benefit both parties, If your target clients are similar, you may pool your resources to better your marketing techniques, build your brands and expand your audience reach.”
Start to use smart customer acquisition techniques such as collaborating with discount giants such as wowcher, groupon or discount voucher websites to help get your business name, brand or services directly into potential customers mobile.
“Another example, if a consumer purchases a product from you, you can provide a discount coupon that they can use to purchase discounted products from your business partner,” said Diane. “Co-branding of a product or project can also boost both companies’ marketing power.”
Virtual Speedy Services Ltd is set up to provide a suite of services for Small and Medium size businesses to help them efficiently and quickly Setup or expand their business. Our core service is A.I technology by designing conversational marketing chatbots to generate quality business leads or engage online visitors in real time. We populate and generate impressive business plan and 5 years projections for focus, raising finance along with smart eCommerce website, streamlined social media tools and an effective google verified website. We think of ourselves as your Virtual Personal Assistance who will help streamline your business development and growth without all the drama.
We can all agree tht social media plays an important part in sharing your message, services or products. But how do you start tracking what you have posted and how can it help your business, product or brand. I was researching this and have the following this to share with you.
It is important to set up a social media strategy to align with your business goals, and pulled together either paid or free social monitoring services, you’ve got one more habit to get into: tracking. From one fellow community manager to another, you know how important it is to know how one tweet performed versus another, or if one blog post rocked on one social network over another. This can only happen by having the right tracking in place.
Why Use Trackable Sharing Buttons
Not all sharing buttons are created equal, which is why you should pick sharing buttons that will give you a good signal of what’s going on in your site. You may see some insight in your analytics that tell you people visited your site, and some of them were from social. But to really know how and where your community is sharing your content, your sharing buttons should tell you.
2) Choose the social network you want people to share your content on.
3) Fill in the blanks.
4) Download a social button icon.
5) Make the icons clickable using your share link.
By using the right sharing buttons to help you see which social network is most popular among your audience, you’re going to understand your community better. Who knows? There may be a strong niche community reading your content in a social network you’re not actively engaging. These are a community manager’s dream gems to find!
Why Use Trackable Follow Buttons
Do you know, off the top of your head, how many social followers your site got for you this week? If your follow buttons were trackable, you’d be able to get this number without much digging in your analytics. And wouldn’t it rock to be able to tell your teammates you know that most of your Instagram followers came from your site? (This happened to us, actually!) As a community manager, this is the type of understanding that’ll open your eyes into exactly how your audience is engaging with your content. Discover which social networks your audience is most engaged with, and how your site is helping you drive engagement off your domain with trackable follow buttons.
Why Us Trackable Chatbots
Don’t lift a finger and still deal with your enquiries 24/7
The next big thing to hit SME’s is Chatbots Using Artificial Intelegence. The number 1 complaint about launching and running a online business or attracting responses to a posting is generating enough enquiries to make a sale or even responding to all the enquiries within 24 hours.!
Chatbots can assist you and there is “No Need To Lift a Finger Because some of the Proven System Will Do The Work And Get You More Leads!” The data coming out now is that more and more people are moving to online communications and shows that you need to start leveraging Chatbots to streamline customer communications, problem solving and sales. Individuals are using messaging Chatbots for many different reasons. However, the key things your customers want from any communication is quick response, help with there enquiry, ability to make appointments or make a purchase or have a problem attended to quickly.
You can automatically generate unique hashes appended to all of your site’s pages to help you generate unique links that you can then use to push to social. Address bar sharing adds a unique set of characters to the very end of your URL that will make that URL unique. (And don’t worry, this will not negatively affect your SEO.)
The reason you’ll want to do this is if you’re trying to monitor how the same content performs on different social networks, and which messaging performed best on the same topic.
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending so much time creating awesome content, and having tons of Tweets, tiktok and instagram out there to drive traffic to your pages, and then not being able to tell which phrasing or timing actually worked best.
