Management Style and the Bottom Line

Quite often, human behavior is imitative. We learn how to act by mimicking others’ actions. In the workplace, most bosses manage as they’ve been managed.Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery; however, some of our role models aren’t necessarily ideal role models. Learned behavior, which is often subconscious and automatic, can seriously undermine efforts to succeed in business.According to research, management style can either benefit or decimate the bottom line. One particular study I recently read found that a negative management style is linked to high turnover. For small businesses, high employee turnover is quite costly and a genuine problem that affects profitability.

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Study authors discovered that managers who provide a supportive and considerate work environment experience significantly lower turnover rates than their counterparts, who operate from a traditional management paradigm, treating workers as disposable resources.An ineffective management style is a common source of small business inefficiency, which inhibits success.Is your management style positive or negative, or somewhere in between? Do you inspire and motivate workers to do their very best, or are you inadvertently de-motivating and disempowering employees?MANAGEMENT STYLE RATERLow 1 2 3 4 5 High1. Do you communicate openly with your employees, ensuring everyone is “in the loop?”2. Would your employees describe you as accessible and approachable?3. Would your employees say you have a good understanding of the problems they face in their jobs?4. Would your employees describe you as flexible?5. Would you help out an employee if he or she had a serious personal problem?6. Do you routinely cross-train workers?7. Do you foster a culture of cooperation within your workplace?8. Do you personally praise workers when they’ve done a good job?9. Do you provide workers with meaningful training?10. Do you ensure workers have adequate resources to perform their jobs?

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Scoring Guide1-15:You operate from a traditional management paradigm. To you, workers are a disposable resource or mere cogs. Expect high turnover and reduced profits if you fail to change your perspective.16-39:You exhibit a mixed management style. You are traditional in many ways, yet in some circumstances you use an enlightened approach in dealing with workers. Shifting your traditional behaviors will reduce turnover and improve your bottom line.40-50:You are an enlightened small business manager. You are adept at handling process and leveraging people. Your approach will lead to efficient management of your small business operation.

4 Ways Pallet Handling Can Impact the Bottom Line

The bottom line is ultimately why you are in business. You don’t go into business with the intention of losing money. You go in because you want to turn a profit. This means that you have to look at the different ways that the bottom line is being impacted – and pallet handling is a significant one. There are four ways that handling your pallets can damage your bottom line and knowing these will help you be on the lookout for better solutions.Damage to the PalletsThere may be damage to the pallets during any kind of pallet handling. You have to look at the different ways that the pallets are being damaged in order to train your employees more effectively as well is to know when it is time to purchase new pallets. There may be issues with the way that the pallets are being loaded and packaged and there may be issues with the pallets themselves, such as missing wood beams across the top of the pallets or damage to where the forklift goes in.

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There have been issues where employees are not familiar with driving a forklift and they cause all of the damage to the pallets on their own, simply because they are trying to lift it up. If the forklift does not slide into the wooden slots of the pallet the first time, the metal rods of the forklift may be actually damaging the pallet – and this is a problem. You could be damaging the inventory as well as the pallets, costing you more money.Improper Labelling of PalletsIf they pallet is labeled improperly, it is likely going to get filed away improperly. It may even get delivered to the wrong customer, which would require you to go pick it up and then delivered to the correct customer. This happens more frequently than you can imagine. Such a mistake could end up costing you a significant amount of money, which is taking away from your bottom line.Disorganization of PalletsThe disorganization of pallets can be a significant problem. If you don’t have a specific system as to where pallets are being stored, they may be dropped anywhere. This makes inventory substantially more difficult. It doesn’t have to be this way. There can be organization with the pallets, but it may not be as a result of your warehouse employees. A third party can be hired to provide reverse logistics, and various other warehouse services.Poor Unloading of Pallets

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Pallets are being unloaded poorly, it can also hurt your bottom line. Pallet handling needs to be done efficiently from beginning to end. The moment your employees begin to unload the pallets, they need to focus on balancing the weight, recycling the packaging materials, and labeling everything sufficiently. The labor spent on unloading pallets can be much more than it should, because there is a lack of productivity.You may be experiencing one or more of these problems and that can be a significant issue. You don’t want to throw money away and this is why can be advantageous to work with a logistics company that will handle the management of your warehouse.

