Archive for month: December, 2014

Having a Content Strategy Helps Google Find Your Website Design

Categories: Articles

Are you one of those business owners or marketers who starts to create a new website or update an existing site and then stops two weeks into the process? It may be that you put the proverbial cart before the horse by jumping into the excitement of website design without having a content strategy.

Starting your website design and keeping your website relevant to your customers and prospects starts with having a content strategy as much as a keyword strategy. Developing these strategies should not be confused with developing tactics, according to a post from Kathy Hanbury for the Content Marketing Institute.

“Content strategy is not a single solution or deliverable,” she implores. “It’s a process and a mindset. If you approach your content marketing initiative knowing that it will constantly evolve, and that you’re guiding its evolution, then you’re practicing content strategy. Content strategy evaluates business and customer needs and provides strategic direction on how improved content and content processes can help to achieve specific objectives. It’s a continual process of improvement.”

A content strategy, she notes, is not sitting in a meeting and saying, “C’mon, people, let’s blog.” Writing a blog is a tactic that sits inside a strategy designed to meet a business or marketing communications goal.

“Content strategy requires more time and resources upfront, but your content-marketing initiative is much more likely to succeed with a solid strategy supporting it,” Kathy writes. “You don’t necessarily need a large, formal content strategy. You just need to take the time to think things through and determine your goals, resourcing, workflow and success metrics, which can save you from the high cost of ineffective content (development). You can’t expect to get where you want to go if you don’t know where that is, what you need to do to get there, or how to even recognize it if you stumble across it.

“What’s more,” she adds, “way too many companies are becoming more strategic in their content processes. You can’t afford to be left behind.”

This is where Niche Labs comes in. We are a full-service agency for businesses that don’t have a CMO or VP of Marketing or that don’t have the people or time to define or facilitate content strategy and marketing strategy, develop websites, manage SEO and digital/ direct marketing campaigns.

Starting with developing a content strategy and website design, we can  handle your marketing tactics and marketing communications tactics. As part of your marketing team, we can create the channels for pushing out your strategic content and work with you to get the information out to your targeted market.

For more tips and insights about attracting more business through organic searches, connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to read summaries of our weekly posts.

Let’s review your marketing and marketing communications strategies and develop content and a website design that supports your business goals. And while we’re at it, we’d love to talk about your other outsourcing needs and lend a hand there, too.. To speak with our team, please Email us at, call 888.978.9254, or if you are mobile, visit us on your smartphone.

Cutting costs by making print and infrastructure adjustments

Categories: Articles

In any business, money is important. If steps can be taken to reduce outgoings, then the chances are that senior figures within the organization would jump at the chance to keep money within the company.   Print and infrastructure adjustments are one simple cut, which can help you make savings instantly.  With that in mind, here are our top tips on cost saving.

Streamline Your Printing Devices:  Carrying out a detailed print audit and reviewing your print as a whole can increase efficiency and dramatically improve costs.  Using one uniform supplier often allows businesses to significantly reduce their fleet size and simplify the management of their print estate.  One of the fundamental issues driving up print costs in many practices is the large number of ineffective desktop printers still in place across many organizations.  In addition, many practices are still using a variety of different suppliers for their multi-functional devices (MFDs) which may not represent best value for money or the best service.  This can result in large fleets of devices producing high volumes of wasted documents, hard to manage networks and very little transparency.  By streamlining your printing devices and suppliers, costs can be significantly reduced.

Prepare A Print Policy:  One of the main aspects of this is communicating the policy amongst staff to ensure everyone is aware of the organizations print targets and the long term benefits of cutting down printing.  Despite the ever-increasing pressure on businesses to cut costs from many angles, it’s surprising how few have a dedicated print policy in place providing clear guidelines and setting rules around print procedures across the business.

Utilize New Software Solutions:   By introducing a print management solution – which can be linked to existing bio-metrics systems such as cashless catering – practices can save money and improve productivity.  By enabling ‘Pull print’ functionality from within the print management software, staff can send documents to print to a variety of secure devices across a number of different offices, resulting in confidential print collections and driving down wastage.  Print management software targeted specifically at practicess such as ‘Drivve Print’ also allows the practice management team to put ‘rules’ in place to ensure best practice printing is carried out at all times – ultimately driving down costs and reducing the practices’s carbon footprint.  Thousands of businesses across the US are still not using any type of output print management software, resulting in very little control, and ever-increasing waste and costs, however by simply introducing new software solutions, all of these negatives can be avoided and savings can be made.

Remember To Negotiate:  When reviewing their print infrastructure and going through the procurement process, practices should be looking at negotiating operating leases rather than standard leases with suppliers.  These contracts usually offer a much lower rate of lending as well as prohibiting suppliers from carrying out costly mid-contract upgrades and providing hardware that is a certain percentage (usually 70%) over the MSRP.

Rich Simons is Co-Founder and Managing Partner for EDGE Business Systems.  He helps improve efficiencies for medical practices providing analysis, customization and recommendations to create an efficient work environment for all document processes.  Feel free to connect at     

16 Things That Make You A Financial Adult

Categories: Articles

“Adulthood” is amorphous at best.

As Pamela Druckerman once wrote in the New York Times, “There are no grown-ups … Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.”

Being an adult, then, might be more about what you can handle than the date on your birth certificate.