Go beyond the pageviews and visits by making all your site’s URLs generate uniquely. You’ll then even be able to catch where a big segment of your traffic came from.
How to embed a tweet using the Twitter website
Open Twitter in a web browser, log in if necessary, and find the tweet you want to embed.
Click the three dots at the top right of the tweet.
In the dropdown menu, choose “Embed Tweet.”
The Twitter Publish page should appear. …
When you’re done, click “Update.”
How to embed a tweet on a website using Twitter’s embed tool
Why Use Analytics
Tying all of that data together into an easy-to-read dashboard is usually the hardest part of a community manager’s job, but lucky for you, AddThis’ dashboard pulls all of this information for you in one place.
The dashboard lays out in crisp and clear graphics how all of your audience members engaged with your site, which tools they used to engage, and which content they liked the most.
Know exactly which social network is growing the most from your site, and which is being shared to the most. Know all this by just scanning your dashboard (without drowning in search queries and exported spreadsheets).
Did you know that Sales of beauty products in Britain have outstripped France and now exceed £4 billion. And the British love of luxury and everyday hair and beauty including personal care products shows no signs of receding. Meanwhile, the industry is quick to innovate, including forthcoming hair, hair extensions and personal care product ranges covering “active beauty” and “active hair” tied into the huge health and well-being market, the rise of synthetic heat tollerant hair that feels and looks like real hair, temperature and water-activated products, water repellant and high gloss hair products and even personalised beauty regimes linked to DNA analysis.
Hair & Beauty Franchise Ideas
Having the backing of a franchiser in the hair and beauty industry can be vital, as you are guaranteed well-known and trusted procedures, products, and you can tap into a wealth of business and product support, plus training and marketing services.
Thanks to the power of the internet, opening your own salon is no longer a lonely standalone task. A new breed of entrepreneurs has risen up and is taking the Hair & beauty industry by storm. They supply a growing range of specialist services and products often promoted via social media and video blogs.
There is also a thriving marketplace for, specialists who are looking to set up their own Hair Extensions & Hairloss business.
You’ll find a massive opportunity at Need A Hair Makeover Franchise!
For many people in Britain and throughout Europe, hair loss, thin hair and damaged hair is a major problem. You can help them to get all the help that they need for a full-on hair makeover with the simplest of solutions.
With the help of our franchise set-up, you can:
* Duplicate a real, genuine business that allows you to help others.
* Set up a business that consistently provides an impressive return on investment.
* Put together a business that helps you assist real people with genuine needs.
* Develop a meaningful career path for yourself that has rewards for years to come.
* Impressive returns on your investment
From ordinary hair to Specialist Hair Services
Checkout our their Franchise Opportunity which includes Business Plan, Raising Finance, Training and launching your businness with full support.
Find out if you could secure your area today. Request a brochure or Click to have a chat http://bit.ly/3jYM20b
8 Advantages Of Accounting Software Over Spreadsheets
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FreeAgent’s online accounting software helps small businesses, freelancers, contractors and sole traders take control of their business finances.
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FreeAgent online accounting software brings everything together, from invoice and expense management to VAT, payroll and self assessment tax return filing, so you can wave goodbye to fiddly templates and spreadsheets.
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FreshBooks – Affordable Accounting for Small UK Businesses
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Recurring billing, client retainers, and real-time reports into your small business’s health and accounts? FreshBooks not only does it all, but comes in a range of affordable pricing tiers to cater to growing small businesses. Starting at £4.40
Ember – An Accounting Solution To Scale With Your Startup
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Automated filing, tax optimisations, easy invoicing, and more, Ember powers your SME’s potential, with chartered accountants on hand to help you manage your finances with ease. Run your business – we’ll take care of the rest. £39.00 monthly
QuickBooks smart, simple, HMRC-recognised software helps you focus on running your business. Manage taxes, cash flow, invoicing and payroll, all in one place. There’s no contract and award-winning UK-based support is free. Starting at £6.00
Excellent Trustpilot reviews! Clearbooks gives you Invoicing, Purchasing & Financial Tracking. You’ll get a cross-section of your company’s accounts. Search, sort, and filter your supplier and purchase data, and share it easily! Starting at £9.60
Sage’s industry-leading software caters to a customer base of over six million. But go back to 1981, and Sage had just begun life in a basement, focusing solely on – you guessed accounting software. £12.00 monthly
Checkout my 1 minute tutorial on how to do butterfly locs that won’t unravel.