How Following Directions Translates to the Bottom Line For Management

In business, following directions is very important. When directions are followed correctly, there is an implied understanding that the person was engaged in actively listening or reading and the end results are successfully achieved meaning on time and budget. However, if directions are not followed this may cause significant problems for management.Effective decision making requires higher order thinking skills that are vanishing in the business world as rapidly as the Dodo bird. The consequences of this situation is higher costs because of re-do’s, more stress within the organizational culture causing health costs to increase and productivity to decrease.Here are four examples of not following directions that I have observed during the last couple of weeks:The first example was an email I sent to my U.S. elected representative asking him for a simple yes or no response. He did return the email, but did not follow my directions and wrote several paragraphs without answering the question.

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Example number two was in the social media site, LinkedIn. A discussion was started with the directions to “list one word” regarding the primary expectation or quality of a leader. Yet many of those responding could not follow this simple direction. For those who used more than one word, some had to write an entire paragraph explaining their choice or further elaborating on someone else’s word choice.A visit to one of the full service local grocery stores revealed that employees do not follow directions in their employees’ handbooks or within the union contract. Handbooks and contracts are really direction documents indicating what you need to do or not do as you perform your work-related tasks. In this case, the direction was “Do not chew gum.”The fourth example involved not following up on sales leads. Sales research suggests that almost 50% of all leads are left to whither on the vine. Through my experience as a sales manager and with my sales coaching and small business training coaching clients to my speaking engagements, I can confirm this statistic and it really probably much higher. Many sales professionals be them inside or outside receive leads, are asked to follow up (direction) and then either do not or make one small effort and then go find another lead.When analyzing each of these examples, there are two major obstacles beyond the critical thinking skills. The first obstacle is one of values or what some call ethics. In all cases, the value of respect was being ignored or diminished.

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Obstacle number two was the inability to change. Alan Deutschman in his book Change or Die revealed that only one out of ten people would change even when confronted with facts, fear or force. Conditioned behavior is very strong in all individuals. It is much easier to do what I as the individual have always done such as not follow directions than to follow directions.By not following directions, the behaviors negatively affected the bottom line because a lot more time was spent on not doing it right. If management wishes to grow the business, everyone may need to assess how well the organization is following directions because this is a very real problem and can be directly tied to behaviors. Remember behaviors or actions create results. To change results begins by looking at the beliefs (foundational thoughts and experiences) because they drive the actions.

5 Tips for Improving Margins and the Bottom Line

There are really only 4 ways to increase profits – sell more, improve margins, cut costs or do all three. Costs always have a habit of creeping upwards over time. So, periodically, it pays to take a hard look at them and then eliminate the things we can live without. But there’s a limit to the extent to which we can cut costs before we hurt our company’s long term growth potential. To get steady, incremental increases in profit we have to sell more and improve margins.There are only 2 ways to sell more – add new customers or increase sales to existing customers. In my experience, when we talk about selling more we tend to put the focus on adding new customers. But we know that it costs at least 6 times more to sell to a new customer than to an existing client. That’s not hard to understand when we consider the “acquisition” costs – e.g. advertising, telemarketing, etc.So, the first tip is to avoid losing your least expensive prospects – existing customers. They must be convinced that we do a great job; otherwise they wouldn’t buy from us. Every business loses some customers over time, but when customers leak away, replacing them with new ones cuts into profits. The key is to focus on our “retention rate”. We need to have a process that alerts us when a customer stops purchasing from us. And we must find out why exactly they’re leaving – not simply make assumptions. Keeping customers satisfied is better for your bottom line than replacing them.The second tip is to remember that all customers are not created equal when it comes to profitability. Pareto’s rule tells us that 80% of our profits will come from 20% of our customers. But, how many of us slip into the situation, over time, of treating all customers as equally important? That actually hurts our profits because we waste money using the same marketing and selling techniques on everyone and treat them the same way when they contact us.

