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Small Business Saturday

“It’s Small Business Saturday, a day in which people can show their appreciation for small businesses in their communities by choosing to #shopsmall.

Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods, of small businesses, in the country. Along Santa Fe Drive there are Fabric shops, glass shops, clothing boutiques, frame shops, tool shops, salons, barbershops, tattoo shops, gyms, studios, theaters, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pizza shops, taco shops, breweries, bars, dog groomers, antique shops, wedding shops, small architecture firms, print shops, pot shops, and of course the most galleries per square block in Colorado. Have you been to the art district? #shoplocal, #shopsmall, #denverartdistrict, #artdistrictonsantafe” – https://www.facebook.com/ArtDistrictOnSantaFe?ref=hl

Since it is small business Saturday, a day that gives people the chance to show appreciation for small businesses in their community. People #shopsmall today at their favorite local shops and boutiques, salons and bars and restaurants, mom and pop, independently owned small businesses. we will be open today 9am – 4pm, come stop by the Denver Art District, the whole neighborhood is small businesses. #shopsmall, #myhairtrip, #myhairtripsalon, #momandpopshop, #independent, #smallbusiness, #salontrepreneurs – http://www.facebook.com/myhairtrip1

“Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships. What businesses are defined as “small” in terms of government support and tax policy varies depending on the country and industry. Small businesses range from 15 employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, 50 employees according to the definition used by the European Union, and fewer than 500 employees to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. However, in 2006 there were over 18,000 “small businesses” with over 500 employees that accounted for half of all the employees employed by all “small business”.[1][2] Small businesses can also be classified according to other methods such as sales, assets, or net profits.

Small businesses are common in many countries, depending on the economic system in operation. Typical examples include: convenience stores, other small shops (such as a bakery or delicatessen), hairdressers, tradesmen, lawyers, accountants, restaurants, guest houses, photographers, small-scale manufacturing, and online businesses, such as web design and programming, etc.

Characteristics of small businesses[edit] Researchers and analysts of small or owner-managed businesses generally behave as if nominal organizational forms (e.g., partnership, sole-trader or corporation) and the consequent legal and accounting boundaries of owner-managed firms are consistently meaningful. However, owner-managers often do not delineate their behavior to accord with the implied separation between their personal and business interests. Lenders also often contract around organizational (corporate) boundaries by seeking personal guarantees or accepting privately held assets as collateral.[3] Because of this behavior, researchers and analysts should reject the relevance of the organizational types and implied boundaries in many contexts relating to owner-managed firms. These include analyses that use traditional accounting disclosures, and studies that view the firm as defined by some formal organizational structure.

Size definitions[edit] The legal definition of “small business” varies by country and by industry. In the United States the Small Business Administration establishes small business size standards on an industry-by-industry basis, but generally specifies a small business as having fewer than 250 employees for manufacturing businesses and less than $7 million in annual receipts for most non manufacturing businesses.[2] The definition can vary by circumstance – for example, a small business having fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages below $50,000 qualifies for a tax credit under the health care reform bill Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[4]

The European Union generally defines a small business as one that has fewer than 50 employees. However, in Australia, a small business is defined by the Fair Work Act 2009 as one with fewer than 15 employees. By comparison, a medium sized business or mid-sized business has less than 500 employees in the US, and fewer than 200 in Australia.

In addition to number of employees, other methods used to classify small companies include annual sales (turnover), value of assets and net profit (balance sheet), alone or in a mixed definition. These criteria are followed by the European Union, for instance (headcount, turnover and balance sheet totals). Small businesses are usually not dominant in their field of operation.[5]

The table below serves as a useful guide to business size nomenclature.

Business Size definitions

AUS US EU
Minute/Micro 1-2 1-6 <10 Small <15 <250 <50 Medium <200 <500 <250 Large <500 <1000 <1000 Enterprise >500 >1000 >1000
• Most cells reflect size not defined in relevant legislation • Some definitions are multi-parameter, e.g., by industry, revenue, market share

Demographics[edit] According to a 2014 report by the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 7.8 million businesses in the United States were owned or led by a women, representing 28.7% of overall business ownership.[6]

Franchise businesses[edit] Franchising is a way for small business owners to benefit from the economies of scale of the big corporation (franchiser). McDonald’s and Subway are examples of a franchise. The small business owner can leverage a strong brand name and purchasing power of the larger company while keeping their own investment affordable. However, some franchisees conclude that they suffer the “worst of both worlds” feeling they are too restricted by corporate mandates and lack true independence.It is an assumption that small business are just franchisees, but the truth is many franchisors are also small business, Although considered to be a successful way of doing business, literature has proved that there is a high failure rate in franchising as well, especially in UK, where a research identifies out of 1658 franchising companies operating in1984 only 601 remained existent 1998, a mere 36%.[7]

Retailers’ cooperative[edit] A retailers’ cooperative is a type of cooperative which employs economies of scale on behalf of its retailer members. Retailers’ cooperatives use their purchasing power to acquire discounts from manufacturers and often share marketing expenses. It is common for locally owned grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies to participate in retailers’ cooperatives. Ace Hardware, True Value, and NAPA are examples of a retailers’ cooperative.

Advantages of small business[edit]

One of the claimed advantages of small business owners is the ability to serve market niches not covered by mass production. Consider how many big corporations would be willing to deal with antiques such as the store in the picture.
A big business can be started at a very high cost and on a full-time basis. Small business is also well suited to internet marketing because it can easily serve specialized niches, something that would have been more difficult prior to the internet revolution which began in the late 1990s. Adapting to change is crucial in business and particularly small business; not being tied to any bureaucratic inertia, it is typically easier to respond to the marketplace quickly. Small business proprietors tend to be intimate with their customers and clients which results in greater accountability and maturity.

