Friday, 30 May 2014

Roll on the weekend

Well its been a funny old week.

Still no new PMICast - sorry !

Limited progress on new business although lots of reports and leads out there but generally quieter on the phone and email probably because its half term I'd guess.

On the plus side I've passed my annual FCA compliance check with flying colours and it is of course Friday afternoon. One meeting to go then finished for the day.

Should be able to get back to usual recording schedule for the podcast next week all being well.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Horribly busy at the moment

Losing the Bank Holiday has been a real pain and I had a full day out of the office last week (for a sales training day) plus two days out this week (compliance day and client visit) too so I have had no time to do anything much. I have struggled to do anything much other than eat and work so thought it was worth banging out this short note apologising for the lack of PMICast this last week and probably begging off this weeks too.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The real world versus the 'not real world'

Some times it's all about mindset.

When you work for someone else regardless of your performance the pay cheque still comes through every month. Oh, I know that employees have targets, key performance indicators, deadlines but broadly if an employee does a reasonable job, turns up on time and so on they will get paid and subject to usual redundancy (and I've been made redundant three times) concerns they don't have to worry too much about paying for their mortgage.

As a self employed business owner you only earn what you generate yourself. So week in week out the process of marketing, chasing up, administering carries on regardless.

It can be frustrating how often people who do not understand the above seek to proffer advice on for example exploiting new markets or segmenting client banks. Sometimes they can fail to realise that the challenge is not spotting the opportunity or advising the client in the right way. Rather the problem is getting hold of the client in the first place. It is astonishing how infrequently people who do not have to forage for new clients themselves understand the complexities of doing so.

Cards on table, running a business advising clients requires as the primary skill set, not advisory or consultancy capability (although that is an important second skill) but rather the ability to find and acquire the client in the first place. Segmenting clients, targeting opportunities is actually the easiest thing in the world.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Feeding the beast ...

Have been quiet on the blog this week due to lack of time primarily, have a couple of things I would have like to get to but will make sure they get done here in coming days.

Very busy working with existing client renewals and also a range of new clients - as I've discussed here before as I am getting busier I am making sure the marketing push continues unabated - my experience is that taking your foot off the accelerator when busy means that weeks down the line the whole machine stops and the new business funnel ends up empty !

Wanted to also let you know that this weeks episode of PMICast is pending - time again ! Will be planning this evening and hopefully looking to record tomorrow. I also want to get the second ep of Afternoon Train (still not sure about the name !) recorded in the next few days too. So watch the PMICast stream (

I also have now gotten hold of my new android handset (still running the iPhone until the contract runs out in June) and will finish my three part blog post on the move over to Android in coming weeks.

Keep checking back in !

Thursday, 8 May 2014

This weeks episode of PMICast is now up and live

I have just recorded and posted the latest episode of PMICast - the only UK medical insurance podcast to iTunes and it should be on your pod catcher of choice shortly.

There is exciting news on a new capability for my clients and also comment on various business news stories. Please download and enjoy.

If you'd like to comment or become a client (as I mention in the 'cast) please e-mail me on : or

Stream the 'cast on-line at :


As an aside if you're a regular reader of the blog you'll know that I have been posting about my pending change from IOS to Android. I finally decided to move to a Galaxy Note 3 on Three (unlimited data etc) - the device is due to arrive today and I've allowed a month remaining on my old contract with the iPhone 5 so that I can transition across smoothly to the new system/device. My mobile number will not change (PAC codes working OK) and of course I will cover off the change in the final of three posts here in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


No one likes to be let down and I've had three issues with a business contact in the past few days through neither mine nor the clients fault and the most recent of those issues today demonstrated two of the issues that annoy me most. Firstly lack of transparency and secondly costing me money.

The result has to be that I can no longer use the contact for future business support. I'm loath to be reactionary but the first problem can be forgiven, the second excused but any more and I'm fooling myself to the point that I could disadvantage the client.

Left me feeling very sad and disappointed this evening with, in addition to being significantly out of pocket myself I will also have to redo a sizeable piece of work again, fortunately my client seems to be taking the problem reasonable well - hopefully the situation is recoverable.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

IOS to Android move - Part 2

As previously outlined I am in the process of planning a move from Apples eponymous closed ecosystem across to Androids multiverse spanning super flexible system.

In the third and final part of this epic series of posts I will outline how it all went and if I have any regrets (although I am planning to keep my iPhone 5 as a back up - coward !) but for now I'm discussing logistics in todays post. 

I'm currently on an Orange contract expiring 27th of June but eligible for a 'free' upgrade on the 13th of May. At the moment I pay £ 42 per month for an iPhone specific contract (although I bought the 5 myself to replace a 4S I had received on a previous contract). For this I have effectively unlimited calls and texts and 2 GB of data which I've come close but never exceeded.

In an ideal world I would like to pay less per month and have at least double the data, preferably unlimited. As mentioned in the first of these three posts I'm mainly considering the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on the basis that I want a current, powerful smart phone with a larger screen.

Looking at the costs of SIM free phones plus a SIM only contract (say with 3) the total phone cost, even with cash back from QuidCo et al, plus monthly SIM cost is going too be similar to a free phone upgrade at £30 to £40 per month. Given that I would go for a 24 month contract either way I will probably go for a free phone and contract deal. Broadly as the older phone the Note 3 looks like costing £30 ish (or less) per month and the M8 around £38.

I'll be honest, being lazy if, Orange/EE can give me 4GB of data and monthly price within a pound of the above I will probably stay with them on the basis that I don't then have to mess around with PAC codes as I do need to keep my number and of course I will be able to upgrade on the 13th rather than wait until The end of June. I'd also like to be able to continue to use my iPhone 5 which could mean unlocking it (depending on the network I choose) and also considering the SIM size - using a nano SIM phone like the M8 would mean the SIM is interchangeable (if they're on the same network) between the iPhone and the M8.

Given that size of screen is a bit issue I've done some size comparisons and captured this as below, using my iPhone as a reference point. I included the Nexus 5 as a comparator although for some reason I just don't like the look of it.

Phone Size Comparison
As you can see although the Note 3 is billed as a phablet, the size differential between it and the HTC is actually minimal although I suspect that the screen real estate on the Note 3 will be noticeably larger.

So that's where I am, assuming I go for the free upgrade the decision will be made on or around the 13th (although my bill is due on the 3rd of May so effectively that I could write off the 3rd of June payment and move to a new contract whenever I suppose from now onwards). On paper I like the idea of the HTC - similar hardware and (better?) build quality to the iPhone. Plus their Boom (TM) speaker system seems excellent and given I listen to podcasts regularly round the house on speaker this could be a boon. Although I do fancy the form factor and size of the Note 3 and being honest, the lower cost of the monthly deals with the Note might pip HTC at the post.

I also have very little experience with Touch Whizz or Sense - the two skins over Android. I've used Touch Whizz a little and vanilla Android to support my sons Nexus 7 but really need to get a feel for both devices so my next job is a visit to CPW or similar to get hands on with both devices before making a final decision.

As a final comment on this post, the wildcard may be what Apple do with the iPhone 6. Clearly sa larger screen is almost certain and truth be told if the new Apple device looked brilliant I could sell the iPhone 5 and the new Android device to move back to IOS I suppose at some point in 2015 but Apple would have to change the form factor and wow me with IOS 8 as frankly it has become a little stale.