Sunday, 30 June 2013

Problem with the Apple store

Don't get me wrong I love the Apple store and the convenient access it gives to media like music, TV program's and through other apps (Comixology) things like comics.

The downside though is the ease of simply pressing the 'buy' button and then the download begins. 

Case in point - on Saturday night, following a few glasses of wine at chez Localventure I idly searched ITunes and came across a Beatles album and (although I have no direct memory of this) apparently paid and downloaded it.

This is the problem with the iTunes store - 'tipsy downloading' and the ultimate irony is I'm not really that fussed about the Beatles - there are a dozen other albums I'd prefer to download when sober and I lumber myself with £ 7.99 worth of McCartney/Lennon number ones !

Friday, 28 June 2013

You are an idiot title shocker !!!

I received an e-mail yesterday afternoon and saw the title pop up in the top right corner of my screen in the notifications window and the title read (in bold) :

"You are an idiot"

I was at the time, for obvious reasons, irritated by this. It turned out is was a regular marketing round up from a Linkedin contact and he had used some kind of software package to create a mix of news stories  relevant to his industry and then allowed the software to quote a line from one of these stories as the title of his e-mail. From the content of the e-mail and tone, which had nothing to do with the title of the mail I cannot imagine this was a deliberate attempt to shock a recipient into reading the e-mail but it got me wondering what impact the title of an e-mail or blog post has on the propensity of the prospect to read the marketing missive. Intuitively a good or interesting title should have more impact than a boring bland one obviously - but is it possible to go too far (as I would suggest mine from yesterday did), even if by accident ?

I looked at my recent blog post titles and the numbers of reads each had. I'm somewhat limited in terms of the data supplied by google/blogger but of recent posts, here's the title and the number of individual hits to each specific post :

Man Of Steel Preview and discussion   36 hits

My Talk Health Posts     25 hits

Karate Grading on Saturday     18 hits

Karate Grading on Saturday Part 2     15 hits

Karate update Bonus Post     14 hits

Latest News from ...      12 hits

Update on Sponsors for my podcast

Late Night Marketing      11 hits

Techfill update IOS 7 and OSX Mavericks     11 hits

Not sure if this tells me anything much other than people are (unsurprisingly) more interested in the Man of Steel movie and karate than my thoughts on IOS 7.

My approach on balance is to try and make the titles of the posts as interesting as possible whilst remaining relevant and descriptive of the content where possible. As an aside, please be re-assured that I do not in any way shape or form consider my readers to be 'Idiots'.

Thanks you and good night !

    


Thursday, 27 June 2013

International Private Medical Insurance

Cover for both UK expats and 3rd country nationals has been something of a theme for me over the past seven days and I have been dealing with clients across the world in the last few days.

With this in mind I wanted to add an article here that I wrote some weeks ago for Premier Choice Healthcare - I hope that it is of interest. If any readers have any queries on international PMI please feel free to contact me as below :


Repatriation cover for International PMI clients

International Private Medical Insurance or 'iPMI' is a subject that I have discussed here in previous articles. As you might imagine when you travel to live or work outside of the United Kingdom a major concern will almost always be safeguarding the health and well being of yourself and your family and regardless of whether the cover is paid for by you or an employer, iPMI is literally an essential purchase. When abroad on a long term basis there is no option to 'fall back' on the good old British National Health Service, and add to that the concerns about language and cultural differences then your health is really something that you need to have 100% peace of mind on.
In this article I will run through one of the key elements of iPMI cover - the Repatriation Benefit. This is the part of the plan that will pay for you to be moved from the country in which you are living or working, either back to the UK for required treatment or alternatively to the nearest location with access to effective, speedy treatment for you.
The repatriation cover is such an important part of your cover because although your iPMI plan is designed (with the proper initial advice from an intermediary like Premier Choice) to provide you with the very best range of health benefits to suit you in your current situation and locale, it is not always possible to predict how your health may go. Should you develop a condition that is more serious or complicated your local private healthcare treatment providers may not be the best place for you to receive your treatment. For example, I have a friend who is a US citizen who runs a busy IT business across the world and spends a lot of time working in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. He acknowledges that as a Westerner his basic healthcare needs could usually be met in most large cities in Africa but anything more complex or urgent and he would need (and prefer) to travel to either Western Europe or the USA fairly urgently. It is therefore vital that his (and your) medical insurance plan covers this key ability to move you from your domiciled country/location to the place to receive the right treatment if necessary on top of the standard core iPMI benefits.
So when taking out an iPMI plan it is most important to take this repatriation factor into account. As per my example above, although it is not a core medical insurance benefit as such, it is vital to know that if relevant cover is not available in your country of domicile that the insurer will cover the necessary travel and treatment costs for you. Imagine if you will for a moment you are struck down and appropriate treatment isn't available locally and you have no repatriation cover - this kind of scenario really does not bear thinking about.
It is also worth considering two additional factors. Firstly, does the repatriation cover provide for a move back to the UK for required treatment or just to the nearest appropriate country ? Either option is preferable to having no repatriation cover at all but many UK citizens would prefer to come home rather than just the nearest country with adequate treatment facilities.
Secondly (and perhaps slightly more morbidly) it is also worth checking out what cover is available if you or someone covered on a plan dies whilst overseas. Most plans will cover the return of mortal remains to the United Kingdom but it is always worth checking that this is included. Covering the costs of returning a loved ones body back to the UK could be a terrible financial liability to the family at a truly stressful time if not covered by your insurance (several thousand pounds at least).
International PMI can be a complex product area, with more technical issues to consider for clients than standard UK PMI (which can itself be perplexingly complicated for the layperson). Premier Choice Healthcare has specially trained consultants qualified to provide specialist advice to clients world wide. Before you travel overseas, or if you think your current iPMI cover needs a sanity check please get in touch and we will ensure you have the best plan and the peace of mind where ever you are in the world.
__________