Independence is another advantage of owning a small business. One survey of small business owners showed that 38% of those who left their jobs at other companies said their main reason for leaving was that they wanted to be their own bosses.[citation needed] Freedom to operate independently is a reward for small business owners. In addition, many people desire to make their own decisions, take their own risks, and reap the rewards of their efforts. Small business owners have the satisfaction of making their own decisions within the constraints imposed by economic and other environmental factors.[8] However, entrepreneurs have to work for very long hours and understand that ultimately their customers are their bosses.

Several organizations, in the United States, also provide help for the small business sector, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.[9]

Small businesses (often carried out by family members) adjust quicker to the changing conditions, however they are closed to the absorption of new knowledge and employing new labour from outside.[10]

Problems faced by small businesses[edit] Small businesses often face a variety of problems related to their size. A frequent cause of bankruptcy is undercapitalization. This is often a result of poor planning rather than economic conditions – it is common rule of thumb that the entrepreneur should have access to a sum of money at least equal to the projected revenue for the first year of business in addition to his anticipated expenses. For example, if the prospective owner thinks that he will generate $100,000 in revenues in the first year with $150,000 in start-up expenses, then he should have not less than $250,000 available. Failure to provide this level of funding for the company could leave the owner liable for all of the company’s debt should he end up in bankruptcy court, under the theory of undercapitalization.

In addition to ensuring that the business has enough capital, the small business owner must also be mindful of contribution margin (sales minus variable costs). To break even, the business must be able to reach a level of sales where the contribution margin equals fixed costs. When they first start out, many small business owners underprice their products to a point where even at their maximum capacity, it would be impossible to break even. Cost controls or price increases often resolve this problem.

In the United States, some of the largest concerns of small business owners are insurance costs (such as liability and health), rising energy costs, taxes and tax compliance.[11] In the United Kingdom and Australia, small business owners tend to be more concerned with excessive governmental red tape.[12]

Contracting fraud has been an ongoing problem for small businesses in the United States. Small businesses are legally obligated to receive a fair portion (23 percent) of the total value of all the government’s prime contracts as mandated by the Small Business Act of 1953. Since 2002, a series of federal investigations have found fraud, abuse, loopholes and a lack of oversight in federal small business contracting, which has led to the diversion of billions of dollars in small business contracts to large corporations.

Another problem for many small businesses is termed the ‘Entrepreneurial Myth’ or E-Myth. The mythic assumption is that an expert in a given technical field will also be expert at running that kind of business. Additional business management skills are needed to keep a business running smoothly. Some of this misunderstanding arises from the failure to distinguish between small business managers as entrepreneurs or capitalists. While nearly all owner-managers of small firms are obliged to assume the role of capitalist, only a minority will act as entrepreneur.[13]

Still another problem for many small businesses is the capacity of much larger businesses to influence or sometimes determine their chances for success. Networking and social media has been used as a major tool by small business in UK, but most of them just use a scatter-gun approach in a desperate attempt to exploit the market which has proven to be on no success.[14] Over half of small firms lack a business plan. A Business plan is considered one of the most important factors for its success, business planning is associated with positivity in growth and if you are looking at funding most of them require a business plan, and this also serves as a strategic planning document which soon acts as a bible for decision making [15] An international trade survey reveals that British share of chamber business who are exporting rose from 32% in 2012 to 39% in 2013, although this may seem positive in reality the growth is slow as small business owners shy away from exporting due to perceived barriers. Learning the basics of a foreign language could be the solution to open new markets doors, it is a reality that not all foreign nations speak English. China is stated to grow by 7.6% in 2013 and still sadly 95% of business owners who want to export to china have no desire and no knowledge to learn their local language. [16]

Small business bankruptcy[edit] When small business fails, the owner may file bankruptcy. In most cases this can be handled through a personal bankruptcy filing.[citation needed] Corporations can file bankruptcy, but if it is out of business and valuable corporate assets are likely to be repossessed by secured creditors there is little advantage to going to the expense of a corporate bankruptcy.[citation needed] Many states offer exemptions for small business assets so they can continue to operate during and after personal bankruptcy.[citation needed] However, corporate assets are normally not exempt, hence it may be more difficult to continue operating an incorporated business if the owner files bankruptcy.[citation needed] Researchers have examined small business failures in some depth, with attempts to model the predictability of failure.[17] [18]

Small Business Loan Programs and Debt Financing[edit] The Suppliers Pay Initiative expansion program announced by the White House and Small Business Administration in 2014, November 17, demonstrated a commitment to strengthen the small business sector and increase the hiring of workers. A further 21 companies have joined the pledge adopted by 26 companies previously in July, designed to ensure suppliers from smaller businesses are paid faster. The initiative is intended to provide them with working capital at a more affordable cost, thereby reducing short-term borrowing costs and enabling more resources, to be directed towards investment in their business growth and increased hiring of workers.

The SBA assist small business owners with various financing programs, offered by Federal, state and local governments, designed to provide low-interest loans, venture capital, as well as scientific and economic development grants. The programs are flexible with specified qualifications for each one. The Small Business Administration can assist owners in facilitating a loan, from a guaranteed bond, a third party lender, or venture capital.

