The Canadian Conference Board ranks Calgary and Edmonton behind all the other cities in the country in forecast growth. That is largely caused by the recent fall in oil prices. The province of Alberta is already feeling the impacts of a mild economic recession. It is set to slump behind the rest of Canada in terms of growth. That is according to a recent report released by the Conference Board.
According to http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/recession-predicted-for-edmonton-calgary-following-oil-price-fallout-1.3075643, the board Metropolitan research compared growth projections for 13 cities all over Canada and ranked Calgary and Edmonton at the bottom of the list. Their economies are expected to shrink by more than 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively. Alan Arcand, director of the Centre for Municipal Studies of the board, noted that is was a complete turnaround of fortunes from what we have seen in previous times. Earlier surveys have ranked cities in Saskatchewan and Alberta at the summit of the rank list for growth. Surprisingly, the recent report ranks Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto as the Canada’s fastest-growing economies. Associate Director of the Centre for Municipal Studies Alan Arcand, mentioned in a report that the three cities are projected to have their local economies expand by around 3.1 percent.
While the crashing oil prices might be the cause, the Alberta’s construction industry will be the hardest hit, as firms slow down initiation of new projects. The conference board projected the bulk of the recession to happen in the first quarter of the year. The worst economic shrinkage is probably gone. However, the board report suggests slow growth for Alberta’s economy next year, I do not expect it to come back to what Alberta has been all this years. Between the year 2010 and 2014, Edmonton’s economy grew at a rate of around 6 percent annually. That is quite a fast pace. As a person who has been following up the trends of the local economy, I think the fast economic growth days are long gone. However, even in the face of the recession, I expect employment in Edmonton to rise a bit.
The economic decelerate will probably have little effect on the current construction projects that are ongoing in downtown Edmonton. But I predict that businesses will postpone announcing their new construction projects as the economy recedes. Residential homes construction will be the most vulnerable. I expect home sales to slump as buyers postpone their major purchases. In the face of a decelerating construction sector and receding economy, it will be a good moment for the government to increase its spending. With an expected deficit and tight finances, I am worried the province may be unable to achieve its targets. It is a good time to increase government construction spending. However, there is a current slack in the local labor market.
Shaune Vasseur is the owner of http://hydrovac-edmonton.com/. Hydrovac Edmonton has been offering trenching, drilling, hydro-vac, locating and cleanups in Edmonton and its surrounding areas for more than a decade. Integrity, professionalism, as well as customer satisfaction, are the pillars of their business.
2015 is the year many consider, the year of the entrepreneur. Thanks to crowd funding, alternative lending, social media and the fast pace progression of technology, 2015 is the best time to start your own business. And with brand new trends constantly popping up, the opportunities are everywhere for any aspiring entrepreneurs to capitalize. I have created a list of 6 business ideas that may spark that entrepreneurial spirit in side.
1. Box Subscriptions
Box subscription services are showing up everywhere in the beauty, pet, and food industries, ready to be delivered to you each and every month to your door steps. These box subscriptions are curated for each customer, based on their personal interests and likes.
If you are able to find a product category that is unique and untapped by the box services industry, or putting your own spin to an already existing service, you may have a great business within reach.
2. Start A Vape Company
Getting into the vaping / electronic cigarette industry is a must try in 2015. Thanks to zero government regulations. The big boom within the vape industry is causing a decline in analog cigarette sales. One of the bring reasons for this is because of the restrictions put on analog cigarette smokers. The smoking zones are getting reduce more and more. Health companies are encouraging people to stop smoking by giving incentives to non-smokers and giving penalties to those that smoke.
3. Build A Kid Friendly App
Building a kid friendly app. Like what Whitney Houston said, “Children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”. Sixty five percent of the kids today have or have access to some kind of mobile device. Having that knowledge alone gives anyone who can create kid friendly apps, or product a big opportunity. And if those product or apps promote health or are educational, they will for sure win over their parents
4. Start A Recycling Service
Recycling is a one of the biggest business in 2015. Many homeowners don’t make the enough effort to recycle batteries and electronics properly. Doing this improperly is very dangerous to our environment when they’re left in landfills.
Offering to pick up these types of waste that has been left to collecting dust for a fee would be a great business. Not only will you help the environment, but help the customer throw away old junk.
5. Food Tuck
Starting your own food truck business would be another great idea. A study done by Emergent Research and Intuit, predictes that revenue generated by the food tucking industry will hit 2.8 billion by 2016.
