Did your business survive Friday 13!

Were you challenged by  Friday 13th April?  Do you believe it’s an unlucky day … or are you a sensible doubter but still hedging your bets …. just in case it’s true.  Are you one of thousands who avoids social and business activities on Friday 13th?
You may scoff at the superstitious but fear of the number 13th is a genuine phobia called Triskaidekaphobia, and fear of 13 has lead to many buildings avoiding a thirteenth floor (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_floor )
And although it may sound strange, many people do avoid making arrangements on Friday 13th. Airlines confirm that bookings are down http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2085656/Unlucky-Friday-13-sees-flight-bookings-drop-third.html and financiers have known investments to be deferred until another day.
Psychologists include superstitions among a wider range of human traits collectively called ‘magical thinking’, that includes other questionable beliefs ranging from a harmless belief in fairies through mildly disturbing beliefs in the paranormal to potentially more harmful beliefs such as fanatical religion.
Chartered Psychologist Graham W Price, from Abicord, has helped many clients with phobias and / or superstitious beliefs.
Magical thinking perhaps demonstrates the gullibility of humans, particularly in light of the fact that many such beliefs can be disproved. Track events on Friday 13th and compare the results with any other day and, unsurprisingly, there’s not much difference for the average person.
One might imagine the superstitious belief itself could impact the results. Couldn’t a belief that accidents will happen so distract believers that they become more prone to accidents? The studies suggest that even this doesn’t happen.
In fact a Dutch insurance company study in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th) actually showed that were fewer accidents on Friday 13th as people were preventatively more careful!
What can you do if you have a superstitious belief, or perhaps many such beliefs, that are limiting you in some way? Perhaps you can’t venture out of the house on Friday 13th and that’s costing you a day’s vacation, on average twice a year.
Graham W Price has some advice;
Hypnotherapy can sometimes help. It works for some, but on its own success is far from certain and relapse rates are high. Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (CBT) are generally more effective and sustainable for most mind-related issues, particularly if they’re combined with modern acceptance-based approaches such as Acceptance-Action Therapy (AAT).
A combined CBT-AAT treatment might involve challenging beliefs using an evidence-based approach, learning to accept any feelings such as anxiety and confronting the superstition by changing your behaviour.
When we act in ways that are consistent with an unproductive belief, we always reinforce the belief. Our mind gets a message that the belief must be true …. otherwise why are we behaving in that way. Conversely, if we repeatedly act in the opposite way, we’ll undermine the belief.
Graham recommends trying the following steps to help you move past the superstition and stop it holding you back:
Create a habit of noticing whenever you “buy into” the superstition and limit yourself.  Accept that this is the way you are right now. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get annoyed or frustrated with yourself
Recognise that the superstition is irrational. Remind yourself that studies have shown there’s no evidence to support it
Drop the thought (surprisingly easy once we’ve carried out the first two steps)
Take the action you were hesitating over while accepting any anxious feelings this may generate
“Do this repeatedly and the limiting belief, and any anxious feelings it may be generating, will soon disappear.” says Graham.

Majority of people believe cash set to become extinct

Nearly a third (30%) of the UK public have been inconvenienced in the last year by a retailer not taking cards, according a new YouGov survey conducted for small business payments specialists CardSave. The poll indicates that retailers that refuse to accept cards are losing out to modern consumers, who carry hardly any cash.
In fact, 16% of people have walked out of a shop in the past year without making their intended purchase because the retailer didn’t accept cards, while 22% have been forced to leave to seek out a cash point. 7% have purchased less than they intended to due to retailers’ only accepting cash.
The survey shows that the days of carrying large amounts of cash are over. 62% of people carry £20 or less in cash on them on average. 48% carry £15 or less and 35% carry up to £10. Yet almost everyone (93%) carries a credit or debit card.
According to CardSave’s own Small Business Payments Index, which launches today and is compiled from card payments data for over 40,000 small businesses, the average card transaction at small, independent merchants in February was for £64.27. This splits into averages of £96.56 on credit card and £54.14 on debit card. With only 12% of the population carrying £50 or more in cash, retailers who do not accept cards are therefore likely to be missing out on high-value customers.
A majority of the public, 57%, believe that cash will become extinct at some point in the future – with 50% predicting that this will be by 2035. 36% forecast that this will be by 2025.
Clive Kahn, Chief Executive of CardSave, which enables small businesses to accept payments more easily: “The days when consumers wanted to pay by cash are over. They increasingly expect to pay by card for everything – from small shops to tradespeople such as painters and window-cleaners.
“Small businesses benefit significantly from accepting cards, winning more business, making larger sales and maintaining their competitiveness against major retailers.”
The YouGov poll coincides with the first ever Small Business Payments Index by CardSave on expenditure on cards at SMEs in each sector of the economy over the past year. The most significant changes in February 2012 (compared to February 2011) in average amounts spent include the following:
·         Average spend on home improvements was up 32%, from £169.37 to £233.10
·         Spending on bicycle sales and servicing was up 10% from an average of £69.89 to £77.07.
·         Restaurants, pubs and bars saw a 9% decrease in the average transaction value from an average of £32.59 to £29.66.
·         Average card spend on taxis, cabs and limos was also down 8% from £112.24 in February 2011 to £103.03 in February 2012.
·         Highest card transaction values were in the home improvements and leisure sectors.  

Graffiti6 blazing a Britpop trail in the USA

Graffiti6 is a Brit band doing very well in the USA right now, a great UK export helping to put the ‘Great’ back into Britain. Here’s what is being written about them on Zoiks:
Riding on the success of their first single “Free” from debut album Colours, Britain’s Graffiti6 has been selected by VH1 as the “You Oughta Know” artist for the month of March. Launched in 2004, VH1’s “You Oughta Know” franchise introduces promising new artists on the rise to VH1’s base of music lovers. Many “You Oughta Know” artists have gone on to win industry awards and accolades including “Best New Artist” Grammy Awards and nominations. This highly acclaimed franchise has helped break artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, The Civil Wars, Colbie Caillat, Corinne Bailey Rae, Foster The People, The Fray, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, James Blunt, Mumford & Sons, Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor and many, many others.

Colours was released on January 24th to rave reviews and the first single “Free” which is now a top 10 hit at AAA radio, officially impacts the Hot AC format this week. Graffiti6 has performed the single on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” “Conan” and “The Rachael Ray Show.” The “Free” video has over 1.3 million views on VEVO is currently in rotation on VH1, MTVU, Music Choice and MUN2.

Graffiti6 recently wrapped a nationwide tour with Augustana and will head to Austin March 15th – 17th to play a series of shows at this years SXSW festival. They will then join singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson starting April 17th in Denver, Co through May, 23rd in Portland, OR. They will then play this year’s Sasquatch Festival over Memorial Day weekend at the Gorge in Washington.