Butterfly Locs are like the perfect mix of goddess locs and passion twists. The messy, bohemian style is ethereal, low maintenance, and very natural looking. For those of us that want a style that changes over time, doesn’t require much fuss to make it work, and celebrates curls and coils while still protecting our own hair, this style may be for you.
What Type of Hair to Use and How Much
Depending on how long your natural hair is and how long you want your locs to be, you may need two types of hair. If you want locs that aren’tlonger than your own hair, you’ll need need roughly 6-8 packs of some type of water wave or marley hair in 22-28 inches. This hair is curly and bouncy and that’s what will give you the characteristic loops that give Butterfly Locs their name.
Maintenance & refreshing Butterfly Locs
Keeping your style well maintained and your scalp healthy is a very important part to having a protective style. Make sure your hair is washed, deep-conditioned and well moisturised before installing the locs, and you’ll also need to do periodic maintenance with this style.
Keep leavein spray conditioner on hand to keep your scalp moisturised. Try a non oily brand so you don’t get any flaky buildup in the hair between the fake hair.
Use mousse to keep flyaways at bay and to give your Butterfly Locs a “finished” look.
You may need to re-wrap a few locs here and there, and use some edge control on new growth.
Can you wash Butterfly Locs?
The short answer is yes, you can wash Butterfly Locs, but most people focus on keeping their scalp clean. There are some really good dry shampoos out in the market place now that are not white powder based.
Try not to keep them in longer than 6 weeks
At Need a Hair makeover hair extensions and hair loss specialist salon we can help make your dreams come true.
Accredited by the Good Salon Guide as a top Hair Extensions Artist, we recognise how important your hair is to you.
We also work with models, actors, brides, wedding and prom hair group booking. Treat and disguising hair loss caused by medication, health issues or chemical damage.
Our makeovers can also include facials, contouring makeup, nail extensions, hair conditioning and photo.
We also have a private room for those who prefer to be treated exclusively, we take all major debit and credit cards, you can book appointments online
I have been noticing that most of my food is going mouldy quicker, even in the jars! I was curious to find out why, espcially as this is happening more and more in the fridge as well. I thought the fridge was designed to keep things cool and slow down the detiriation of our food.
I also wanted to know what mould did to the body if injected, my mind started to generate all types of conspiracy theory so I decided to do a little research based on facts.
We all grow up learning mold is gross. But is it just unpleasant, or is it actually dangerous? Isn’t it mould that makes blue cheese blue? And wasn’t penicillin first discovered in moldy bread?
Are we wasting perfectly safe food when we throw it out? Or are we gambling our health when we shrug our shoulders and eat that piece of cheese that had a dusting of white fuzz?
How does mould grow on food?
I found this bit scary because is the air we are breathing so toxic? Is that why we are getting sicker even though we are more health concious? I mean think about it, our lungs are very moist!
So back to the question: Tiny mould spores are carried in the air. When these spores land on food, they take root and grow until they produce patches of mould visible to the naked eye. Once they mature, they produce new spores and release them into the environment and the cycle continues!
What is mold on food?
Mould is a microscopic fungus, and yes—spoilers!—consuming it can be bad for our health. Like its cousin the mushroom, there are thousands of different species.
Some are safe to consume, but many produce poisonous mycotoxins that cause illness and even death. Additionally, some people are allergic to mould and need to steer clear of it. So dealing with mold on food is serious business.