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So, how do we recognize the 20% of customers who give us 80% of our profits? They are the companies who buy from us regularly and understand the value of what we do for their business. They focus on quality and reliability rather than price and they pay on time. Because they are successful in their field, they have the potential to grow, allowing us to grow with them. They may even refer potential clients to us. These are our “A” customers. Can you identify yours?Tip number 3 – it makes good business sense to treat “A” customers differently than the others. Everyone in the organization should know who they are. So, when they talk to them on the phone or face-to-face, answer their email, make product for them or pick their orders, these “A” clients get the most prompt, attentive, efficient service we can give. We should market differently to them too. Stay closely in touch personally and via email, e.g. send them our newsletters, and develop the relationship by figuring out how we can help them respond to the changes in their industry.Next tip – watch the customers who offer some, but not all, of the benefits of our “A’s” very closely. They still focus on quality and reliability but may not have been around as long as “A’s” and so may not buy as regularly and/or as much. These are our “B” customers, and apart from what they do for our bottom line today, they have the potential to be the “A’s” of the future. Identify them and build a strong relationship with them. They may get fewer face-to-face visits than the “A’s” but they do get regular calls from our internal sales staff – a very effective but much less costly method of maintaining contact. They are also on our email database.Then there are customers who buy smaller amounts consistently but who have very little potential for further development. These customers – our “C’s” – are solid contributors to the remaining 20% of our profits but the ones who may be most likely to drift away. Our sales and marketing strategies are designed to maintain these relationships in a cost effective way. Primary contact is via regular (but less frequent than for “B” clients) calls from internal sales and email contact about the products or services they buy.The final group is easy to recognize – they complain most and buy small quantities of our products irregularly. That’s because they are focused on price and discounts. They buy from us only when we’re cheaper than our competitors – they have no loyalty. When they do buy from us, they are abrupt, demanding, they always need delivery immediately and people hate dealing with them. Processing their orders requires our staff to drop everything else and get them to the front of the line. They are our “D” accounts. Dealing with “D’s” can be so disruptive that occasionally they even cause us to make mistakes with the orders for the profitable customers.

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So, the fifth and final tip is to “fire” your “D” accounts. That’s correct, if orders from “D” customers are profitable they’re at the bottom end of the margin scale and the amount of resource required to get them out the door wipes out anything we were going to make. Yet we all have “D” accounts – why don’t we just get rid of them? We don’t have to be rude, simply play them at their own game – quote high prices or long lead times. They’ll make the decision not to deal with us. Do it often enough and they’ll stop calling.Focus on your “A” and “B” customers and you’ll improve your margins. Match your sales and marketing resources to customer type and get rid of your “D’s” and you’ll improve the bottom line. Make retaining “C'” customers a priority; work hard at turning your “B” accounts into “A’s” and get your sales staff focused on understanding your “A” accounts’ business – then you’ll not only sell more but you’ll make more profitable sales.To share your experiences, to take issue with anything I’ve said or to get some insight in how to execute send me an email jimstewart@profitpath.com or call me at 416-258-9610.© Copyright ProfitPATH, a division of JDS & Associates Inc., 2007

Health Advantages Of Different Vitamins

The health pack, skincare products and usana vitamins are highly in demand as these are of world class quality and satisfying the users’ need effectively. As we all know that vitamins are a key component for a perfect immune system. Meanwhile, these have a significant ability to complete the biochemical processes occurring in the body continually. And if you are lady and developing fetus inside you, it is needless to say, vitamin supplements are a must to take in protecting both. These vitamins provide you protection against any infections and diseases.
One of the popular brands in vitamin supplements is USANA. No doubt, pregnancy is an assailable time in a woman’s life. The mother need to care herself with proper diet and routine medical checkups. And when it comes to nutritionally demanding phase, these USANA vitamin supplements just serve the purpose accurately.
Here is the list of USANA Vitamins, which are recommendable during pregnancy:
Along with knowing about the USANA supplements, it is also important to consider about prenatal care. During this stage, following are some of the important prenatal vitamins and minerals a woman should consume:
1.Iron: to increase the blood volume, thereby meeting nutritional demands of placenta and fetus.
2.Calcium: to make the bone and teeth formation strong.
3.Iodine: to make the sound functioning of thyroid
4.Selenium: to boost the muscle strength.
5.Zinc: for strengthen of immune system.
6.Vitamin B6: generally known as pyridoxine, is an important coenzyme in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin and dopamine.
Allthese vitamins and minerals are supplemented in USANA products. Now, here is the detail of these products:
1.USANA Essentials: the supplement consists of powerful antioxidants that meet the guidelines for potency and uniformity, set by United States Pharmacopeia. The main ingredient of this is olive fruit extract. The product has been passed by the United States Recommended Dietary Allowances as an effective dietary supplement.
2.USANA SoyaMax: the supplement is a better alternative to animal proteins. One can consume it to maintain the right balance of cholesterol.
3.USANA Calcium Plus: calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and silicon are the main ingredients of this vitamin supplement. All of these are ideal in promoting a healthy bone health and growth.
4.USANA BioMega: you can get the rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids with this product and can ensure a strong cardiovascular health. Additionally, it provides healthy neural and bone growth properties. The best part is, it is devoid of any heavy metals, hence is safe to be consumed.
Although, these entire vitamin supplements are safe to use, but one should take with doctor prescription as the effect varies from body to body.