Although the SBA does not lend directly to small businesses, it does determine guidelines for loans made by its financial partners, for example; community development organizations, established lenders and micro-lending institutions. Guarantees are given by the SBA that the loans will be repaid, eliminating partial risk to their lending partners. When a small business owner makes application for an SBA loan, they are in effect applying for a commercial loan, but structured to meet SBA requirements and supported by an SBA guarantee. This guaranteed loan facility from the SBA is not available to small business owners who have access to other financing sources, on reasonable terms. Facts related to small business financing facilities indicate that approximately 56% percent of small businesses owners utilize traditional financing, for example; bank line credit, mortgage loan, or a leasing facility. A further about 39% has made use of their personal credit cards for business purposes, while 28 % used business credit cards! The dominant provider of external financing to small business enterprises, are commercial banks, to the extent of 37%.[19]

Small Business Financial Factors[edit] Business finance became influences in the lives of pioneers and adventurers in the 17th and 18th centuries, who challenged the elements to create new and better lifestyles. In 19th century America, small homesteads spread quickly across the vast frontier with small farms being established and various economic principles adopted that were associated with the individual enterprise. As the populations increased in the towns and cities, the importance and influence of these economic principles assumed greater importance, with the desire to own a business expanding, to include various craftsmen, professionals and trading merchants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics, approximately two-thirds of new businesses with employees, generally survive a minimum of 2 years, with about 50% surviving at least 5 years. As a natural progression, following the initial volatile years of a business operation, the rate of survival attains a higher level. Finance is a critical influence in the survival factor of businesses, which has not experienced significant change over the years and remaining relatively unaffected by a negative economy. Statistics from BLS, Business Employment Dynamics, show that new businesses started in the expanding economies of 1995 and 2005, or before the downturn in 2000 and immediately following this downturn, experienced almost identical survival ratios.

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) revealed there are 28 million small business enterprises in America, with a comparative ratio of 1162 to 1 corporation! This is enhanced by the fact that between 60% and 80% of new jobs created, are derived from small businesses. It must however, be taken into account that these statistics will fluctuate as some small businesses expand to a degree and become classified as large organizations. A further and influencing factor is the creation of new, small businesses, which from 1999 to 2000, accounted for 75 percent of all new jobs and by 2010, for 75% net of new jobs in the USA. The SBA found from more recent studies that when compared to larger companies, generally, a small business will depend more on the capital injected by the owner than that provided by external debt. One factor is that the cost incurred from borrowed money is significantly higher for small businesses than larger operations.

The contribution made by small businesses to the United States payroll is 44%; researches indicate the small business workforce in America, numbering about 77 million people, ranks the 17th most populous in the world.

Social Responsibility[edit] Small businesses can encounter several problems related to Corporate social responsibility due to characteristics inherent in their construction. Owners of small businesses often participate heavily in the day-to-day operations of their companies. This results in a lack of time for the owner to coordinate socially responsible efforts.[20] Additionally, a small business owner’s expertise often falls outside the realm of socially responsible practices contributing to a lack of participation. Small businesses also face a form of peer pressure from larger forces in their respective industries making it difficult to oppose and work against industry expectations.[20] Furthermore, small businesses undergo stress from shareholder expectations. Because small businesses have more personal relationships with their patrons and local shareholders they must also be prepared to withstand closer scrutiny if they want to share in the benefits of committing to socially responsible practices or not. [20]

Job Quality[edit] While small businesses employ over half the workforce [21] and have been established as a main driving force behind job creation [22] the quality of the jobs these businesses create has been called into question. Small businesses generally employ individuals from the Secondary labor market. As a result, in the U.S. wages are 49% higher for employees of large firms.[22] Additionally, many small businesses struggle or are unable to provide employees with benefits they would be given at larger firms. Research from the U.S. Small Business Administration indicates that employees of large firms are 17% more likely to receive benefits including salary, paid leave, paid holidays, bonuses, insurance, and retirement plans.[23] Both lower wages and fewer benefits combine to create a job turnover rate among U.S. small businesses that is 3 times higher than large firms.[22] Employees of small businesses also must adapt to the higher failure rate of small firms. In the U.S. 69% last at least 2 years, but this percentage drops to 51% for firms reaching 5 years in operation.[21] The U.S. Small Business Administration counts companies with as much as $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees, depending on the industry. Outside government, companies with less than $7 million in sales and fewer than 500 employees are widely considered small businesses.

Benefits of supporting local business[edit] By opening up new national level chain stores, the profits of locally owned businesses greatly decrease and many businesses end up failing and having to close. This creates an exponential effect. When one store closes, people lose their jobs, other businesses lose business from the failed business and so on. In many cases large firms displace just as many jobs as they create.[24] Not only that but it also increases the costs of taxes. Instead of increasing a community’s revenue, big businesses actually shift money away from the community. Independent businesses depend on the many resources that a community can supply. They hire architects, contractors, hardware stores, interior designers, local advertisement agencies, accountants, business attorneys, and insurance companies. Local businesses also are more likely to supply locally produced products than chains, ultimately benefiting their community. Large corporations on the other hand eliminate the need for local goods and services.

A lack of diversity can decrease the revenues in a community. When towns are interesting, they attract people from out of town. More personality and individuality can lead to more tourists, which, in turn leads to money placed directly into the community. The diversity of businesses is also important to the individuality of consumers. Often, independent retailers can adjust the products that they sell in order to fit the needs of their consumers and the unique tastes of their community. Local businesses are also more likely to support unique, new, and/or controversial products. Local bookstores can provide controversial books and can support small authors or local authors. The same idea helps out with local art and music. Bookstores and music shops are more likely to support local art and music than the mainstream stuff that large corporations provide.Business chains decrease a community’s individuality because they ultimately choose what products reach their customers. This greatly narrows what products are available and shrinks diversity.

Marketing the small business[edit] Finding new customers is the major challenge for Small business owners. Small businesses typically find themselves strapped for time but in order to create a continual stream of new business, they must work on marketing their business every day.

Common marketing techniques for small business include networking, word of mouth, customer referrals, yellow pages directories, television, radio, outdoor (roadside billboards), print, and internet marketing. Electronic media like TV can be quite expensive and is normally intended to create awareness of a product or service. Another means by which small businesses can advertise is through the use of “deal of the day” websites such as Groupon and Living Social. These Internet deals encourage new visitors to small businesses.