If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 



Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Update on sponsors for my podcast

You may recall that in previous posts and on my podcast (PMICast, available on iTunes or at www.pmicast.podbean.com) I have mentioned my desire to obtain sponsorship for the podcast to move forwards, add to the professionalism, content and of course enable me to devote the time to putting the content out to my listeners for free.

I have had discussions already with two prospective sponsors and I am hoping to be able to go live with one of them in the near future but in the meantime I would really like other people to come forward and see if sponsoring the podcast would be of interest.

Here's some basic information I've been passing out to some contacts :


I wanted to let you know about my exciting new business podcast and offer you the opportunity to sponsor/advertise your business or services on the podcast for free.

The podcast is a weekly show covering private medical insurance, it is called PMICast and you can search for it on iTunes or go direct to www.pmicast.podbean.com. I have nearly 20 years experience in the medical insurance market so am able to comment on my industry with some impact as a ‘thought leader’ within the sector and at the moment PMICast is the only podcast in the UK looking at this subject matter comprehensively.

In terms of numbers, at the moment we have 1,700 active subscribers and then an additional 2,000 people per month who visit the above site to listen to the back catalog of episodes. In addition to this the podcast is also supported by my business blog at www.localventure.blogspot,com which averages over 2,000 hits per month as well.

The beauty of my podcast listeners is that due to the nature of the podcast they tend to be professional and financially informed as well as interested in business in general. As they have to actively find the podcast and download it they tend to be proactive ‘doers’ and of course are extremely IT literate as well.

I think that sponsoring the podcast would be an excellent opportunity for a forward looking business interested in either acquiring or getting a message to clients who fit into the above demographic.

Best of all I’m offering a great deal on sponsoring the podcast - whatever you decide to do longer term the first four weeks of advertising are free with no catches.

Any sponsor will receive the following - initial mention of the sponsoring company at the start of the podcast, a 30 second overview of your services (written by you) along with relevant contact information and web details in the main body of the podcast and then a final ‘thank you’ mention at the end of the podcast.

After your four week free sponsorship we can discuss paid options based on the number of podcasts you want to sponsor and a per diem listener rate but this is very much up for discussion with new sponsors and there is absolutely no obligation - this is about creating a useful business relationship moving forwards that works for both parties.

The proceeds from any sponsorship will be invested in equipment, infrastructure and better content for the podcast moving forwards - this will mean over time, as the podcast grows and develops that businesses associated with it will have an increasing ability to broadcast to growing numbers of prospective clients.

I firmly believe that on-line media like my podcast is the future of informing both existing and prospective clients and an excellent tool for acquiring new business.

If you’re interested please drop me a message for an initial discussion on any aspect of this project - plus please feel free to listen/subscribe to the podcast. 

Philip D Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
07792 075 748

__________

If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 






Evening Client visit

I'm doing something tonight that I've only ever done once before - that is to visit a prospective client at home in the evening.

I tend to avoid this for a variety of reasons : many people simply don't like having a 'salesperson' turn up at their home, regardless of whether they are invited or not. Obviously is takes valuable time out of everyone's evening and of course from my perspective I have to assess whether the case is worth enough in terms of revenue to justify getting in the car and spending the time/petrol to sign up a new client - this sounds cynical but obviously spending £ 60 worth of petrol to sign up a case worth less than say £ 100 would be facile.

On this occasion the client is simply a person that likes meet people face to face and he (nicely) insisted on a meeting. They are reasonably local and the case is a good size so on this occasion it seems worth it - especially given that the client has indicated he is interested in proceeding.

My view is that this kind of situation is about firstly being flexible and then also reading the situation so the client gets what he needs both in terms of advice but also in terms of how he needs the social/business interaction to operate.

As an aside, I was checking the podcast statistics this morning and for the first time we've gone over the 2,000 download mark from the website (i.e. people visiting www.pmicast.podbean.com and listening to podcasts there) and then we are around 1,700 subscribers via iTunes and other podcast directories. Very positive progress - nearly 4,000 listens/downloads in the last 30 days.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Not one, or even two new podcasts in a day but three !

I have been busy with the podcasting today.

Episode 16 of PMICast is now available on iTunes and at www.pmicast.podbean.com - this week is a small corporate PMI client case study and various bits of news - definitely worth checking out when you get chance.