Six Sigma Certification – The Bottom Line

Six Sigma Training and Certification will teach you that everything to do with your business revolves around the processes that you have and how effective they are in operations. The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to provide a defect ratio of 3.4 defects per million, which is a very high standard for any business, and especially for one that is facing problems with customer dissatisfaction or loss of sales because of ineffective processes. However, when you are properly trained in the principles and policies of Six Sigma, you will be much better able to understand how the process works, how it can benefit your business and how it affects your bottom line every single time.

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With Six Sigma Methodology, the bottom line is that the bottom line is all that matters. When you focus on anything other than customer satisfaction and achieving profit goals, you will lose sight of what your business is designed to do. No matter how much you enjoy owning a business you have to look at the leger side of things every once in awhile to make sure that your business is serving its intended purpose, and meeting the goals that it needs to be meeting. It’s a lot of fun to be a business owner, and it is always important and interesting to learn new ways to appeal to your customers.Customers are the focus? I thought the bottom line was the focus.In order to achieve successful results in your profitability, you have to have satisfied customers that are committed to shopping with your company or paying for your services. That’s all there is to it. You cannot have an effective business or a solid bottom line if you don’t have a stable and constantly growing customer base to work with. Keep all of this in mind and your business will be much more successful in the end.

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When it comes to having an efficient business and a profitable bottom line, there are many different choices that you can make as to how to handle the situation. However, if you take the time to embrace Six Sigma Methodology and use it to your best advantage, you can often make the process improvement projects that you embark on much easier to manage. By using factual data you will get more relevant and actualized results than with any other method of problem solving that you work with.

Creating Effective Employee Relationships – All About the Bottom Line

The purpose of relationship building in the workplace is pretty simple really. There is value for all sides of the equation and within that, it’s important to acknowledge that there is a bottom line.As employees; indeed as business owners, managers and team leaders, we are all in it for something, because the most of us need the work we do.When we attend work, we do so for some pretty basic reasons. We want shelter to keep us from the elements. We want to be fed and kept healthy. In modern societies we are very fortunate that these are pretty much covered off for most of us.So we need more. The basics – the core rewards that work provides us with – are sufficient to provide the minimum we need. If that was all we went to work for, well then, that’s pretty much sorted!

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The more we need is the cerebral value that work provides for us. The stimulation of the work we do provides a healthiness that is not measured by outward disease. Our mental well-being is provided for by finding stimulating challenges that we enjoy and get personal satisfaction from.Work is not about material reward alone.When we manage others, we take that on as a stimulating challenge that gets our juices flowing, so we too are satisfied from the fulfillment that we get from the achievements we make.Both sides achieving successes in their own personal challenges, are leveraged by organizations to ensure that results from the whole, go to meet and exceed the results that need to drop out for the financial bottom line.If managers and their employees have personal goals they want to achieve and these are aligned with the needs of the bigger organization, then we are all in business pulling together.The glue that binds us is the way we communicate together. And we communicate most effectively by having close working relationships that enable us to make the best outcomes possible, where everyone is a winner.

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That bottom line for the relationships we build is the pleasure – the joy even – we get from achieving what we want from the work we do.It isn’t just about financial reward. It isn’t about getting a company car that’s a bit bigger. It’s not about the pension pot we build.Relationships enable us to work together towards a common goal. The purpose of the relationships we co-create, is the bottom line for all of us, which is very personal, yet always contributes to the outcome our employers expect of us too.So we are all winners together.