“Financial adulthood can come at any age,” says c ertified financial planner Sophia Bera, founder of Gen Y Planning . “It’s being comfortable talking about and taking ownership of your money. Instead of just letting your financial situation happen to you, you’re using your money to match your values and live your dream.”

Need something more concrete?

Bera consulted on the 16 points below.  If you can check them off your list, go ahead and consider yourself a financial adult.

1. Have at least one to two credit cards and a debit card, and be able to pay your credit cards on time and in full every month, without overdrafting your checking account.

2. Know your credit score and check your credit report at least annually. Here’s where to find them.

3. Have at least one retirement fund, and contribute to it regularly. Ideally, increase your contributions every year (even if it’s only by 1%) until you max them out.

4. Have an emergency fund. As a general rule, that means about six months of living expenses in a separate savings account to use in case of a financial or medical emergency.

5. Have health insurance — as well as car insurance, renter’s insurance, and homeowner’s insurance if applicable. You’ll also need life insurance if you have a child, and disability insurance if you are working and rely on your income.

6. Have some form of a budget, or at least have a system for tracking your spending and an awareness of how much you spend each month. If you could use a hand, here are the most popular budgeting apps.

7. Know your take-home pay every month. After taxes. This is the number that represents your monthly income, and the cornerstone for your budget.

8. Know your net worth. Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities (any debts), and serves as a convenient gauge of whether things are getting better or worse. Check in with it at least annually.

9. Spend less than you earn. Don’t spend what you don’t have — that’s how you get into debt.

10. Have a system for remembering and paying your bills. Whether that’s setting up automatic payments for fixed costs, setting Google calendar reminders on the first day of the month, or calling your credit card company to streamline your due dates, you shouldn’t be forgetting about bills, or leaving them unpaid.

11. Work on paying off any student loans or consumer debt, and know when you’re going to be debt-free. Here are some tips from former debtors.

12. Know your financial goals and how you’ll achieve them. “Buying a house someday” is just the start. “Buying a house in five years with a $50,000 down payment after diverting my bonus and a percentage of my paycheck into my ‘home’ savings account starting today,” on the other hand, will help you map out where you want to be and how you’ll get there.

13. Optimize your taxes, whether that means working with software or with an accountant. Be able to ask for help if you need it. Low-income and elderly tax filers can get free assistance through VITA, an IRS program manned by volunteers.

14. Have a secure, accessible filing system for your important financial documents. Here’show long to keep any financial record.

15. Be able to get on the phone and question/dispute charges or costs that seem inaccurate or unreasonable. And be polite while doing it. If you don’t speak up for your money, no one will.

16. Be secure enough to say no to expenses you can’t afford or don’t want. On the other hand, know when it’s most important for you to be able to say yes, and figure out how to afford the things that mean the most to you.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Maggie Foda
Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine

Maggie Foda Practice Manager at Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine has two distinctions which make her unique among practice mangers in Atlanta. She has probably traveled the farthest to get where she is, having grown up in Alexandria, Egypt. The second distinction is that prior to becoming a practice manager she practiced medicine as a doctor in Egypt.

Maggie enjoys utilitizing the experience she has acquired both as a doctor and her years as a practice manager to get things done. Everyday she enjoys tackling problems and resolving issues with the idea of keeping the practice moving in the right direction.

Upon coming to this country in 1991 Maggie worked with a community health center in Houston, Texas in various capacities. She was the Associate Director of Patient Services before becoming the Practice Manager of the Center’s largest clinic. That community health center was a multi specialty organization practicing family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics and orthopedics.

Maggie believes that it is critically important that a successful practice manager be “hands on”. She has personally done every job in the practice which she believes is key to providing good support to her staff. Being hands on gives her a better perspective on what everyone in the practice is doing. Having done every job she knows what is involved with that particular job and how long activities in that job should take. Using that understanding allows her to be fair in assessing a staff member’s work performance. She believes that it makes the staff feel good to know that she is not above what they do but as she puts it “ she just has a different job title.” She believes it is important for a practice manager to be fair and objective in assessing her staff. She believes it is important that a practice manager keep the owners of the practice up to speed on the major issues facing the practice while not burdening them with the mountain of details which a practice manager must oversee.

The inspiration for Maggie’s medical career comes from the first doctor she worked with after coming to this country. That doctor she worked with started out as a nurse and did every job on the clinical side of the practice. That doctor led by example and she taught Maggie the importance of being hands on, a lesson Maggie has never forgotten.

When she is not at the practice Maggie loves to read. She admits to being a shopaholic and not necessarily a recovering one. She also likes going to museums and plays. She is a good cook, a talent she doesn’t mind practicing when she is not worn out by a long day at the practice.

Maggie has two sons both of whom live in the US. One of her sons is an engineer with Dell Computer. The other son is looking for that perfect job having earned a degree in history. His area of study was a particularly interesting period in Egypt’s long history.

The Managing Physician for the practice Dr. Eduardo Montaña described Maggie’s importance to the practice by saying ”I couldn’t run a medical practice without her.” He went on to say that Maggie is the “eyes and ears of our practice” and the ”soul of the practice.”

Hearing Dr. Montana’s description of Maggie Foda makes it easy to see that she is a very successful practice manager. Congratulations Maggie for the work you do and for your selection as Healthcare Services Team’s Practice Manager of the Month.

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