Why does mould grow on food?
Mould requires three things to grow: organic matter, water and oxygen. Food provides the the first two ingredients. Exposed to air, mold has everything it needs to grow.
How long does it take for mould to grow on food?
Many factors affect the rate of growth of mould: the specific type of mould, the food it’s growing on, and the ambient temperature and humidity. Many species of mould like warmer temperatures and mould growing on fruit on your counter may develop in very few days, especially in the warm humid summer months. Other mould growing on food with less water content in the cool of a refrigerator might take several weeks.
How to handle mould on food?
Mould can grow on most types of food, but not all food is the same.
Red Flag Food
Red flag food items should be automatically discarded when mouldy. These items include most food items, particularly soft and moist foods:
Luncheon meats, hot dogs, bacon, etc.
Cooked leftover meat, poultry and fish
Cooked pasta and cooked grains
Sour cream and yoghurt
Soft fruits such as tomatoes, berries, cucumbers, etc.
Some other drier, harder foods fall into this category as well:
Nuts and legumes
Bread, baked goods and other highly porous items
In general, softer food with more moisture content is more prone to moulding, and can’t be safely salvaged. In addition to the mould itself, soft moist food can provide an ideal environment for dangerous bacteria to grow. For these foods, it’s important not to assume the problem is limited to the mould you see.
Throw away the mouldy food, and carefully inspect other nearby food, especially food in the same package. Do not sniff mouldy food: spores might get into your respiratory system. Wrap the spoiled items in plastic to contain the spores, and discard.
To eat or not to eat?
Moulds can grow in the fridge and will even survive freezing. They can also survive in salty, sugary and acidic environments. This is scary!
As mould on our food is so hard to avoid, here are some general guidelines from the most Food Safety and Inspection Service on responding to the problem:
Discard all of these foods if mouldy:
Luncheon meat, bacon, and hot dogs.
Yoghurt, sour cream and soft cheese.
Soft fruits and vegetables
Bread and baked goods.
Peanut butter, nuts and legumes.
Jams and jellies – but note Dr Hocking has a slightly different view for Australian jams.
These foods can be saved from mould:
Hard salami (the dry, aged type) – scrub mould from the surface.
Hard cheese – cut off at least 2.5 centimetres around and below the mould. Don’t let the knife touch the mould and recover the cheese with fresh wrap.
Firm fruit and veg – small mould spots can be cut off.
Cheeses made with mould
The mould used in making these cheeses is safe for consumption. However, if other mold that is not part of the manufacturing process is present, these items should be discarded just like any other red flag food item. Some blue cheeses may be hard enough to be treated as a Yellow Flag item (see below for care). However, if you are unsure where to draw the line, remember: when in doubt, throw it out.
Note that while the mould that forms the blue veins inside blue cheeses is harmless when deprived of oxygen inside the cheese, the same strain of mold can form harmful mycotoxins if allowed to grow on surfaces exposed to air. Be careful of cross-contamination with these cheeses and keep them wrapped in cellophane while storing them.
Yellow Flag Food
Other foods, particularly harder and drier foods, can sometimes be kept once the mold is carefully removed. These include:
Firm fruits and vegetables (cabbage, carrots, bell pepers, etc.)
Hard salami and dry-cured ham
If you’re going to cut away mould rather than discard the item, it’s important to remember that there is more mould present than what you can see. Below the surface, mould will have penetrated up to 2cm or more. For these food items, mould can be cut away but you should cut at least 2.5cm (1 inch) outside of and underneath any visible surface mould. Be careful to keep the knife clear of the mould to avoid contaminating the rest of the food as you cut.
Note that surface mould is a normal occurrence on certain hard salamis. In this case, scrubbing the mould off the surface is sufficient. Again, it never hurts to be cautious. When in doubt, throw it out.
Different types of food mould
Black mold on food
I did not like this bit, but if you are going to understand something, you can’t disguard the ugly sides. Well here goes.. Various strains of mould can have a black appearance. Homeowners know to watch out for black toxic mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly found in attics.
