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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Women and make up-the true meaning of beauty


                            What makes a woman beautiful? People say all sorts of things about beauty. Or should I just say that when beauty is mentioned, the next thing that goes side-by –side with it is makeup. Though there are so many weird facts and contriving issues about beauty and makeup. Some are just preposterous while others are unimaginable. Therefore, it won’t be incongruous to say that we live in a world where true beauty is misunderstood. In that wise comes this article to shed more light on important gray areas.

                   Obviously, when makeup is mentioned, women come to the fore. This is not surprising. Of the ever increasing amount of cosmetic procedures in the US, 92% was performed on women. So for men to displace women from this position will be like trying to go to the moon on foot. We live in a world where everyone is being programmed like a bot to listen to the dictates of the society. I was able to dig out some interesting facts and will be more than willing to share them.
                        America happens to possess the largest market for the cosmetic industry globally. According to reports obtained from +marketline, the cosmetic industry generated close to $35 billion in 2010 and about $55billon in 2012. L’oreal is the world’s largest cosmetic company. It was founded in 1907 by Eugene Schueller. They currently have over 28 brands globally The company s largely controlled by Lilliane Bettencourt and her family. According to Women’s Wear Daily, L’oreal generated about 22.46 billion Euros in 2012. Lillane Bettencourt is undoubtedly one of the richest people in France with an estimated net worth of $24 billion (with L’oreal being her source of income). Other top brands in the global cosmetic industry include Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Estee Lauder companies and Shisedo. Cosmetic surgeries have skyrocketed and yearly cost about $7 billion in the US alone.
                  With more and more people spending more money on cosmetics and makeup, it has been my concern to unravel the major motif propagating the growth of this highly lucrative industry. My findings have been surprising as you would guess. Women have been misguided and misinformed by the media to the extent that natural beauty no longer poses any sensible meaning in the ears of many. Look across our highways, what you see is different types of skinny models all dressed partly unclad in the name of promoting a beauty product. The front cover of most magazines almost always contain embellished photographs of skinny models posing unclad all in the name of selling one product or brand. Unfortunately, society has adopted this false misrepresentation of beauty.
                      I recently listened to the mexican-kenyan Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. In a speech delivered by her after receiving her Oscar awards, she described how the society made her feel inferior as a young black girl. Not until her later years did she overcome the inferiority complex she was birthed with by the media. There was no way she could have gotten the Oscar award had she not found her true beauty despite what the society was saying about her.
                         I sincerely believe that you should make a deep and insightful thought before you spend your money on any beauty or make up product or procedure. Ask yourself, “is there any justification for it”. I believe true beauty comes from within and not from outward appearances only. Rather than getting that boob implant or facial surgery, why not invest in the developing of the inward beauty that reflects through positive attitude and character. Its high time we stopped looking at women from the wrong perspective of ideal perfection that media has created over time. Unhealthy lifestyle and appearance should therefore be abhorred without any inkling of consideration.

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Why you should build strong relationships with your clients (part 2)

                     My fondly cherished old Nokia phone had gone so bad and I desperately needed a new phone. I headed for a phone store and was enthusiastically welcomed as if I was an angel. The store attendants attended to me promptly and in a matter of minutes, they had talked me into buying a not too pricy android phone. The transaction happened almost at the speed of light. I got away so happy thinking about the amazing experience I just had. It’s a fine and normal experience that accompanies any transaction in which a client leaves a business with the two most important things- good feelings and solutions to problems. Practically speaking, these are the two intricate things a buyer pays for 100% of the time, no matter the goods or services they have purchased.
                       Unfortunately, the phone developed a minor fault few days into using it and with the joy of the last time I entered enthusiastically into the store to complain. To my surprise, I was shunned completely as if I had a contactable plague. The same set of attendant that was so nice at the point of sale became so cold at the point of complaint. “I must have made a terrible mistake by buying my phone here”, so I pondered within myself. Unfortunately, this is how a lot of small businesses, especially in a third world country like Nigeria operate. Always promptly attending to buying clients but not to complaining ones.
                      A serious business understands that handling complaints is a good way of regaining a customer’s trust and thus building strong relationships with them. A complaining customer is an immense asset to any business. A business that is not ready to resolve complaints won’t retain most of its clients. Small businesses need to see complaints as an opportunity to know how well they are performing. Therefore, small business needs to encourage their clients to voice out their complaints or any cause of dissatisfaction. Once complaints have been forwarded, prompt attention should be paid to them and  then  adequate solutions provided. A dissatisfied client that is treated in this manner has over 90% possibility of coming back and  will definitely  refer to  you  other clients. It is very easy to neglect important things like complaints but they are key to building lasting relationships with clients. FORTUNE 500 companies realize this and this is why they spend millions of dollars in building effective customer care units and also in the area of obtaining customer feedbacks.
                       A business should have a designated team of staff that will handle customer feedbacks and complaints. This doesn’t have to cost much. Simple things like having a suggestion or complaint box, positioned in a strategic place in the business premises will usually suffice. A transaction will only fetch you a few bucks but a continually paying and loyal customer will transform your small business into a whole new level. Therefore, pay attention to building lasting relationships with your clients. Don’t be like the phone store that only made one transaction and then lost my loyalty. It’s far more expensive to get a new client than it is to retain the one you already have.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Why you should build strong relationships with your clients