Example of keyword analysis based on market competition.
Many small business owners find internet marketing more affordable. Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing are two popular options of getting small business products or services in front of motivated Web searchers. Successful online small business marketers are also adept at utilizing the most relevant keywords in their site content. Advertising on niche sites can also be effective, but with the long tail of the internet, it can be time intensive to advertise on enough sites to garner an effective reach.

Creating a business Web site has become increasingly affordable with many do-it-yourself programs now available for beginners. A Web site can provide significant marketing exposure for small businesses when marketed through the Internet and other channels. Some popular services are WordPress, Joomla Squarespace and EXAI .

Social media has proven to be very useful in gaining additional exposure for many small businesses. Many small business owners use Facebook and Twitter as a way to reach out to their loyal customers to give them news about specials of the day or special coupons and generate repeat business. The relational nature of social media, along with its immediacy and 24-hour presence lend intimacy to the relationship small businesses can have with their customers, while making it more efficient for them to communicate with greater numbers. Facebook ads are also a very cost-effective way for small businesses to reach a targeted audience with a very specific message.

In addition to the social networking sites, blogs have become a highly effective way for small businesses to position themselves as experts on issues that are important to their customers. This can be done with a proprietary blog and/or by using a backlink strategy wherein the marketer comments on other blogs and leaves a link to the small business’ own Web site.

A solid public relations strategy that utilizes speaking engagements, press releases, feature stories, events and sponsorships can also be a very cost-effective way to build a loyal following for a small business.

Designing a Marketing Plan for Small Businesses

Market Research – To produce a marketing plan for Small businesses, research needs to be done on similar businesses which should include desk and field research. This gives an insight in the target group’s behaviour and shopping patterns. Analysing the competitor’s marketing strategies makes it easier for Small business to gain market share.
Marketing mix[25] – Marketing mix is a crucial factor for any business to be successful. Especially for a Small business, competitor’s marketing mix can be very helpful. An appropriate market mix helps boost sales.
Product Life Cycle[26] – After launch of the business, crucial points of focus should be increasing growth phase and delaying maturity phase. Once the business reaches maturity stage, an extension strategy should be in place. Re-launching is also an option at this stage. Pricing strategy should be flexible and based on the different stages of the PLC.
Promotion Techniques – Its preferable to keep promotion expenses as low as possible. ‘Word of mouth’, ‘Email marketing’, ‘Print-ads’ in local newspapers etc. can be effective.
Channels of Distribution – Selecting an effective channel of distribution may reduce the promotional expenses as well as overall expenses for a Small business.
Contribution to the economy[edit] In the US, small business (fewer than 500 employees) accounts for more than half the nonfarm, private GDP and around half the private sector employment.[21] Regarding small business, the top job provider is those with fewer than 10 employees, and those with 10 or more but fewer than 20 employees comes in as the second, and those with 20 or more but fewer than 100 employees comes in as the third (interpolation of data from the following references).[27] The most recent data shows firms with fewer than 20 employees account for slightly more than 18% of the employment.[28] According to “The Family Business Review,” “There are approximately 17 million sole-proprietorships in the US. It can be argued that a sole-proprietorship (an unincorporated business owned by a single person) is a type of family business” and “there are 22 million small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) in the US and approximately 14,000 big businesses.” Also, it has been found that small businesses created the most new jobs in communities, “In 1979, David Birch published the first empirical evidence that small firms (fewer than 100 employees) created the most new jobs” and Edmiston claimed that “perhaps the greatest generator of interest in entrepreneurship and small business is the widely held belief that small businesses in the United States create most new jobs. The evidence suggests that small businesses indeed create a substantial majority of net new jobs in an average year.” Local businesses provide competition to each other and also challenge corporate giants.

Of the 5,369,068 employer firms in 1995, 78.8 percent had fewer than 10 employees, and 99.7 percent had fewer than 500 employees.[29]

Sources of funding[edit]

Small businesses in Biloela, Central Queensland, Australia, 1949
Small businesses use several sources available for start-up capital:

Self-financing by the owner through cash, equity loan on his or her home, and or other assets.
Loans from friends or relatives
Grants from private foundations
Personal savings
Private stock issue
Forming partnerships
Angel investors
Banks
Financial Platforms such as LendingClub and OnDeck[30][31][32][33] SME finance, including Collateral based lending and Venture capital, given sufficiently sound business venture plans
Some small businesses are further financed through credit card debt—usually a poor choice, given that the interest rate on credit cards is often several times the rate that would be paid on a line of credit or bank loan. Recent research suggests that the use of credit scores in small business lending by community banks is surprisingly widespread. Moreover, the scores employed tend to be the consumer credit scores of the small business owners rather than the more encompassing small business credit scores that include data on the firms as well as on the owners.[34] Many owners seek a bank loan in the name of their business, however banks will usually insist on a personal guarantee by the business owner. In the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) runs several loan programs that may help a small business secure loans. In these programs, the SBA guarantees a portion of the loan to the issuing bank and thus relieves the bank of some of the risk of extending the loan to a small business. The SBA also requires business owners to pledge personal assets and sign as a personal guarantee for the loan.

The 8(a) Business Development Program assists in the development of small businesses owned and operated by African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.[35]

Canadian small businesses can take advantage of federally funded programs and services. See Federal financing for small businesses in Canada (grants and loans).