I've also added in a new video podcast at my You Tube Channel - pkn439 - episode 3 there is actually a direct transfer of the above audio podcast but if you'd like to see me presenting the content 'on camera' please check this out too. More at www.youtube.com/user/pkn439

Lastly, I've also put up episode 6 of Where's Wilson this morning too. This ep of my SF podcast is a review of the second half of Season 7 of Doctor who leading in to 'the name of the Doctor' and the 50th Anniversary celebrations. I have been having some problems with the Where's Wilson feed so I've taken the decision to include it in the PMICast feed instead - so subscribers will now receive both podcasts - remember if you want Where's Wilson you'll need to subscribe/listen via PMICast as above.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Karate Grading on Saturday ..... Part 2 : the conclusion

Just need to preface this post with a with a quick numbers upgrade - just passed the 10,000 hits point on the blog - thanks for your continuing support !!!

So if you're following me on twitter or Facebook you'll know that I passed and received a score of 60/100 for my grading, for this level of grading I'd consider that a pretty good score.

I promised I'd run over some issues around this karate grading this week that I mentioned in my usual non business weekend post. Today I'm going to do this in my first business post of the week. It is  business post because I think it highlights something important about planning and preparedness.

I had blogged before the grading that I'd felt unprepared and only at about 80% 'match fitness' prior to the grading and I had some problems with my kata (for the uninitiated these are a series of set techniques performed one after another in a kind of 'form') of which I had to do three for the grading - one previous kata and both of the new ones, learnt for this grade level. This may just have been nerves on my part because I had put in place a bit of prep in advance as below.

Interestingly, in the month prior to the grading I had stepped up my training in two main areas. Firstly fitness. I usually try and get two or three runs in a week in addition to my karate training but I'd stepped up the running from around ten miles a week to twenty. Then with respect to kata I normally run through six a day - three of my shukokai kata and three of my old Tai Sabaki Do kata (this is the name of my old club/style that is no longer running). In preparation for the grading I temporarily stopped the TSD kata and instead ran through all eleven of the shukokai kata I needed for the grading every day for a month (double that in the last week). So I'd also effectively doubled the work on kata too.

The result - I'm not saying the grading was easy, far from it but I certainly had no issues with fitness and managed to get a passing score in all three kata sections with some ease. In essence a little forethought and bit of extra effort in advance of my grading really paid off. I also didn't pick up any injuries on the day (which is quite unusual for me) and I would put that down to having just a little extra fitness/sharpness.

So in the immortal words of one of my first ever sales trainings : to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Karate Grading Saturday at 3.00 pm

I have a 1st Kyu Brown belt grading tomorrow at 3.00pm.

Have trained myself up a little, although recent hectic work schedule has meant I haven't done as much kata and combination work as I'd like and I do feel somewhat underprepared. I'd say I was 80% fit and 75% technically prepped - hopefully enough to pass with a bit of focus and vomit inducing effort.

Thought it would be interesting to overview the sections of the grading for you and then later I can fill in the blanks as to how I did in each section.

Section 1 Basics - basic punching, blocking and kicking techniques some static and others moving up and down the dojo

Section 2 Combinations - I have three set combinations

The problem (deliberatley) with these two sections is because there will be eight or so of us at the grading and each needs to be watched and graded for each technique on both sides we end up doing literally hundreds of techniques all at full speed. The aim of course is to check fitness as well as technique. Of course from a difficulty perspective these sections are technically the easier part of the grading.

Section 3 Pad Work - basically any kick or punch at full tilt against the bag. Again designed to be super tiring - if you're doing it right !

Section 4 Attack and defense - what I used to call San Bon or yippon kumite - 2 defenses each against snap puch, hook and front kick - working with a partner at full speed.

Section 5 current kata - this is matsakazi and ni say shi (not sure if these translate outside of Shikoku karate so sorry to other styles)

Section 6 old kata - any two of the previous nine kata

Section 7 - fighting - essentially 20 minutes of lung pounding semi contact (no face or groin) action.

Will update on the event and of course the final result over the weekend !

Wish me luck !

Professional Introducers

A significant proportion of the work I do for clients is introduced by a range of IFA's, Accountants and General/Commerical intermediaries around the UK.

At the moment I have a panel of around 30 or so regular contacts with another 10 or 15 who introduce occasional business to me.

The most recent episode of my podcast : PMICast, number 15 talks in some depth about the principles behind this work and if you are an IFA or accountant who would like to both offer a service on medical insurance to clients and also increase your income stream from PMI then please feel free to get in touch.

On the subject of introducers, you can join my Linkedin Group : IntroMed at :

www.linkedin.com/groups/IntroMed-4945586?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

or drop me an e-mail to access my public dropbox folder full of useful PMI marketing and sales information.

Lastly please do listen to the podcast, in iTunes and at www.pmicast.podbean.com

__________



If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 


Thursday, 20 June 2013

International Private Medical Insurance

iPMI is a topic that I haven't discussed too much on this blog.

It is an area of business that I am quite active in and have built a range of knowledge and expertise. Rather than launch into a technical overview of the plans or benefits I'll run through some of the cases where an iPMI plan might be appropriate to you.