A food truck will be a safer investment then a restaurant because according to Josh Tang, the founder of Mobi Munch. The failure rate of brick and mortar restaurant is sixty to ninty percent, while the rate of failure for food trucks are at 10 to 20 percent. If some food knowledge, great recipes and the right equipment, you’ll have yourself a mobile money machine running in now time.
Selling a home can be challenging for many Main Line Real Estate professionals. However, for those real estate agents who have access to the proper tools, they may find that can increase the amount of real estate main line pa sales that they make each year. Choosing the right real estate on the main line tools is one of the essential keys to being successful in this area. This said, here are some great Philadelphia suburbs real estate tools that can be used to make and close a sale.
Deploy a Philadelphia main line real estate Website
Getting people to look at a specific piece of mainline real estate is essential keys to getting a sell. Therefore, people who are in the main line realty business will need to do whatever it takes to make sure that the property that they are responsible for selling can be easily seen and accessed on the Internet. By setting up a main line real estate for sale site that buyers can frequent on a regular basis, real estate agents will have access to hundreds to thousands of potential real estate buyers. Which means, the real estate website is one of the best tools that can be used to expedite a sell.
Create a Positive Web and main line Philadelphia real estate presence
In addition to designing a website and publishing it on the web, it is important for each business owner to make sure that they have a positive web presence. Specifically, when trying to attract a specific target audience to buy a home. Building a good web presence can be challenging, so it is important for each business owner to make sure that they have done a good job of marketing their main line pa real estate property. Some of the keys to increasing the business site’s web presence is to write articles for an online press release and managing a blog that can provide great information about how to sell real estate effectively.
Create A Real Estate Blog
While some people may stop at building the website and deploying it, others will go the extra mile by establishing a real estate blog that they can post information to. When the business owner takes the time out to publish quality information that is valuable to their visitors, they can also make themselves an authority on the topic of real estate. Therefore, if they want to sell a specific property as quickly as expeditiously as possible, they may want to ensure that their blog will also have a lot of activity. Thereby, allowing the real estate business to capitalize on the real estate blog as a useful marketing tool.
Though real estate is a challenging career to be in, there are tools of the trade that can be used to increase a real estate agents success. Some of the more commonly known today includes, establishing a successful website that potential buyers can visit, creating a positive web presence and setting up a real estate blog that will allow them to become an expert on the real estate area in mainland Philadelphia.
As a medical biller you will be given an important office position, where you will be actively contributing to the health care industry. Your job will entail a number of responsibilities and you will often be the liaison between patients, medical institutions and various insurance companies.
The job description for medical biller is best suited for an individual who can pay close attention to minute details. It will be your responsibility to complete insurance invoices, review the information and then submit these forms to the appropriate agency. In today’s medical world there are HIPPA rules about obtaining, releasing and transmitting personal information. These submissions must be done electronically and you will need to make certain that all of the data and signatures are in the correct places.
A medical billing specialist will often be found working in a physician’s office or at a large hospital. However these jobs are also available in numerous health care related facilities such as a free-standing medical clinic, a nursing home, rehab center or physical therapy office. There is an increasing need for individuals with the necessary skills to handle the billing between health care providers and health insurance agencies. Sometimes the job requirements of a medical biller and coder will be combined together.
The duties for medical billers could include the following tasks
- Reviewing patient bills for accuracy
- Reviewing claims that are sent directly to Medicare/Medicaid
- Checking to make sure that proper payments have been received
- Resolving any billing discrepancies
- Checking insurance policies for any secondary/tertiary benefits
- Helping patients understand their insurance benefits plan
- Calculating the amount that the patient might be charged for health care services
- Tracking and resolving any unpaid insurance claims
Skills needed to become a medical biller
- Broad, detailed knowledge of insurance payment guidelines
- Ability to do research online (regarding payment benefits)
- Interpersonal skills to deal with the public
- Multi-tasking capability
- Computer skills
- Knowledge of medical coding
- Familiarity with various medical billing software programs
You should be comfortable working with computers and interacting with others. This job will require you to think on your feet. You should be organized and efficient. Much of the day you will be sitting at a desk, but you may need to file papers, retrieve necessary documents and have an eye for details.
Depending upon your employer the job assignments could even require you to occasionally function as a receptionist or help with other office tasks. The majority of the time your duties will be completely focused on making sure that the billing invoices are being completed properly and submitted in a timely manner.
- You should have a HS diploma or GED
- Completion of a Medical Billing Training Course
- An Associate’s Degree in Business Administration (ora comparable field)
It is helpful to have at least 6 months-1 year of office experience that involved working in a health care setting such as a doctor’s office or hospital.