However there are many non-toxic strains of black mould as well, including Rhizopus stolonifera, also known as black bread mould. You may encounter black mould on the rubber seals of your refrigerator or on food. While this doesn’t prove you have black toxic mould in your house, you are best to assume it may be harmful and discard the food item in question, meticulously scrub clean the refrigerator, and look for signs of black mould in your house.
Pink mould on food
Pink mouldy formations on food may not be mould at all, but rather bacteria growing. Aureobasidium and Fusarium are also two common fungi that grow with a pinkish colour.
Pink mould is most often seen on bread, dairy products and meat. Dangers of pink mold include infection of the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or urinary tracts.
White mould on food
White mould is seen on a variety of foods, from the white mould purposefully grown on the outside of certain cheeses, to fluffy white mold appearing on berries and other fruit.
Many strains of mould can appear white, and to complicate matters many coloured strains of mould may go through a phase where they appear white before developing the spores that give them their colour. Unless white mould is a purposeful part of a food’s production (e.g. brie and camembert cheese), assume it is toxic and handle affected food accordingly.
Green mould on food
Green mould is commonly found on citrus fruit and bread. Cladosporium is one particularly common species of green mould.
It can have a potent smell and be particularly irritating, particularly for people with mould allergies. This can lead to respiratory problems such as wheezing and coughing, as well as vomiting. Clodosporium mold can produce mycotoxins as well, so avoid exposure.
Orange mould on food
A variety of mould can take on an orange colour, including Fuligo septica and Aleuria aurantia. These orange moulds commonly have a slimy texture.
While they may be less dangerous than some other colours of mould, they can still cause respiratory problems, and where orange mould is present, bacteria are also likely to be found.
Furthermore, orange mould is particularly prone to growing on wood. So not only is orange mould a threat to your food, it is a threat to the wood in your house.
Red mould on food
While various strains of mould can be red, red mould on food is most commonly Neurospora. While this type of mould is typically less dangerous than other types of mould, some mycotoxin-producing moulds might appear red in certain conditions, or might be present alongside red mould. It’s therefore wisest to treat red mould on food with the same caution as other mould.
Blue mould on food
Blue mould on bread and the blue mould deliberately cultivated to make blue cheese are strains of the genus Penicillium. And yes, some species of Penicillium (but not all!) produce penicillin. Many species of Penicillium are innocuous, but some are not.
And while the blue mould in blue cheese, deprived of oxygen, is safe for consumption, that same strain of mould can produce mycotoxins when it grows on an outside surface exposed to air. So, eat that blue cheese but treat other blue mould as potentially toxic.
Consumers Select Food Based on Colour at the Supermarket
It is widely accepted that consumers select a food product with their eyes, so products need to look fresh and tasty.
Oxidation is the Enemy
Oxidation, a chain reaction that occurs in the presence of oxygen, is responsible for the deterioration of food products, including off-flavours and off-odours. This process is affected by processing, packaging and storing techniques, as well as product ingredients.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that:
Significantly delay or prevent oxidation
Help maintain fresh appearance and colour
Extend shelf life
How Do They Work?
Antioxidants delay the onset of oxidation by donating hydrogen atoms to quench free radicals, forming a stable antioxidant radical that is unable to participate in propagation reactions, slowing down oxidation.
What happens if you eat mould?
Is it dangerous to inhale mould spores from food?
Inhaling mould visible on food is risky and should be avoided. It may cause allergic reactions or problems with the respiratory tract. When mould isn’t visible, sniffing may be a useful way to detect it—e.g. smelling dishcloths. However, once you’ve spotted mould, avoid inhaling.
Can mould on food make you sick?
Mould on food can be harmful in various ways. Some people are allergic to mould and could have a potentially serious reaction. However, even if you don’t have allergies, mould can cause irritation in the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or urinary tracts. And the mycotoxins created by some moulds are poisonous carcinogens that can prove fatal.