                           From the early days of starting my business, I had been  building strong  relationships with my clients. Though I was still new to business then, I still saw the need to build strong lasting relationships with my client. I eventually got to a point where I had close contact with most of my clients and this started translating into more sales for me. I usually get inquiries from many of my business partners and colleagues, asking me to help them strengthen their business relationship with their clients. For this purpose, I have  decided to share some tips I have gathered over the years to help  struggling businesses.
                                  It is a known fact that all customers will only exchange their hard earned money for a service just because of two reasons and these are: solutions to problems and good feelings. This is the basis of every sale. Just think of any transaction you ever had with your clients and you will discover that those two reasons where the basis of the transaction. It is therefore very important to make sure you satisfy your clients to a point where these two things will be achieved. This is why the first interaction with your client is very important and might be a deciding factor if he or she will ever come back to patronize you again. Why then do need to build a relationship with a client? It’s because you need to give them the reasons why your business should be patronized  and not  your competitors. One of the ways a company or business can do this is by tailoring their  services to meet the needs of the clients. When this is done, most customers will naturally have a feeling of satisfaction and good feeling and then their trust will begin to build up. Once the trust of the customer is procured, it signifies the start of a relationship with that client.
                           Another way a business can achieve this is by having a detailed profile of their clients. This profile should include personal information like date of birth, telephone number or email and important dates in their life (e.g. wedding anniversary).  Send them a message or mail on those important days. make them feel good and appreciated. The purpose this serves is that it gets them thinking about the fact that your company or business cares about them. This certainly increases their trust in you and by so doing, building a stronger relationship with them. I have been doing this over the years and it has been of tremendous benefit.
                                Most of the times, a business or company might satisfy the client’s needs to a reasonably satisfactory point and yet, the client feels dissatisfaction. Bill Gates once said; “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. I have found this to be true and I have discovered that only customers that you have built relationships with over a period of time will be willing to express their dissatisfaction. Others will just take their business elsewhere. Therefore, in order not to lose clients,  companies and businesses  needs to build relationships with their clients.
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                          What customers buy 100% of the time is good feelings and solution to problems like I said earlier. Consequently, a business will increase in sales if they can always put this interest of their customers as priority. No business can survive long if they don’t establish a good name and impression in the heart of their customers. Therefore, strive to be the best companion to your clients and they will always come running to you whenever they need your service.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

How to effectively use Your Kit lens


                                Examine the portfolio of an average professional photographer, it won’t be surprising to observe different combination of lenses for their shooting preferences. Lens have various ranges and types. From the more expensive 24-70mm( which works with both DX and FX  Nikon camera and its counterpart from cannon) to the cheaper 70-200mm f/2.8( mostly for indoor Portraits), to the far cheaper prime ( non-zoom) lens like the 50mm f/1.8G. The list is endless. With this vast amount of lens out there, what use can the typical kit lens( either of 18-55mm or 18-105mm) that accompanies most cameras be of?
                                I have shot with my rugged Nikon D40 for some years with the kit lens and I can tell you categorically that I continually get amazing results. Though the Nikon D40 doesn’t fit a back up camera for most photographers, I can boldly say that it is my back up camera and its work as been amazing for me. Nikon D40 is an old fashioned camera that comes with the typical 18-55mm lens. The lens is composed of 7 elements, 5 groups, one of which is an aspheric and one of ED glass. The maximum aperture of this lens is f/3.5-5.6.
                              
                                    indoor shot using on-camera flash at f/5.6,1/320s and ISO 400.
                                                       outdoor shot at f/10, 1/400s and ISO 200

                          Most photographers believe this lens ought not to remain on a camera body and thus has to be changed immediately after the  purchase of the camera. Most of them outline this to its lack of versatility and inability to perform well in low-light situations. As true as this believe is, I have learnt over the years to overcome these challenges thereby making me a better photographer. Moreover, to acquire a new piece of glass, you might need to invest a huge amount of money. Unless  one is  a professional photographer, the immediate upgrade to a more expensive glass might not be an immediate course of action.Therefore, one has to learn how to manipulate this kit lens.
                          In order to overcome the poor results you would naturally obtain from a typical kit lens, you will need to invest a few bucks into getting a good speed light. A good speed light on your camera with your kit lens can work wonders. Though you might have heard all sorts of things concerning the use of on-camera flash (external flash mounted on camera), using it is not as scary as most people paint it. If you learn to shoot in low-light situations with your kit lens then you are most likely going to be a master photographer when you set your hands on hands on  better lenses  especially those with very high aperture.
                   When it comes to outdoor, this lens performs wonderfully well. I have taken pictures of landscapes and the quality has always been good. Though the bokeh of this lens is well below average, you can still manipulate it to get pictures with good bokeh. To do this, simply drop your aperture to the maximum (usually between f/3.5-5.6), increase the subject/ background ratio and move very close to your subject. You will be surprised at the amazing things that can be done with this lens.
                                                    outdoor shot at f/6.3, 1/160s and ISO 400
                          Finally, do be in a haste to discard your kit lens. Try to explore it and get to see the amazing things it can do especially if you don’t have the budget for a new  piece of glass. Photography is fun but the real fun lies in the process of utilizing ones equipment effectively despite  the challenges one might be faced with.If you thought using your kit lens was a no go area, now is the time to change that idea.keep shooting and keep having fun.