The Frontline Equals the Bottom Line

Most of us have heard the expression, “The frontline equals the bottom line,” as it pertains to a company’s employees. It means that as far as the customer is concerned, a company’s frontline employees ARE the company. After all, rarely do customers come in contact with the executives of an organization. Those frontline employees are truly the face of the organization. But as leaders, do we perform in a way that is consistent with the frontline equals the bottom line philosophy? In many cases, I think the answer is no.I was thinking about this issue recently while eating in a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant. As I was observing the employees, the reality of the frontline equals the bottom line really hit me. These servers, bussers, bartenders, etc. are the most important people in the company. I knew this intellectually (I’ve talked about it for years), but the trueness of it hit me at that moment. These employees are typically the lowest paid in the organization, treated as expendable, often treated in a condescending manner, and yet they are the most important people in the company. If these employees fail in their duties, it makes no difference how smart the Sr. VP of Marketing is. The transaction between the customer and the company (the frontline employee) can easily crash and burn if that frontline employee doesn’t do his or her job well. This is true in restaurants, hospitals, banks, grocery stores or any other industry/organization. Executives can call in sick, but if the truck drivers for a distribution center don’t show up one day, now there is a situation. When they do their jobs with pride and enthusiasm, the likelihood of company success is exponentially increased. When they do their jobs with boredom and skepticism, the greatest technology systems in the world won’t help.

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We should treat our frontline employees like the stars that they are. We should honor them for the work that they do because they are the ones that make the world turn. All of our strategies, visions, and corporate goals are only as good as the execution of those plans; and execution ultimately comes down to frontline people doing things. Theirs is the most honest work of all. The customer was either happy or she wasn’t, the delivery happened on time or it didn’t, the cooler was either stocked or not, the food was either hot or it wasn’t. Frontline employees don’t need a report in a binder to know how things are going. The score is real time for them.I think what is missing in business today is knowing the importance of the frontline at a gut level. Most of us know that we should say the frontline is the bottom line, but I don’t think it often shines through in our actions. If it did, we would be having pizza parties regularly, pitching in to help when things are busy, taking employees to lunch regularly to ask what can be improved. We would hold celebrations all the time. We would say thank you at every opportunity. Think about those times in your personal life when you were grateful for something that someone did. I mean truly grateful. Remember how sincere and heartfelt your appreciation was toward that person? Can you remember the last time you showed that level of appreciation to an employee or group of employees in your organization?The need to be appreciated is one of the strongest needs of all. When employees work hard all day, doing the real work of the company, being treated with honor isn’t too much to ask. Asking me to clock in and clock out says something about how you feel about my honor. Giving keys for the supply cabinet only to managers and above says something about how you feel about my honor. Having a lavish holiday party for the executive team while giving me a $2 tree ornament says something about how you feel about my contributions. Walking by the reception desk, the loading dock, or the stockroom without acknowledging employees, taking a moment to see how things are going, or just saying thanks, are all behaviors that tell employees what management really thinks. Is it any wonder that most studies show employee engagement is abysmally low?

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My wife and I used to have a housekeeper, Val, who cleaned our house once a week. She was truly an excellent housekeeper and cleaned even the hardest to reach areas. Debbie (my wife) sincerely appreciated the extra effort and always showed her appreciation. My wife and Val became good friends. One time Val mentioned that although she cleaned a lot of houses, Debbie was the only one who appreciated those extra touches and actually showed appreciation. What is important to note is that Debbie didn’t say thank you to get Val to do the extras. Debbie thanked Val because she did the extras. Val, however, said that she wanted to do more because of the appreciation. It was simply a sincere cycle of performance and appreciation. Saying thank you to people who work hard is simply the right thing to do. And usually when we do the right thing, we get the right thing in return. Not always, but usually.You know who the frontline employees are in your own organization. I challenge you to take a hard look at the level of appreciation that you show those frontline employees.Something to think about: Do your employees know you appreciate them? How do they know you appreciate them