What are health symptoms you can get by eating mould on food?
Allergic reactions to mould can include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, postnasal drip, irritated eyes, nose and throat and dry, scaly skin. Those with asthma may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.
Those without allergies may still experience respiratory problems such as wheezing, sneezing, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, this can lead to respiratory infection and even hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
A particular concern is ingesting mould that produces mycotoxins. Signs of mycotoxin poisoning include reduced appetite, a general feeling of malaise, acute illness or death in rare cases.
Food mould facts and questions
Which food will mould fastest?
Storage conditions will have a significant effect on how quickly a given food turns mouldy. However, all things being equal, food with a high moisture content will mould first. Thus, in the fridge, fruits such as strawberries or cucumber might get mouldy before other foods. Stored at room temperature, natural bread (with no preservatives) can get mouldy quite quickly.
Is it safe to eat fruits with mould on a peel you discard?
It may be tempting to think that for fruit with a peel, simply removing and discarding the peel may be enough to protect you. In the case of a firm fruit like a pineapple, it can indeed be treated as a “yellow flag” food, carefully cutting away the affected area.
Fruits with a softer peel like oranges or bananas should be treated as “red flag” foods and discarded—underneath the visible mould, it may have penetrated the peel to the flesh of the fruit inside. In the case of an avocado, while the skin is quite tough mold can still get underneath and infect the fruit inside. Play it safe and discard it.
What temperature kills mould spores in food?
Most moulds are killed off by temperatures of 60-70°C (140-160°F). Thus, boiling water is generally enough to kill off mould. Remember, though, that mould doesn’t just grow on the surface: heat will have to penetrate into whatever the mould is growing in to kill it. Also keep in mind that the mycotoxins produced by certain mould can survive intense heat: boiling may kill the mould but leave its poisons still intact.
It takes one mouldy food item to get the whole basket covered in mold! This is very important rule to remember the moment you are at the market. If you are buying nonpacked items, ensure each of them is fresh. If you notice mold on any single piece, simply don’t buy it. Examine each item for bruising, softness, oxidation or signs of mould before you buy it and avoid any items that look overly ripe.
On the other hand, when buying pre-packed food you cannot examine every single piece, meaning that mouldy items can go unseen. In that case, ensure you checked the date and chose the one that was most recently packed. Instead of buying processed or pre-packed food, where you often don’t have control of the freshness (the story of wrong dates is not rarely heard), choose local markets and stores you can trust.
Once you buy your delicious food, especially fresh fruit and veggies, it is important to keep it covered until you’re ready to eat it to minimize the risk of cross-contamination with bacteria, mold, dust and debris from the environment. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to keep for longest, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and cheese.
Rinse the contents of canned goods under water and store them in your fridge in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers. Refrigerate leftovers and use them within four days.
Consume early to avoid mold. The first step you can take to prevent food going bad is to eat it before mould has time to take hold. Especially for moisture-rich and porous food like fruits and breads, buy in smaller quantities so you can consume it within a just a few days.
Keep food cold: the cooler the better. Keep food, especially soft moist food like fruit, in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. Only take it out while you’re using it—under two hours. To keep food mould-free for longer periods, store it in the freezer rather than the fridge.
Use heat to kill mold. High acid foods such as fruits, jams and jellies can be made safe to preserve through heat treatment. A boiling water bath is a common practice to prepare them for a long shelf-life. The amount of time required for a water bath will vary depending on what and how much you’re canning, so be sure to adapt your method to the specific food you’re treating.
Keep kitchen tools and surfaces clean. Mould may thrive on food, but it can be found anywhere. The less mould in your kitchen, the less your food will get exposed. Clean your refrigerator and other kitchen surfaces with a mixture of 5ml of baking powder to 1L of water. Watch out for black-coloured mold on your fridge’s rubber seals and scrub carefully to clean it out.