Medical Billing as a Life Career
This field is growing at a rapid pace and offers many opportunities for individuals who want to choose medical billing as their career. In most situations this is a job with standard Monday-Friday (9-5 or 8-4) scheduling requirements.
The average salary for medical billing associates is $14/hr. Average yearly salary is $30,000-$45,000. Some jobs will include profit sharing, stock options, retirement programs and other perks.
Applying Business Principles This Year
A recent article made the case for applying traditional business elements of success to the entrepreneurial thought processes of today. The problem of how to start a business with a long term strategy and plan and be competitive from the starting gate when competing on a global scale can be daunting. Several “time tested” principles were used as foundational illustrations that should be applied to today’s entrepreneur.
But are these principles still valid?
The first principle that was offered was that of using a SWOT analysis to determine where to position your business in contrast to your competitors. If not done correctly, the SWOT can end up being a simple academic exercise. However, the SWOT analysis does have value.
But this is a formalized approach when more than a few Internet businesses have been formed and are successful simply by assembling key players who agree to work cooperatively and get things started. Maybe there is an informal analysis done along the way, but any idea an entrepreneur may have can be yesterday’s news if too much formality is injected into the process. This is not to say there have not been successful companies formed through the formal process, but the younger a person is the more likely they will skip the formalities and just get to work.
It can be asked whether this model has long term value. Recent history shows that small companies that have products that fill in niche needs of global giants will be bought up anyway. So the bottom line for the modern entrepreneur is to make money because any successful venture will either be swallowed up or crushed by the giants in the long term.
Another general concept is to differentiate yourself from the rest of the market. The problem with that is there are a vast number of companies in the global marketplace who can compete with price rather than quality. A unique product offering that has high quality will not be able to compete with a product of slightly less quality. This is more a matter of global economics than business, where the wages of workers continues to remain stagnant or rise so low as to be insignificant.
Consider the smartphone market. Many products have taken steps to differentiate themselves from the competition. Yet Android smartphones dominate market share because they are cheaper. Even Microsoft has changed it s strategy to focus on the low-end smartphones. As unique and high quality as Apple’s iPhone is, it has failed to make a significant dent in Android’s market.
Visibility, the idea that you need to get your product name in front of your target audience, is basically a no-brainer, especially on the Internet. But getting noticed requires that you adopt your business strategy to include SEO because if your company cannot make the first page of a search engine results list, then it probably will not be noticed by many people. Since Google created its search engine with the page rank concept, businesses have changed their marketing strategies to adapt to Google’s ranking formula. For Internet businesses, social media and page rank are two of the most critical components of visibility.
Creating a distinct personality for your company that makes it appear more human is another recommendation. Examples such as the Geico gecko are used as illustrations of successful corporate personalities that have entertained consumers and added to its brand. But that is yesterday’s news. If we use television as an example, the number of companies that create a memorable character to advertise their product continues to decline. They realize it is about the instant sale. No longer can companies rely on a long term, loyal following because many consumers see businesses the same way businesses see employees – how replaceable are they and what is the cost?
The only companies that can afford to create a corporate personality are the giants, and they do it to retain market share rather than gain it. Then there are companies like Apple Computer, who let the products market themselves rather than spend millions of dollars on creating a personality. Their corporate personality is a reflection of their product lines: stylish, pricey, innovative, and eccentric. This approach has served them well for many years.
The final recommendation on the list is vision. The problem is defining what vision is and what are the major differences between 2015 and 1985. The vision your company has today is more likely to he made into reality by a competitor or new business than seeing it become reality in 10 years. It is likely the best company visions are noticed by the giants and then either adopted and made better (building a better mouse trap) or simply buying the company. Attempting to remain a private concern is a good strategy, but if a giant decides to imitate the product and there are legal issues of trademark or patent, the litigation required to resolve it in favor of the smaller business will consume massive amounts of time and resources. There is no guarantee the courts will require the giant to reimburse the smaller company for the entire amount of its costs.
To be fair, there is a certain amount of validity to the old adages. But they need to be brought into the new millennium and the age of the Internet and technology. Visibility and vision are great concepts, but more often than not it is a reactive business environment, where a company needs to meet the changing market conditions, many times having to adjust its strategy. Microsoft, a giant, waited too long to get involved in the mobile industry and now finds it difficult to gain a foothold in competition with Google and Apple.
Technology has changed the speed of business, and that change of speed has caused consumers to change their buying habits. Whether 1985 or 2015, the customer is the one businesses have to adjust to with their product lines, profit margins, and marketing strategy. Pay heed to the principles, but make sure they are adjusted for the global speed which business conducts itself today.