Managing the Bottom Line

Managing a business is not as simple as one might think it is. As a matter of fact, in order for your business to succeed, one must exert extra effort. Also, you must always monitor the current condition of your business. In order to know how well your business is doing is by monitoring the monetary flow of your business. When we say “monetary flow” or more known by many as “cash flow”, it represents the entire gross sales and revenues. Also, you must always keep track of your net income or “net profit” so as to know how to enhance the performance of your business.One of the essential factors in making your business successful is by creating a financial scheme and periodically checking its status against certain particulars that will pop up monthly. If certain problems are encountered, it is essential that you must solve the problems immediately. Listed below are some of the actions that you must take so that your business will run smoothly and for it to succeed eventually:

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Design a financial scheme. Estimate the profit that you expect to earn on a monthly basis and calculate your expenses.Also, bear in mind that the profits that you have lost can not be recovered. Once businessmen assess their estimated calculations to the actual calculations and discover that the profits are much lower than they expect it would be or the expenses are higher than projected, they would normally decide to “make it up later”. The truth is that, on each month or months when the projections are either too low or too high – low for profit and high for expenses -, that month is gone and can not be regained.Take immediate action. In an event when the profit or revenues are much lower that the projection, take immediate actions by increasing efforts in the sales and marketing aspects. Better yet, it is essential that you find means to raise your rates. Cut your overhead costs if you think that they are too high. Most of the businesses these days do that in order to become more profitable.

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Be “money wise”. It is very important that you must consider various consequences before spending. If you are taking into consideration another business expense – this includes the marketing and sales aspect of the business -, it is important that you must assess the increased profits that you projected against the expense before you proceed.Measure the success of your business based on its profits not on its revenue. Remember, the success of a business is not based on how much money you are bringing in monthly if the expenses of your business are much higher. This is one of the main causes why numerous businesses these days have gone bankrupt.

Do You Want Super Quick Weight Loss? It is Easy With These All Natural Supplements!

We live in a fast paced world, we want everything done quickly. So is it any wonder that people want a quick way to lose weight as well? With all the quick weight loss ads that are prevalent everywhere in the media, it is easy to be confused about the best and safest way to lose weight quickly.There are many different weight loss supplements available that promise quick weight loss, but if you want a safe supplement it is best to go with something that is all natural. Quite a few of the natural herbal supplements actually provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients may be something that your body is lacking and that is why it is holding on to the excess weight.Herbal weight loss supplements have come a long way in the last few years. New advances in the way they are formulated have helped to produce supplements that provide excellent results for people who want to lose weight quickly. The following three supplements are natural weight loss aids that have proven their results over and over. Maybe one is the right match for you!

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Green tea. You see green tea everywhere these days, from ads on TV to kiosks in the mall. The reason so many different companies have jumped on the green tea band wagon is because it works. It is beneficial in so many ways. Not only does green tea help to stimulate weight loss and increase your energy levels, it contains important antioxidants. Antioxidants will help purge your body of all the impurities from pollution, smoking, preservatives, etc. Many times your body has trouble losing weight because of the build up of toxins. By getting rid of toxins you are helping your body to flush the fat as well. Green tea is also a great herb for heart health. Everyone should take green tea just for the health benefits! You can drink it as a tea or take a green tea supplements.Herbal diet pills. Taking weight loss supplements in pill form is the most traditional way of using supplements. Unlike standard diet pills, most herbal supplements are made with all natural ingredients (make sure you check the label). The ingredients found in these pills have proven to burn fat, increase your energy level and speed up your metabolism. Pills are convenient and great for people with busy lives.Herbal injections or patches. Herbal injections are the newest way to get herbal medications. These medications are injected into the bloodstream by a holistic doctor who will work with the patient to create the perfect weight loss program. Because the medication is injected directly into the bloodstream it is absorbed quickly and starts to work faster. Patches are another new alternative to regular supplements. They work like a nicotine patch where a patch is placed on the skin once a day. Once the patch is in place it releases the herbal medication through the skin and into the blood stream. This is a great option for people who forget to take pills or don’t want to be bothered by a set schedule of medication.

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Herbal supplements are the way to go if you want to lose weight quickly and safely. Try the one that fits your lifestyle the best and remember to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan. You can lose the weight!