On October 2010, Alejandro Cremades and Tanya Prive founded the first equity crowdfunding platform[36] for small businesses in history as an alternative source of financing. The platform operates under the name of Rock The Post.[37]

Business networks and advocacy groups[edit] Small businesses often join or come together to form organizations to advocate for their causes or to achieve economies of scale that larger businesses benefit from, such as the opportunity to buy cheaper health insurance in bulk. These organizations include local or regional groups such as Chambers of Commerce and Independent business alliances, as well as national or international industry-specific organizations. Such groups often serve a dual purpose, as business networks to provide marketing and connect members to potential sales leads and suppliers, and also as advocacy groups, bringing together many small businesses to provide a stronger voice in regional or national politics. In the case of Independent business alliances, promoting the value of locally-owned, independent business (not necessarily small) through public education campaigns is integral to their work.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), operate in all 50 states, provide free and confidential counseling and low-cost training to small businesses.

The largest regional small business group in the United States is the Council of Smaller Enterprises, located in Greater Cleveland.[38] United Kingdom trade and Investment (www.ukti.gov.in) gives out research in different markets around the world, also research in program planning and promotional activities to exporters. The BEXA (British Exporters Association) role is to connect new exporters to expert services, it can provide details about regional export contacts, who could be made informally to discuss issues. Trade associations and all major banks could often provide links to international groups in foreign markets, some could also help set up joint venture, trade fairs etc”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_business

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    Organic Salon Systems

    At Denver’s Organic, Eco-friendly hair salon, we use Organic Color Systems. We love them, they have the best color line in the world and are an awesome company. Here is a little more about Organic Salon Systems and why we love them.

    The Organic Salon System Mission Statement
    Our mission is to provide professional hairdressers with high performance hair products which maximize the use of gentle, nourishing and natural ingredients while minimizing the necessity for harsh or damaging chemicals additives. With these healthier products and better information, we hope to bring about superior results, increased competence and a safer salon environment for all concerned. To accomplish our mission, we vigorously embrace our company ethos.

    At Organic Salon Systems, we are proud of what we do and the difference that we are making in the hairdressing world. We feel that we have a responsibility to the profession, as well as to the broader world in general. We believe that as a company it is our mission to change salons for the better by providing safer, more gentle, natural, and organic products that perform to the highest professional standards. Products that give your clients a more safe and pleasant salon experience, gorgeous longer lasting results, and healthier hair!

    Organic Salon Systems products have been changing salons for the better for over 15 years in Europe and 7 years in the USA. Thousands of hairdressers in thirty-plus countries now enjoy a greater sense of integrity in their daily professional lives knowing that what they use on their clients is safer and healthier for all concerned.

    Organic Salon Systems is the exclusive distributor of Organic Color, Curl, Care, Control and Connect Systems in the USA. Not only do we bring you these fantastic products, but we also help you in using them. We offer word-class educational seminars, courses, webinars, and tutorials on how to better understand color theory, how it relates to Organic Color Systems and how to get the most out of this amazing color line! We provide you with excellent technical support by in-person education, phone, email, online, and through “Tech Tips” included in your orders! Our friendly customer service team is always ready to answer questions and to assist you during the ordering process.

    We will strive to continue enriching our profession with the best natural hair and beauty products available, while backing them up with the finest service and support.

    The Organic Salon System Company Ethos
    At Organic Salon Systems, when we refer to our “ethos” we are referring to the distinctive spirit and attitude that defines the collective culture of our company, our clients, and our partners. We are extremely proud and fiercely protective of our company’s ethos which galvanizes us each day by the following principles:

    • To only distribute the highest performance, healthiest, most natural, and gentlest products available; and
    • To continually recognize that the best way to grow our business is by helping our clients grow theirs; and
    • To fully disclose all product ingredients and act with transparency, honesty, and integrity; and
    • To never divert our product lines or allow them to be sold to non-professionals; and
    • To maintain an ethical environmental policy; and
    • To not tolerate any products ever tested on animals; and
    • To train, educate, and provide information which will enable the industry and our clients to become healthier while improving their service quality; and
    • To provide world-class service to our clients and always strive to become the best at what we do in every regard.

    The Organic Salon System Vegan and Cruelty-Free Policy
    We are proud of the comprehensive due diligence process that each of our products undergoes to ensure that none of our products, or ingredient of any products, has ever been tested on animals by Organic Salon Systems or any of its manufacturers since its foundation – nor will there ever be a case to do so. Furthermore, we do not use the services of any other research establishment to conduct animal testing on our behalf, either on a product or any product ingredient.

    We have undertaken a strict policy not to purchase products or ingredients from suppliers or intermediary agents who have conducted, commissioned or been party to animal testing for cosmetics on them, since our company began. If we were ever to discover that any product we distribute or ingredients used by our manufacturers were tested on animals, we would seek an alternative supplier for the relevant products or ingredients, or if necessary remove them from our product range All together.

    We are proud to participate in, and sponsor, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Caring Consumer cruelty-free program. We have always believed it to be abhorrent to continue using animals to test the safety of salon products, especially since there are alternative methods of evaluating safety. Additionally, all of our products are 100% vegan friendly and we are committed to permanently maintaining such a standard.

    The Organic Salon System Environmental Policy
    At Organic Salon Systems, we are committed to reduce our impact on the environment as much as we possibly can while still accomplishing our company mission and adhering to our company ethos. In order to do so, we have adopted the following environmental policy:

    Consistent with the organic professional salon products we distribute, Organic Salon Systems recognizes that our commitment to our clients goes beyond simply product manufacturing and distribution. We accept that, to distribute our products and services, our partners, employees, and operations will have an effect on the environment, and that we have a duty to control and minimize this impact. Due to this realization Organic Salon Systems is committed to not only complying with, but exceeding, all legislative and regulatory statutes governing the impact that we have on the environment. Furthermore, we recognize the value of a program of continuous improvement built towards reducing our environmental footprint. Organic Salon Systems therefore values the creative ideas and suggestions of our employees, clients, partners, and suppliers who are integral to our efforts towards continuous improvement.