2015 Business Predictions – Or Not?
It is that time of the year – the beginning – where people make their predictions about where business and technology are headed for the coming year. Predictions, much like stocks, are a “best guess” scenario since there are so many variables that can cause the tide to change. But there are some likely candidates out the group of prognosticators that have a better chance of becoming reality than others.
One of these is that search engine optimization (SEO) will become more challenging.
Some say SEO will become harder, but I am not sure that is the best word to use here. Depending on what your goals are for SEO, the primary one being increasing your page rank, you may not have as many problems or requirements as other companies or industries. Promoters of SEO make it an essential tool for business survival but for a small business trying to make Page One under the keyphrase “laptop computer.”
Here are the top 10 results out of more than 13 million returned:
Radio Shack???? Let’s be honest, if your business is not able to bump Radio Shack out of the Page One ranking, it is time to seriously consider the actual value of SEO for your business. Remember, SEO costs money, and the ROI is crucial to its success.
So for some businesses, SEO will require a great deal of effort and resources to move up from a Page Two ranking. If there is any element of SEO that will be hard regardless of your company’s page rank it is unearthing the right keywords and keyphrases that your target audience will use to locate your product or service.
Any time you mention SEO you are subliminally communicating “Google.” (It’s a great way to legally advertise by using subliminal techniques. But we all know there is no credible research that supports the effects of subliminal advertising, right?) Google will continue to tighten the noose on web sites that are more prone to use keywords and keyphrases to drive organic search results than to provide quality content to the visitor.
If you are thinking that Google somehow has the consumer’s best interest at heart, you are probably naïve. With Google, there is always a market share or money motivation behind the outer crust. Google makes its money through advertising, and allowing only the companies that have the big advertising dollars to spend to reach the top spots. The big advertising dollars will come from the company’s marketing budget, which only big companies have, which in turn will be spent on acquiring or creating the best SEO techniques. For those in Page Three Land and beyond, SEO loses its significance proportional to the distance from Page One.
How many people know how to navigate through 1 million search results and get to page 23,725 of the result? Since the answer is probably less than 1 percent of all Google search engine users, the problem not making the first 10 pages is obvious. By the way, the top ranked site of a web page will generate about one-third of all the clicks.
Abandoning SEO is not the answer. You just have to find your niche that will get you your Page One ranking.
Closely connected to SEO and web site content is web site design. This leads us to the second possibility of the prognosticators being right – the necessity of enriching the user experience.
The expansion of mobile technology can take a lot of credit for this, because for most users, mobile means simple. Get me the information I need fast, and let me do what I need to do and move on. This is directly tied into the size of the mobile device screens, where small and portable meet design and functionality. Whether a tablet or a smartphone, the user experience will have to be improved if mobile devices will continue to rule the consumer computing market.
It is about time. Companies have made billions from consumers who love their mobile devices. Users have had to plod through multiple screens and perhaps worst of all, deal with companies whose idea of a mobile strategy is to take their website design and make it smaller. In 2015, companies who continue to pursue this business strategy should be put on a web site and be publicly shamed. An interactive site where visitors could hurl assorted fruits and vegetables at the archaic company’s web site.
There is a positive business angle to focusing on the user experience. The better the experience for the user, the greater likelihood there is for a conversion. Remember, the idea is not just to get the consumer to your site, it is for them to respond to a call-to-action. This means that the quality of the content of your web site as a whole, combined with a well-thought out marketing and SEO strategy, topped off with a memorable and shareable user experience are the keys to increasing sales – particularly in the mobile market.
Those who have a familiarity with the PC market of the 80’s, the historical trend was that software would lag behind the hardware advances in technology somewhere between 5 and 10 years. That seems like a long time when considering how fast the Internet and mobile technology have come is the last 10 years. But when comparing the two game changers, there are a lot of similarities.
Besides the apps lagging behind the hardware, the pricing is comparable. Once the PC caught on in the business and consumer markets, hardware prices dropped and the price of apps began to stabilize. After a decade, a developer application that once went for $500 plummeted to $100. The user experience was better and oddly corresponded to a drop in the price of the products. Today, Microsoft offers its Office 365 Suite for free for a one year time period. Not much has changed in 30 years.
These two omens of change – SEO and the user experience – are closely connected. An improved SEO process will result in a better user experience. The demand for a better user experience will force changes in SEO either from Google or the companies themselves. The New Year brings with it the possibility of consumers getting some return on their investment for being loyal and patient with their favorite online companies.