Keep your dishcloths, tea towels, sponges, mops and other kitchen tools clean. Give them the sniff test: if they smell musty, they may be harbouring mould. Any item that you can’t get clean and fresh-smelling, discard and replace.
In order to prevent mould on food you will have to work on overall kitchen mould prevention. In most cases it includes either ensuring there is enough fresh air or regular cleaning. Here are a few tips that can help you prevent mold in the kitchen.
As said above – mould can grow in the fridge and, thus, it is important to keep the inside of the refrigerator clean. We suggest cleaning it every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly before storing food again.
Ensure your food is still fresh by checking it every day or two. Toss away anything that has a sign of mould or that started rotting away.
Wash the dishes at least once a day. Don’t leave food leftovers in your sink behind you once you are done with the meal. Throw them away immediately. If you are in a rush, keep your dishes under water to prevent food stains from hardening until you can wash them properly.
Mould can be found in dishwasher and garbage disposals. It can be the reason behind the odors, thus keeping it clean should be your priority. At least once a week pour baking soda, salt and vinegar (or lemon) own the sink and leave it for 10 minutes. You can add lemon or orange peels and even essential oils to give it a nice smell. After that all you have to do is pour boiled water to wash it up and your disposal and sink will be clean, mould-free and refreshed.
Kitchen tools, especially wooden ones should be washed and well dried before set aside, because wood is one of the favourite food for mould. All you have to do is simply wash them after you used them and leave them to dry well somewhere where it is not wet and it has enough fresh air and light. (for example if you are done with cooking and your stove is still warm, you can put it next to it to dry.
Don’t forget about unused kitchen appliances. They are often sealed and if not well dried, mould can form due to water evaporation inside. The best way to prevent mold from developing inside is to ensure it is well dried before storing and, if there is a possibility, keep it open.
And last but not least, make sure that the relative humidity in your home is between 30% and 50%, especially in the warmer months, when mold is known to flourish. The easiest thing you can do to control the humidity level is to keep your windows open as often as possible. If that is not possible your next steps should bes either air vents or even a dehumidifier.
As with mould in general, there are many strains of mould that can be found on food. While some are innocuous, many are not. While mould that’s purposefully introduced into certain cheeses can be safe, always treat other mould on food as a dangerous substance. Treat “yellow flag” foods with caution and for “red flag” foods, play it safe and discard it.
And remember, the same concerns about mould allergies and mould toxicity that applies to food mould also applies to other mould in your house. Keep watch for mould in your kitchen and whole house, and if you detect signs of mould, get informed as to the steps needed to eradicate it safely.
Each disinfecting chemical has its own specific instructions. But an important general rule is that you shouldn’t immediately wipe a cleaning solution off as soon as you’ve applied it to a surface. Let it sit there long enough to kill viruses first,” says Donald Schaffner, professor and extension specialist in food science with expertise in microbial risk assessment and handwashing.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends daily disinfection for frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards,toilets, faucets, and sinks.
The CDC also recommends the use of detergent or soap and water on dirty surfaces prior to disinfection.
If someone in your home is sick with flu-like symptoms, consider regularly disinfecting objects in your home, since SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to survive for 16 hours on plastics.
Whatever cleaning solution you use, let it remain in contact with the surface long enough to kill viruses and other pathogens. The time needed will depend on the chemical.
Don’t use different cleaning agents at the same time. Some household chemicals, if mixed, can create dangerous and poisonous gases.
How do I clean with bleach?
Bleach can be diluted with cold water to make an effective disinfectant against bacteria,fungi, and many viruses including coronaviruses. You can typically use one-quarter cup of bleach per 1 gallon of cold water—but be sure to follow the directions on the label of your bleach.
Make dilute bleach solution as needed and use it within 24 hours, as its disinfecting ability fades with time.
Non-porous items like plastic toys can be immersed in bleach for 30 seconds. Household surfaces that won’t be damaged by bleach should get 10 or more minutes of exposure.