Living or working overseas and resident outside the UK - for individuals living or working abroad there is often no equivalent of the NHS to fall back on so PMI becomes an absolutely essential purchase.

A company ether based overseas, employing UK citizens or UK business sending staff abroad - both in terms of duty of care and also ensuring staff are ready and able to work, an iPMI plan for staff overseas is a vital employee benefit.

It is even possible in some cases to cover third country nationals i.e. Australia's in China - any person who is living overseas, not just UK citizens could benefit from advice on their iPMI needs.

Lastly, as iPMI plans are usual very comprehensive it is also quite common to cover UK citizens here on iPMI cover - this suits high net worth clients who might also travel widely round the world and not want the hassle of other solutions. Considering this solution means I can offer benefits not usually available : e.g. Cover for maternity or chronic conditions.

There are some technical issues to consider, for example some countries insist on iPMI for ex pats to grant a visa whilst in others it isn't possible to set up an iPMI product (e.g. Iran) but if you or your company falls into any of the above categories then we can have a discussion as how an iPMI plan works for your situation. 


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

My Talk Heath blog posts

If you have the chance please take a few minutes to visit

 http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/blog/author/phil-knight/

These are my semi regular long form articles covering a range of healthcare issues some quite general with others 
being more personal. For example there are pieces on IVF and a skeptical approach to science and medicine - this is 
a three part piece. Parts 1 and 2 are live on the blog and Part 3 although somewhat delayed is due to go up any time. 

I would welcome any comments or feedback either here or on the Talk Health blog itself. 

Whilst you're catching up on my writings there's also my articles for Premier Choice at www.pch.uk.com, 'latest 
news'. You will see there's a range of topics around health and protection insurance. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

PMICast episode 15 is now live - Working with Professional Introducers

You can now find the latest episode of my medical insurance podcast live on iTunes and www.pmicast.podbean.com.

The 'cast takes things on a stage from previous mention of professional introducers in an earlier ep and also builds on last weeks which was an overview of my personal work history.

If you're an IFA, Accountant, General or Mortgage broker or Solicitor who would like to offer your clients a service on medical insurance but don't have the time or knowledge then I can help and the podcast will tell you how.

For more information leave feedback here or email on pmicast@gmail.com

__________


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 




Monday, 17 June 2013

Tuesday is PMICast day !

Tomorrow is PMICast upload day. This is ep.15 and is a professional introducer special - check it out on iTunes and @ www.pmicast.podbean.com

Manic Monday

Following a great Father's Day weekend - too much going on to take a breath all weekend and surprisingly have arrived at Monday and the start of another working week raring to go.

This morning - although I have yet to earn any actual money - I am on fire in terms of getting things done. The to do list is not 10 items lighter and it is only 10.41am. I am putting fires out all over town.

This week will be a dual focus on client reports of which I have four to write and get over to the client on Monday and Tuesday then new client marketing as the pipeline for June and July is looking a little thin at the moment. As I have holidays planned for the end of July I could really do with sorting out some new clients in the next six weeks or so.

So lots to do, new clients to find and thankfully the weather is awful outside so there's no temptation to slack off at the moment.

I will also be prepping and uploading a new PMICast tomorrow so please check back for that if you get chance.

_________


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Man of Steel - review

**Spoiler Alert ** Don't read this review unless you want some bits of the plot spoilt for you. !

Well you know you're in for something pretty special when the first scene of a summer blockbuster is the main characters mum giving birth to him.

I'm on record in a previous post, moaning about the constant need for superhero movies to retell the origin story every time. Here, now, officially I take it all back. The reweaving of the doomed planet Krypton story and the rationale it gives for Kal El and General Zod to be at each others throat plus the excellence of Russell Crowe as Jor El are actually worth the entrance price for Man of Steel alone. A muscular and confident, maybe brash opening to a film that never stops delivering on spectacle and adrenaline.

Therein lies the problem, this is a film of heart warming moments, enormous building collapses and superhumans beating the crap out of each other interspersed with more noise and brashness.

Too much noise and brashness in fact I think. Don't get me wrong this is immensely enjoyable and I will (almost) never get tired of watching Krpytonians bray superspeed hell out of each other but on balance the movie is not really a whole, more a mis mash of amped up trailers exploding one after the other - some better (louder) than others and some attempting to add a human or Krpytonian element to proceedings.

Acting chops go to everyone, even Cavill who although somewhat single tone is after all playing a boy scout - at least until the emotional neck snapping (yes indeed!) in the final scene - god that was shocking.

The best of the action though isn't really Supes in costume, it's the early oil rig and school bus scenes - they drive home what pushes the character to become what he does and the excellent acting of Costner and Lane as his Smallville parents demonstrate how an alien might end up as an American champion. I challenge anyone not to get a bit of a lump in the throat at Costners final scene.

One question, why doesn't Superman ever control his crashes into aircraft (or indeed anything) the genesis ship he destroys goes on to create tens of billions of dollars of property damage and then the on-going fight with Zod does billions more - why does Superman care so much about the family in Grand Central Station at the end but not the thousands killed in devastated buildings up to that point ?