    Organic Salon Systems is passionately committed to striving to achieve the following:

    • Reusing, reducing, and recycling wherever and whenever sensible; and
    • Ensuring that our employees are sufficiently equipped (tools and training) to minimize the effect that their activities have on the environment; and
    • Reducing the environmental impact of our distribution activities;Packaging using recycled or biodegradable materials when available; and
    • Recycling of waste packaging material and office waste; and
    • Motivating the end-user to recycle however possible including the use of packaging symbols; and
    • Encouraging the emerging ideas to be socially or environmentally responsible from all constituent stakeholders

    Organic Salon Systems’ Policy on Fair-Trade
    Organic Salon Systems recognizes how many companies in the salon products business take advantage of workers overseas by paying them under a living wage for work done well. We believe we have an social obligation to only purchase products and services which have been produced by only those workers earning at least a living wage and working under safe, humane, and respectful conditions.

    Organic Salon Systems’ Social responsibility Statement
    Organic Salon Systems believes in supporting the communities in which our business and our client’s businesses operate. By participating in local charities, either through charitable donations or active involvement, the Company seeks to engage in activities that contribute to the overall health and well being of our global community.

    Organic Salon Systems Working Environment
    Organic Salon Systems’ employees are our most important asset. We are proud to provide a work environment where employees are appreciated, valued and given regular feedback. All of the management staff works alongside with our staff, promoting an ‘open door’ policy for concerns, thoughts and feedback. We promote based on merits and skill and do not discriminate based on age, color, creed or relationship orientation. We recognize parental and family obligations of our employees and promote a proper balance between work and family. Organic Salon Systems provides a creative working environment where all of our staff are encouraged to develop their skills and feel proud about their contributions. It is our goal to make Organic Salon Systems a fulfilling and enjoyable place to work.

    We’re committed to client service
    Organic Salon Systems nurtures our relationships with clients based on the highest quality products, honesty, a commitment to foster growth in our client’s business, and maintaining the highest level of integrity. We are excited to work closely with every one of our clients and working hard to do whatever we can to help them grow their business. We are committed to providing education, training, information, and support to enable our clients to use our products properly and yield the highest possible results for the public.

    Supporting the community
    We are committed actively support non-profit organizations within our local community and around the world. We do this by donating financially, volunteering our time and support as individuals or as a company, or serving on non-profit boards. We are pro-active in trying to help our world be a better place for everyone.

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      Studio Space Available for Rent

      We have multiple, multi-use rooms available for rent at our shop in the Denver Art District.
      One area is our back-gallery room.
      It has hardwood floors, dimmable track lighting, and electrical outlets for electronics, audio, visual, fans, etc.
      Its size is about 12ft x 20ft and would work perfect for
      – massage
      – yoga
      – dance
      – training
      – workshops
      – etc.
      Our other area, available for rent, is our basement which is raw and unfinished and would be great for
      – artist studios
      – painters
      – sculptors
      – florists
      – alchemists
      – etc.

      Each space is available for $40/day or $165/week or $400/mnth with the FIRST MONTH FREE!

      Our main gallery room is also available for rent on Sundays and Mondays, evenings after 8:00pm, and for special events and parties.

      Take advantage of getting new clients from our salon, being surrounded by beautiful art, a fun, peaceful, professional atmosphere, and help with marketing and promoting your business in the Art District.

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        Beauty from the Inside Out

        You are what you eat, right? Well, that goes double for your skin, hair, and nails. Stay glowing and gorgeous by putting more of these foods on your plate

        While a fresh blowout and a hint of blush can help you look your best, some of the most potent beauty weapons are found in the supermarket. Your food picks have an enormous effect on your appearance, says nutritionist Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful. And you’ll see results fast. “In just 28 days—the lifecycle of your skin—a nutritious diet can impart a glow that no cream can accomplish alone,” says Ellen Marmur, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and author of Simple Skin Beauty. Boost your good looks by adding more of these items to your cart.

        Blueberries and Pomegranates
        Both of these fruits are bursting with antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help protect you from fine lines and dryness by neutralizing the free radicals that weather your skin. Plus, their high vitamin C content enhances the production of collagen, which keeps your skin nice and plump, says Glassman. (And weighing in at less than 100 calories a cup, they have the opposite effect on your waistline.)

        Dark Chocolate
        Teenage breakouts used to be blamed, at least in part, on wolfing down too many candy bars. But according to Marmur, chocolate has never been proven to cause blemishes. In fact, the sweet stuff contains high levels of flavonoids, potent antioxidants that can help protect your skin from sun damage and amp up blood flow to your tissues, keeping skin nourished and glowing, says Glassman. Look for chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao (it has more antioxidants), and use restraint. If you’ve been known to take down a giant chocolate bar in one sitting, buy individually wrapped nuggets instead and stick to one or two (about one ounce) a day.

        Spinach
        Spinach is another powerhouse of vital nutrients and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and free-radical damage—precursors to fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also loaded with a kind of antioxidant called lutein, which helps eyes stay healthy and bright. Most important, spinach is an all-star source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), which helps speed up skin cell turnover and keeps skin supple, says Marmur. (And from this beta-carotene, your body generates its very own retinol, which makes skin firm and resilient.) All this and it’s nearly calorie-free: One cup of raw spinach has just seven calories and 55 percent of your RDA of vitamin A (700 IU). For variety, swap spinach for kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard—all of which have similar look-pretty powers.

        Walnuts
        You don’t have to gnaw more nuts than a squirrel to enjoy their many perks—smoother skin, healthier hair, brighter eyes, and stronger bones. Eating just one ounce of walnuts (about 14 halves) by themselves or in your salad, pasta, or dessert will supply you with your daily dose of the nutrients (namely omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E) that are responsible for these radiant results. Other top nuts include hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds.