Bleach solutions are very hard on the skin, and should not be used as a substitute for handwashing and/or hand sanitizer.
What about alcohol?
Alcohol in many forms, including rubbing alcohol, can be effective for killing many pathogens.
You can dilute alcohol with water (or aloe vera to make hand sanitizer) but be sure to keep an alcohol concentration of around 70% to kill coronaviruses. Many hand sanitizers have a concentration of about 60% alcohol, and Lysol contains about 80%; these are all effective against coronaviruses.
Solutions of 70% alcohol should be left on surfaces for 30 seconds (including cellphones—but check the advice of the phone manufacturer to make sure you don’t void the warranty) to ensure they will kill viruses. Pure (100%) alcohol evaporates too quickly for this purpose.
Containers of 70% alcohol should be sealed to prevent evaporation. But unlike bleach solutions, they will remain potent as long as they are sealed between uses.
A 70% alcohol solution with water will be very harsh on your hands and should not be used as a substitute for handwashing and/or hand sanitizer.
Can I use hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxideis typically sold in concentrations of about 3%. It can be used as is, or diluted to 0.5% concentration for effective use against coronaviruses on surfaces. It should be left on surfaces for one minute before wiping.
Will vinegar kill off coronavirus?
Vinegar, tea tree oil, and other natural products are not recommended for fighting coronaviruses.
A study on influenza virus found that cleaning with a 10% solution of malt vinegar was effective, but few other studies have found vinegar to be able to kill a significant fraction of viruses or other microbes.
While tea tree oil may help control the virus that causes cold sores, there is no evidence that it can kill coronaviruses.
Loyalty is not the same as it once used to be. People move on fast and forget faster and the best dis-loyality tool is the mobile phone because it pumps tempting offers and inform them of alternative and your competitor in seconds!
Admit it, we all use our mobile phone search tools like our life depended on it.
One of the problems many small businesses face is the challenge to stay current, modern and up to date. The temptations to scale up and expand instead of focussing on their core brand and what they stand for is often erased from any growth plans. For example, although I enjoyed the odd facial a this local beauty salon, I never quite figured out what they really stood for because they seem to offer all sorts of bits and bobs in the salon.. I take many felt the same way…
So I am going to focus on salons at the moment because I think they face a growing challenge each day from the swelling mobile provider.
How about your salon? Sometimes it is tempting to scale up by trying to innovate, hire more and invest in the next best computer systems, but if you take your eye off your brand’s core values, your clients will slowly start to move away from you.
That of course, does not mean you are not to leap from your current situation to the next stage (whatever that might be), but as you do, here are some things worth remembering…
If you don’t know what your salon brand stands for neither do your clients (we do hair is not enough) Perhaps you should consider another way that you can grow stronger and that could be by scaling back to basics.
If you don’t know where you are driving, chances of arriving anywhere is pretty slim
The latest computer systems do not mean higher sales, could have the opposite effect
Here are 5 tips to get you started on the right path to scaling back:
Ugly flyers can give you more than you need to get busy on a Tuesday afternoon and ultimately.
Every quarter, it is wise to unplug, review, reevaluate, then set in goals, visions, and targets.
It is wise to craft your salon message than learn how to communicate with your clients. Use Social media it can be cheaper andvery effective.
If you stop promotions and marketing you will cut the lifeline from your sales so don’t.
If you don’t understand your individual team member’s needs and aspirations you will always be having staff walkouts (their needs is not what you think they are) Keeping your staff happy can bring in more sales.
… so the moral of this message is, when you are thinking about scaling up, remember, it’s not always about expansions and latest technological innovations, think holistically, think outside the box and remember sometimes scaling back will give you the boost you need to eventually scale up.
After all, when you give a cat some cream they purr, keeping your customers and enticing them to sell your exceptional services is worth investing some quality thinking time each quarter and then acting upon it.
Happy scaling back and leaping from this to that onto making your clients happy.