So does the film work as  re-launch to the Superman franchise, yes I think so. Is it a better (if oftimes implausible) movie than say Iron Man 3 or Star Trek Into Darkness I would say so. Although all of them as SF are of course 'implausible'

I don't think critically the movie will be as well received as the recent Batman trilogy but I for one would hope for a sequel with some Lex Luthor, Krpytonite action plus a little tighter more character driven story with less demolition and pssst, to tell the truth I've always kind of preferred big red and blue to bats.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Working remotely - the joys of technology

I often speak to clients and professional introducers about the investment I have made and continue to do so in technology. This is of course helped massively by the fact that tech is one of my passions and I'm an avid 'early adopter'.

The value of this is apparent to me on days like today. I have a busy day of admin to catch up on but my car has to go to poorly car hospital today so I am faced with the prospect of working on the move. I have however managed to find a free wifi source and set myself up on the MacBook Air and iPad so I am now good to go and essentially although I'm not in the office, access to the cloud drive online means that I can access 100% of my client files as necessary. So theoretically I can get as much done today whilst the car is being fixed as I would in my home office. Even If the wireless drops out I will be able to activate the personal hotspots on my phone and still work online.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Latest News from .....

Every month I write two or three articles for my compliance provider : Premier Choice Healthcare.

The point of these articles is to give some basic information to people visiting the PCH website (www.pch.uk.com) on a variety of topics. At the moment there are 17 pieces there that I've put together covering subjects ranging from international private medical insurance to how likely you are to be diagnosed with a major health condition to Roman life insurance rites (yes absolutely true). The main aim I suppose is to highlight key issues that Premier Choice and its consultants (like me) can help our clients with.

It is an enormous privilege to be asked to put these articles together and I take the process very seriously to make sure that the work positively enhances both mine and PCH's reputation.

The next project there is a major two parter on how the advisory process for private medical insurance operates and essentially how we end up with a cogent recommendation for client. The first part will go up on the 'Latest News' tab at the above website later this week and Part 2 will follow in a week.



I would be enormously grateful if you could bookmark the PCH website and check back a couple of times a month to catch up with the latest update. I  will try and talk a little more about these items here and in my podcast (PMICast, on iTunes and at www.pmicast.podbean.com) to try and keep my readers and listeners in the loop.

__________


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 



Late night marketing

(Prepared and typed Tuesday evening at 9.52 p.m. Posted this morning - Wednesday at 8.30am)

Well I am paying the price for missing two days of marketing work this week.

Whilst Mrs Localventure is enjoying 'Frankie' : cloying  BBC emo-medical drama (although pre viewing the first episode my daughter told me it was a time travel, crime solving drama starring Eve Myles former star of SF classic Dr Who spin off : 'Torchwood' and I believed her all the way through the first episode - terribly disappointing as the time travel and crime fighting elements are yet to kick in although Frankie's boyfriend is a police officer so it may pick up???) I am prepping and sending marketing e-mails to prospective PMI and medico legal clients.  

This is a task I try to work in to my usual work flow Monday through Thursday, mainly in afternoons following lunch with another set done over the weekend. Essentially I try and do the work in quieter periods for me and send it at a time when a potential client might have a moment to read the missive (so I found that sending anything on Friday tended to be overlooked as clients approach the weekend).

 Usually I am quite disciplined but time has just gotten away from me this week. Hence the mega marketing blitz this evening to catch up.

Me at 11.00pm last night !

This is the problem with getting out of the office for a few days on client and introducer appointments - no time for the tedious administration - still around 1,000 prospective new client contacts this evening in total, assuming two new clients from this work (which wouldn't be an unlikely result) definitely a worthwhile if mind numbing way to spend an evening - although I would hope to go back to working this into daytime work and leave the blog posting for the evening - back to the marketing !


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

New episode of PMICast now available

PMICast is the only UK podcast devoted to medical insurance and related topics for both clients, insurers and professional introducers.

We have around 4,000 listeners per month and this is growing - why are you still reading this blog post - get over to iTunes or www.pmicast.podbean.com to download the podcast and see what you're missing ?

Tell your friends and colleagues then leave us a review on iTunes (only 4 or 5 star please !).

If you are interested in sponsoring the podcast to advertise your business please e-mail at pmicast@gmail.com - the first four weeks will be free and as above we have lots of intelligent, engaged, professional listeners.

Phil Knight - your host for the PMICast audio podcast
contact us at pmicast@gmail.com

Techfill Update : IOS 7 and OSX 'Mavericks'

So, WWDC Keynote has come and gone and we now have our first sneak peak of the two Apple operating systems for mobile devices and the Mac range respectively.

Clearly IOS is the most exciting with the new (Sir) Jonny Ive designed 'flat' interface which actually seems to be a total retool of the whole IOS experience. As an Apple developer I would hope to go hands on fairly soon but at first glance it looks to have a lot of the functionality and changes that bring the operating system close to on par with Android but also seems to share some design cues from Windows Phone 8 (e.g. the multi tasking tiles which look like a massive improvement on the current bottom of the screen trays). As a power user I'm most interested in how everything integrates and the shortcuts as it is all well and good creating a new 'experience' but if the work flow slows or is broken then what's the point ?
So for example the changes to the control functions that seem to enable quicker access to wifi or airplane controls would be useful to someone like me who literally lives on iPhone and iPad interchangeably.