        Yogurt
        Eating one cup of plain low-fat yogurt knocks off nearly half of your RDA of calcium with about 450 milligrams of the nutrient—and calcium is key for strong nails and teeth. Plus, eight ounces is packed with two grams of zinc (25 percent of the RDA), which helps calm skin inflammation, treat rosacea, and prompt regeneration of cells, notes Marmur.

        Tomatoes
        A new adage should be, “A tomato a day keeps the dermatologist away.” Whether this red fruit is sliced, diced, stewed, or simmered, it helps protect skin against damage from the sun and other environmental factors thanks to its key ingredient, the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is actually highest in cooked tomatoes—yet another reason to opt for a red sauce over a cream-based one.

        Healthy fats aid the body’s absorption of lycopene and other nutrients, so eat one serving of tomatoes a day with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of vinaigrette, or a slice of avocado, says Glassman.

        Kiwis
        Inside that plain brown wrapper is a green gift of vitamin C, which can help stimulate collagen synthesis, repair damage to skin-cell DNA, and keep blood vessels and hair follicles strong, says Marmur. A single kiwi has nearly all the vitamin C you need in a day but only 42 calories. Add some slices to your breakfast, toss pieces into a smoothie, or dice it and serve atop fro-yo.

        Edamame
        If you’re seeking smoother skin, jump for soy! Research shows that the isoflavones in soy foods—including tofu, soy milk, and edamame—can ease inflammation and stave off collagen breakdown, leaving skin with a more even tone and fewer wrinkles. There’s no RDA for soy, notes Glassman, but a serving per day is both safe and helpful. Add soy milk to your morning cup of coffee and toss half a cup of boiled edamame into a salad or pasta dish.

        Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, and Butternut Squash
        These orange wonder veggies contain a bonanza of beauty-boosting beta-carotene, which your body converts into skin-smoothing retinol, thereby helping to protect your skin from past and present sun damage, says Glassman.

        Green Tea
        Warm up to this soothing brew’s antioxidants, called catechins, which can help prevent certain skin cancers and stave off sunburns, says Marmur. The variety of tea with the highest concentration of catechins is called matcha.

        For all the pretty perks, drink two cups a day. If you aren’t into tea, try sprinkling green matcha powder (available at health-food stores) into a yogurt parfait or homemade smoothie. And if you’re trying to cut down on caffeine, worry not. With just 26 milligrams of caffeine per six-ounce cup, green tea has about half as much as a cup of black tea.

        This article and more found at http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/beauty-foods

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          Eco-friendly Salon in Denver

          There is an eco friendly hair salon in Denver, CO.

          Denver, CO has become a beacon of a certain kind of lifestyle on the national and even, the global scene. People are flocking to Denver, and Colorado from all over for the promise and opportunity that our wonderful city and state can provide.

          The beauty of the rockies, the clean air 5,280 feet above sea level, our culture and attitude, all of these are reasons people are loving Denver right now.

          Colorado is also at the forefront of sustainability when it comes to green businessess and organic food policies. In Denver the focus on a sustainable state is apparent to even casual observers.

          Now Denver also can boast a totally green, organic hair salon too. My Hair Trip Salon Denver is an officially certified and registered green business. My Hair Trip Salon Denver offers its clients all organic products and services. The salon’s slogan is Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good. and that is what they try to achieve according to the owner, 32 year-old, Nicole Zamora. “We are passionate about our salon being more than just a beauty shop, we use our business as a platform to truly transform peoples lives from the inside out, so their true beauty can shine!”

          My Hair Trip, Denver’s premier eco-friendly salon could not be in a better spot. The local, family-owned salon at 8th and Santa Fe, in the Denver Art District in downtown Denver, has been turning out happy clients who love what all natural products and services can do for their hair.

          This green, eco-friendly salon in Denver has a clear focus on customer service, from the moment you walk in the door you are greeted with a smile and clients’ need are constantly attended to.

          If you are interested in organic hair care or organic health and beauty, this eco-friendly salon in Denver has got what you are looking for.

          Check out My Hair Trip Salon Denver at 773 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO, 80204.

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            Salon and Art Gallery?

            My Hair Trip Salon Denver is Colorado’s only certified green, organic hair salon, art gallery, barbershop, and jewelry and apparel boutique featuring all locally made products.

            This creative space in The Denver Art District on Santa Fe Drive is completely unique in Colorado, there is no other business like this one. All of the art in the gallery rotates threw the shop every month. Artists’ work is first hung on the walls of our hair stylists’ suites, then it moves into the salon’s gallery room, and lastly it makes its way onto the main gallery wall in the main room of the salon.

            This independently owned small business in Denver, CO, hosts gallery shows and parties on the first and third Friday of every month to showcase the new show each month. This organic hair salon and gallery is also an event hall that is available for lease and is ideal for parties, workshops, yoga, and any kind of creative endeveur needing open layout space.

            The salon’s clients all talk about how much they enjoy the art and the events, this Denver salon has really created a community of people who are inspired and motivated to live by the salon’s slogan: Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good.

            My Hair Trip Salon Denver, is one of the many new businesses that have chosen to call the Denver art District on Santa Fe Home. The neighborhood has had a reputation of being rough and tumble in the past but is going threw an economic revitalization in 2014 that promises to put the district on the map nationally as one of the most respected art districts in the United States.

            Check out My Hair Trip Salon Denver at 773 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO, 80204.

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              Essential Oils for Hair Promote Healthy Hair and Scalp

              Essential oils for hair can help promote healthy hair and scalp, reduce dryness and hair loss associated with the natural aging process.

              Do you want great, healthy looking hair? Every time I walk into get my hair cut, my stylist always says she can’t believe how fast my hair grows and how shiny it is!

              But, first, did you know that…

              How our hair looks, feels and grows can change based on –

              What we put on it (synthetic shampoos, conditioners, gel, etc)

              What we eat and drink (good for body=good for hair)

              What we do (swimming in chlorinated pools, using hair dryer, etc)

              Quality of our shower water (Use a shower filter for best results to remove fluoride, chlorine, iron oxides (“rust water”), reduce harmful VOCs and other contaminants.)

              Genetics (what are parents passed down to us)

              How much sleep we have nightly

              Our stress level and

              Possibly even healthy thyroid function
              So, my advice is, in addition to using the oils, review that list and determine if there is something else you need to do to support having healthy hair and scalp. This may be as simple as drinking more water!

              Also,

              Did you know that most shampoos, hair and skincare products on the market contain synthetic materials that create many of our hair, scalp and skin challenges?

              Here are a few examples –

              Propylene Glycol – may causes dry skin and skin irritation.

              Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Laureth Sulfate – surfactant that may corrode hair follicles

              Oleyl betaine – may cause dry hair and scalp.

              Mineral oils – petroleum products clog pores! Yes, the molecule is too big to be absorbed by the skin.
              So, check your labels, you may be surprised! If your shampoo has a pH between 4 and 6 and doesn’t have synthetic compounds it’s supportive to healthy hair growth.

              There are great natural hair products on the market that contain essential oils including the AromaSilk line by Young Living. This are the only products I will place on my head!

              If you are adventurous, make them at home by using a base shampoo and adding oils that are right for your hair type or condition. I usually add 3 to 5 drops of each oil to the shampoo directly or in a tablespoon of shampoo.

              But, what is my hair type and what oils do I use?

              No problem, below you will find the information on all the hair types and the corresponding oils. Also, provided is the carrier or base oils that are best for your hair type. Or Check out the Essential Oils fo Hair Chart.

              Oils for Normal Hair

              Normal hair is neither greasy nor dry, has not been permed or colored, holds its style and is usually shiny.

              These oils are best for normal hair:

              Lavender Essential Oil

              Rosemary Essential Oil

              Lemon Essential Oil

              Geranium Essential Oil

              Cedarwood Essential Oil

              Thyme Essential Oil

              Clary Sage Essential Oil
              The best base or carrier oils to use are jojoba, almond or borage.

              Oils for Dry Hair

              Dry hair looks dull, tangles easily and can become easily split at the ends. Therefore, we want essential oils for hair that stimulate the sebaceous glands in the scalp to produce more oil!

              Use these oils:

              Lavender Essential Oil

              Rosemary Essential Oil

              Sandalwood Essential Oil

              Geranium Essential Oil
              The top base or carrier oils to use are almond, sesame, jojoba, borage, cocoa butter or avocado.

              Oils for Oily Hair

              Oily hair looks greasy and is caused by over production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Therefore, we want essential oils for hair that restore the glands back to normal.

              Use these oils:

              Lavender Essential Oil

              Rosemary Essential Oil

              Lemon Essential Oil

              Peppermint Essential Oil

              Cypress Essential Oil
              The top base or carrier oils are sesame, jojoba and borage.

              Other Hair Challenges? Need to Cleanse the Hair?

              No problem, here are my recommendations.

              Use a cleansing shampoo or cleansing oils first before you start. This will remove the buildup of chlorine, grease and chemicals in your hair and scalp.

              Pick several essential oils for hair to use for shampooing and/or make a blend with the base oil. (You may have to experiment with several oils until you find what you like)

              Use until you feel there is improvement.

              Start to include or use oils that support healthy hair growth next.

              article found @ http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/essential-oils-for-hair.html

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                Brazilian Blowout Hair Straightening Product Contains Dangerous Levels Of Cancer-Causing Formaldehyde

                Those sleek, pin straight locks desired by many girls might come at a higher price than many hair professionals are aware of. The Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Hair Solution, a permanent hair straightening system, was recently discovered to have cancer causing agents in the formula.

                Soon to be published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, the study shows that salon stylist and clients were being exposed to high levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical commonly used in building materials, household products, and in the embalming fluid used to preserve human corpses.

                Study author Michelle Stewart, of the University of California, Berkeley, found that “formaldehyde concentrations in the air around hairstylists and customers exceeded limits set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health,” as reported by MedicineNet.com.

                Formaldehyde primarily affects the upper respiratory tract. A 1980 laboratory study conducted on rats has shown that a high exposure of formaldehyde could lead to certain cancers, including nasal cancer. Several studies cited by the American Cancer Society have established a link between formaldehyde and cancers of the uppermost part of the throat (nasopharynx). However other studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other organizations are inconclusive.

                Research also points to a connection between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia. “A recent study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow,” according to the American Cancer Society. “This finding supports the possible link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia.”

                Measures have been enacted to reduce workplace exposure to the carcinogen. In 1987, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandated that workers exposed to formaldehyde must be limited to an eight-hour work day and that the limit was reduced from 3 ppm (parts per million) to 1 ppm. Five years later, the limitations on formaldehyde exposure became more strict as the amount was further reduced to 0.75 ppm.

                The Brazilian Blowout formula has a higher concentration than what is recommended. “The recommendation is that salons use products containing no more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, but the product we investigated contained 12 percent formaldehyde,” said Stewart.

                The chemical hair straightening treatment helps girls with curly or wavy hair turn their tresses sleek and straight. The treatment can last up to three months and needs to be redone once the person’s hair starts to grow out. Documented side effects from using the product include water eyes, runny nose, upper respiratory tract infections, and nose bleeds.

                So before you make the jump to transform your Shirley Temple locks into perfectly straight, Kim Kardashian hair, you might want to weigh the risks against the benefits. Be sure to explore other straightening methods that are less chemically invasive and formaldehyde free.

                article found @ http://www.medicaldaily.com/brazilian-blowout-hair-straightening-product-contains-dangerous-levels-cancer-causing-formaldehyde

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