OSX 10.9 Mavericks or as I will be calling it SeaLion is less impressive overall. Most of a 0.5 update in my opinion. The changes on power consumption and memory compression will have little or no impact for those of us running 2 or 3 generation ago machines and although 'tags' seems an interesting spin on the smart folder concept (available on line for some time) it seems to me that as I have a sophisticated file system set up between my Macs, IOS devices, iCloud and my 2 off site cloud storage backup and access services the introduction of a new capability is just going to add increased complexity to a system that works quite well for me. So I suspect I might try it but abandon if it caused me any extra work.
More interesting are some of the moves to integrate IOS features into the desktop : better push notifications, iBooks (although my ebook system of choice is actually Kindle which I've used on the Mac for some time) and Maps - I especially like the ability to plan journeys on the desktop and flip it straight across to the iPhone - sounds simple and effective - might be worth joining SeaLion for this alone.

All in all an interesting upgrade to IOS but I will hold fire on SeaLion to see the cost and of course if it will be available to my older machine - I may end up test installing on one Mac and keeping Mountain Lion on the other (which seems to me is about as good an OS as I need at present).

Monday, 10 June 2013

Work expands to fill the available time

It is true to say that, certainly for employees, that many people allow the volume of planned or urgent/available tasks they have at work to denote how they spend their time during the course of a working day. So say there are four major tasks to complete in the course of a 9 to 5 day, this will tend to take the maximum hour and forty five minutes available for each task along with an hour for lunch of course. This is human nature and tends to happen regardless of how long it should actually take to complete each task were time of the essence.

Having worked '9 to 5' myself for many years I can well understand the attraction of doing absolutely no more than the minimum and as a lazy person by inclination it still has its draw. The game changer for me though of course is working for oneself - it is all very well being lazy but doing nothing earns me nothing.

It's interesting but today I had two meetings, one at 10.00am and another at 1.30 pm - geographically they were not too far apart but far enough to prevent me access to my office for any more than about 30 minutes in total today until after 8.30pm with other non work commitments in the evening. The fact that I was out of the office for most of the day doesn't mean though that my other admin and client commitments went away so I have had to just cram more into my time between meetings than actually seemed possible on my way out of the house this morning.

Of course I will still need to catch up with some e-mails and other stuff this evening but rather than allowing the task to expand to fill the available time I think today that I've been able to control the tasks and schedule them appropriately to optimize work done.

As a last word today I've had several emails and comments about the blog in the last few days - all complimentary thankfully. So I just wanted to say 'Hi' to new readers and welcome ! - I hope you enjoy and find it interesting or useful (or indeed both !) Please tell all your friends and colleagues about it if you think they might be interested.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Man of Steel preview and discussion

My kids have decided that they are going to take me to see Man of Steel next weekend for Fathers Day.

It is the only movie of the Summer that I have been really looking forward to and I'm hoping for so much more than the moping emo-Superman of Bryan Singers disappointing Superman Returns which was essentially Superman lifting heavy things and getting beaten up by Lex Luthor very slowly (or so it seemed given the lethargic pacing of the movie).

Having viewed the trailers released in recent months I am very hopeful for the new film and will report back on my thoughts. The main issue I wanted to raise is my one criticism of virtually all superhero flicks. Why do we need the origin story ... AGAIN. We all know now how Peter Parker got into trouble playing with glowing spiders and Kals dad Jor sent his baby son to earth from the doomed planet etc -  do we really need another 45 minute re-telling of the origin story again ? Even if it is crucial to the Zod invading earth plot - we saw it all in Donners 1978 Superman and then again two years later in Superman 2. As I thought with Star Trek Into Darkness, the problem with retooling and re-telling a classic story is the comparison with the original may not be all that favorable (I make extensive reference to this issue in episode five of Where's Wilson - my SF podcast available on iTunes and at www.whereswilson.podbean.com). I hope I'm wrong and MoS blows me away but I just don't need to see Krypton again especially as I've had to (suffer) live through 10 seasons of Smallville, the ultimate love note to the Superman origin story.

Still it looks like we finally get to see some well done super fisticuffs and as a life long fan of both comics and the 1978 Donner film there seem to be some great Superman : Lois and then Clark : Jonathan charter moments. 

Despite healthy reservations I really can't wait.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Work Place Frustration

Yesterday I had of of those long frustrating days where nothing happens and no matter how many projects you have on the go or dip into you just aren't able to feel productive - a real downer of a day.

The reason is difficult to pin down. I think in part it comes from a really busy May and although the June pipeline looks very positive it will be some weeks before much new business arrives. In addition I have several cases on the go which seem to have stalled - perhaps this is 'good weather syndrome' as clients and colleagues disappear off to take advantage of the summer weather (finally!). I also have had to redo my entire report process for one client who for various reasons has decided to change his mind right at the end of a piece of work. Extra work for possibly less money, not my preferred way of doing things.

Whatever the reason, one hell of a frustrating day all told.

So this morning I have decided to draw a line under things, it's Friday, a nice weekend is looming and (famous last words) what can go wrong today ??!?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

General update

It's been a busy few days so I would like to take some time out today, take a breath and catch you all up on where we are on a few key items.

This blog - viewings and feedback on the blog are all moving in the right direction - we're now well over 9,000 views and moving rapidly towards 10,000 later this month. The 4th of June was our busiest day ever with over 100 reads in one day - so thanks for all the interest and I will try and keep the content of interest and relevance. If there are any subjects you'd like me to comment on or if you have something you'd like to say here I would gladly engage wth guest bloggers - just e-mail or leave a comment.

At the moment we're averaging a solid 50 or 60 plus readers per day minimum so looking at a monthly readership of around 2,000.

PMICast podcast - this is my audio blog devoted to medical insurance - we have around 4,000 downloads in total per month and are up to episode 13 now.

Search under the name on iTunes or download directly from www.pmicast.podbean.com. Plus if you get chance please feel free to leave a review on iTunes. 

I think the 'cast is really finding its feet now and I even had my first taste of celebrity recently when someone from the insurance industry rang me out of the blue and thanks me for the podcast !

I'm hoping to expand the listenership of the podcast and have added it to six new podcast streaming services so more and more people will now be able to find it. I'm also looking to find commercial sponsorship for podcast moving forwards. I blogged about how this might work for a potential advertiser earlier this week so refer to my earlier post for more information but if you're interested please do get in touch for a chat.

Twitter - my two main Twitter accounts are @philknightpch (business account) @localventure1 (personal and business) I've recently had a real rush of new followers so I wanted to take the opportunity to say 'Hi' if you're a new reader here based on following me on Twitter.

__________


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Health News update

Every now and then, usually when I can think of nothing else to post here I will pull up interesting health news stories and link to them.

Came across three on Monday morning that I thought were relevant :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-22756418

Around 70 staff in a Cambridgshire NHS Trust are to lose their jobs - I would never revel in others being made redudant - it has happened to me too many times myself - but it seems that there is a real overmanning problem within the NHS and Trusts are reluctant to address this issue. I discuss this kind of thing on my Talk Health blog recently - check this out too at : www.talkhealthpartnership.com/blog/2013/05/crisis-within-the-nhs-accident-and-emergency-function/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-22760874

Some genius in a council licensing committee somewhere has decided it would be a good idea to authorise a pub on motorway. It is ideal to have people driving with a pint and a half of beer in their system - they'd still be under the limit but driving a ton of metal at 80 mph !

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22758157

Big news within the media again that the NHS in England is in crisis and misses its A and E waiting target for first three months of 2013. Apparently now Jeremy Hunt (Tory Health Secretary) is now being warned that up to 20 hospitals face closure to balance the NHS books.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Karate Update - bonus post

Most of the content on Localventure is business related but I am an avid martial artist and my intention is also to include details of my on-going journey to inner harmony using extreme violence and constant personal injury.

Those interested solely in 'Business' content can probably skip this post altogether.

To give some background I hold a second dan in Tai Sabaki Do karate (a self defense realtively hard karate style based historically on Wado Ryu) and practised this from 1980 to 2007 when the club was forced to close for a variety of reasons I won't bore you with. As far as I know I am the only senior dan grade from that style still practicing karate. My first sensei : Ben Warren passed a couple of years ago and the sensei that took over following that : Eric Davison stopped training when the club folded. I was the next most senior grade at the time.

I restarted in a new style in May 2010 and now hold a 2nd kyu brown belt and am shortly hoping to go for 1st Kyu (June 15th).

One of the disciplines I try to stick to every day is to run through three or four shukokai kata and the same for my old Tai Sabaki Do kata - there are several reasons for this.

Firstly I need to learn and practise my current shukokai kata - I'm not someone who finds performing kata 'natural' and need many hours of practice to feel comfortable with a new kata. So every day I practice my two current kata and one or two of my previous kata in rotation to keep them in mind and practice.

With my old TSD kata I have all of them 'down pat' with 33 years of training in them over many hundreds of hours but I think it is still important to practice them if nothing else to keep them alive (as I can't be sure anyone else now knows or practices them properly). With this in mind I also practice at least three of these older kata's daily too.

The last reason is of course fitness - running through six to eight kata I find as physically demanding as going for a short run - done properly nothing is as tiring as running through your kata at full tilt.

Phil Knight - 2nd Dan Front Row Far Right.
Sensei Ben Warren - 4th Dan Front Row Second from Left
Sensei Eric Davison - 3rd Dan Back Row First on Left

Photo from 27th June 1989

New podcast episode on-line

Episode 13 of PMICast - the only UK podcast devoted to medical insurance is now live at www.pmicast.podbean.com, also on iTunes.

This weeks episode is a general social media round up and update. Please check it out.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Please sponsor my podcast

My medical insurance podcast : PMICast, the only podcast in the UK that exclusively covers medical insurance (I may have mentioned that before here on the blog and apologies if I'm boring you). It is important to me for a couple of reasons. As an adviser on medical insurance for my clients I am passionate that people have access to good cover for themselves, their families and also their company. I addition of course this is my job and I rely on income from my PMI practice to live.

As such ventures like the blog you are reading now and my podcast are both vital ways of disseminating my worldview and more general information about my practice to current and prospective clients as well as the world in general. So although they do not generate revenue in and of themselves it is important to me that they work as cogent media are in addition professional and relevant. The only cost to the blog is of course the time it takes, similarly with the podcast, the main investment too is time but it is a relatively large one plus there are financial costs for uploading and hosting the podcast and providing sufficient band width for our growing listenership. With that in mind I have decided to formally begin looking for sponsors for the PMICast.

We offer a really solid listenership of around 1500 to 2000 hits or downloads per month via the website : www.pmicast.podbean.com and then 500 plus subscribers via iTunes and other pod catching services. Since I cannot imagine people listening twice (even I only listen through twice to check all is ok pre and post up-load) I'm assuming this evens out to approximately 4,000 listens per month (assuming four/five episodes per month which we have kept to for the first 12 episodes). 

Furthermore although it is difficult to get metrics of who is listening, given the subject matter one has to assume our listeners are largely professional and financially literate.

To a sponsor we offer access to the podcast to overview your products and services and to give out whatever sales messages you would like at least once and probably twice during each episode all for the grand price  of .... free.

At the moment, I would like to work with one or two interested businesses and offer the advertising opportunity above for free for at least one month (4 or more episodes) to enable us to work together and ensure that the process works for the sponsor before entering into a full commercial relationship. I've already offered this'd press to one potential sponsor and they are considering whether it fits with their marketing approach as we speak but I would like to work with other interested parties too.

Once the initial trial is up I am looking at a number of charging strategies moving forwards but whatever we agree together will be a low cost way to access good potential clients and excellent word of mouth. 

If you are interested please get in touch at pmicast@gmail.com - very happy to work with anyone ether locally or nationally the only stipulation being of course I would not include someone competing with my core PMI advisory practice for obvious reasons.

__________


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :
Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395


& my articles for Premier Choice at : www.pch.uk.com/latest-health-insurance-news.php

Twitter - localventure1 and philknightpch
Video Podcast - You Tube Channel : pkn439
Audio Podcast - www.pmicast.podbean.com & www.whereswilson.podbean.com - both available on iTunes

Google Plus : https://plus.google.com/116316601747539224729/posts
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/philip.knight.775

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

Why marketing always has to be the top business priority

As a small business when you set up the temptation initially is to revel in the mechanics of what you do. For example a plumber wants to fix pipes or a jewelry maker wants to design and make beautiful things but this is to make a fatal business error.

The problem is that whatever you do and however good, bad or indifferent you might happen to be there is no revenue driven from 'doing', rather you have to have someone to do it for. This might seem an obvious point but I've worked in business development since 1994 and when I launched my current business in 2010 client acquisition was simply not something I worried about or indeed pondered much at all during the initial business set up phase which in my case lasted around three months. 

Interestingly I had in 2008 set up a small business earlier with a business partner and my role in that venture had been predominantly the marketing process via an on-line 'shop' - so in my previous self employed experience I had factored this client acquisition 'problem' in. But as I pointed out above - going it alone for the first time (with no salaried back up) had me really taking my eyes off the ball for this key element of my business planning.

So when people ask me what I do for a living, I say something along the lines of the following : 

Well the end process of my main business is to advise my clients (individuals, families and companies) on all aspects of medical insurance but my actual 'job' is to proactively market to those clients and introducers who have be of my service.

In other words my job is to find clients to whom I can offer the medical insurance service I provide that is (obviously) brilliant, knowledgable, uniquely client focused etc.

So when you come up with your new business 'elevator pitch' as a new and budding entrepeneur I would advise you strongly to include an idea of how you're planning to get your wonderful idea in front of clients who will actually pay you for providing whatever wonderful service you are planning to offer.


Saturday, 1 June 2013

New episode of Where's Wilson ..... soon

I Where's Wilson is my 'fun' (I think it's fun but of course that is a totally subjective opinion) science fiction podcast.

I host it with my two kids, Megan (13) and Ryan (7) who is supposed to be our video games correspondent but in fact chimes in whenever he likes it seems.

We tend to focus on SF TV and movies but are open to everything from comics (I'm currently reading Flash and JLA from DC's the New 52 and catching up on Iron Man which is the only marvel title I can follow at the moment from a continuity stand point - have you tried getting into the X-Men ?) to SF novels.

At the moment there are five episodes up, the last one a review special on Iron Man 3 and Star Trek : Into Darkness. The aim was to put a new episode up every fortnight but we seem to be in a three to five week cycle at the moment. you can find all the back eps on iTunes (search under the name : whereswilson) or at the podcast's website : www.whereswilson.podbean.com.

As I type it's Saturday morning on the 1st of June and I am planning to record a new podcast today - this one will cover a review of Dr Who Series 7 part 2 in full.

Edit 3/6/13 - we have recorded the podcast but are struggling to get it live on podbean. Will advise ASAP.